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>> This is the new Ford Fiesta. Nah, not that Fiesta, the one they used to have a long time ago. This is a European car. This is what they call a "B" car, B-class. Smaller than the current Focus, bigger than, let's say, a Smart Car -- but my shoe is bigger than a Smart Car. This would compete head-on with a Yaris, a Fit, a Versa, so the very small, most compact cars on the market today. This is a European-spec version car, but we expect a very similar model to be coming to the US, announced formerly for production at the LA Auto Show, 2009. Let's get inside and take a look at the style. Now, inside this guy is a very different look and feel. This is not a typical America Ford dashboard or instrument panel. These gauges are completely foreign to me as an American automotive consumer. This head unit here, the way it protrudes, this is very different as well, although I do see some common technologies to US cars. First of all, I can tell we have sync. Here's the USB and the aux jack down here. And as you can see, we have Bluetooth technology as well. Some other technologies that tell us, yes, we've got pretty active tech for an inexpensive car. Now, again, European-spec car, I don't know what the Americans are going to get, but they do a 1.6-liter with a manual transmission, 4 cylinder gas engine, no tricks, or a 1.4-liter with an automatic. Not so fond of that, but I doubt they're bringing that over here. And this is garden-variety technology. Look around, there' s no turbo. There's nothing fancy going on here. However, Ford does have their eco-boost technology, which is Ford's combination of turbo charging and direct fuel injection. Hotsy-totsy. We shall see. Again, we'll find out at the LA Auto Show. But this car is doing something in the vicinity of a 40-mile per gallon average in its European trim. That's a pretty good base to start with. Based on two short laps in this European Fiesta, I can tell you, the key word is "light." Lightweight on the clutch, light effort on the shifter, rather heavily assisted electric power steering, and of course, the car is lightweight. So nothing about it feels heavy or ponderous. We'll see how they adjust that for the American audience when this comes to our side. But you can also put the word "peppy" in there, and that wouldn't be going too far
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Okay, the number one question I get about Ford all the time. When are they gonna bring one of the European Fords over here that everyone thinks are so cool? Well, this will be the first to come over fully intact, as we understand it, so we'll see how things roll out at the LA Auto Show, and see who much of this makes it here. In the meantime, it is definitely proof that that B-class, the really little cars, are not something you laugh at anymore.
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