Ford has finally electrified the Fiesta | Top Gear
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Saturday 30th September

Ford has finally electrified the Fiesta

Britain’s best-selling car gets mild-hybrid tech for the first time

Published: 08 Jun 2020

Ford is pretty much the only mainstream car manufacturer that doesn’t sell a small electric car. A slew of them have been launched in the past year – the Honda e, Mini Electric, Peugeot e-208 and Vauxhall Corsa-e to name but four – and there are MANY more on the immediate horizon, but far as we can see none is a Ford. And that’s a little bit disappointing.

A tie-up with VW Group will apparently see it develop an EV on the Volkswagen ID3’s ‘MEB’ platform, but it’ll probably be a while yet before that car’s finished. So for now the new mild-hybrid Fiesta, which starts at £19,860, is the only small electrified Ford hatch you can buy.

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It uses the same 1.0-litre engine as the Puma crossover, with either 123 or 153bhp, which has a belt-driven integrated starter/generator instead of a conventional alternator. The 48-volt system powers the Fiesta’s ancillaries, recovers energy lost under braking and boosts economy and performance of the three-cylinder petrol. Ford claims the lesser-powered car is five per cent more efficient than before, while the 153bhp model gets up to 50 per cent more torque at low rpms.

All 1.0-litre Fiestas – hybrid or not – use the latest version of the motor, which features cylinder deactivation that can shut-off one cylinder to save fuel (and reignite it in just 14 milliseconds). Meanwhile a new seven-speed dual-clutch auto has been added to the options list for non-hybrid models, and other updates include cleverer adaptive cruise control and an app that lets owners check on their cars from afar.

Ford is promising to have 18 electrified cars on sale in Europe by the end of 2021 – including this Fiesta and the Mustang Mach-E. 

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