“It was designed to appeal to both male and female motorists with its wide-eyed headlamps and broadly smiling grille. And having chosen a name as cheerful and joyous as Fiesta, we asked our designers to come up with a look to match”. There is satisfaction in the voice of Chris Bird, Ford Europe’s director of design, as he describes the genesis of this cornerstone of the Ford range. The New Fiesta, incidentally, came out in Europe a few weeks ago.

Work on the new model started in 1998 when Chris Bird took over at the helm of Ford Design. “We were briefed to design a car that was different from its predecessor, but still looked like a Ford”, explains Bird. “Our task was to refine and simplify New Edge Design”.

All the key brand identifiers appear on the end product. The new Fiesta boasts big headlights, well-defined wheelarches surrounding 14″ wheels and, of course, the dark blue Ford oval set into a typical lozenge-shaped radiator grille.

At the back, the lighting clusters flank the rear window and underline the verticality of the stubby tail.

This is clearly an evolution of New Edge Design as it appeared on the Focus. The intersecting arched lines that defined the Focus inside and out have been replaced by straighter, perpendicular lines. “Our NED is going to be simpler and clearer, but no less athletic in feel”, continues Bird. It’s too early to say much about our future models. All we can say at this point is that any future Ford will reiterate our Core Values: reliability, a contemporary look and ride quality. We want all Ford cars to communicate a feeling of German quality, but to look like Fords, which means taking the best from both traditions”.

The article continues in Auto & Design no. 134

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