Ford models such as the Fiesta supermini and the larger Ford Focus hatchback are well-known for having unmatched ‘driveability’ and vehicle engineering manager Dieter Schwarz believes new Ford technology is the main reason behind the success.
"Many new owners are pleasantly surprised," he said. "The handling is nimble yet the car feels solid and reassuring."
He lists expert chassis development and attention to detail as the main reasons behind the ‘tradition of excellence’ behind the Ford Fiesta.
The steering system is bolstered by Electric Power Assist Steering (EPAS), which replaces the traditional hydraulic power steering systems seen in many road cars.
The EPAS system activates only when steering assistance is required, saving energy and subsequently fuel consumption in the process.
"We had three objectives in tuning the steering response," explained Norbert Kessing, vehicle dynamics manager, Ford of Europe. "Improve fuel efficiency and thereby reduce C02 emissions; feel as natural as possible and familiar for our customers; and improve disturbance sensitivity – or kickback through the steering wheel – on poor road surfaces."
Some Ford Fiesta models are fitted with Electronic Stability Program (ESP) to improve stability on the road, while Anti-lock Brake Systems (ABS), Electric Brake Distribution (EBD) and Hill Start Assist are standard on all models.
Fiesta has also cut the noise and vibration in the latest version of the Fiesta to improve driver comfort. The aim, says Kessing, is to ‘create a pleasurable driving environment’ through the use of digital engineering at the development phase to iron out any problems.
The same technology used to create the Ford Fiesta driving experience will be used in the Ford Fiesta ST, which will be released on 2011.