Well, it wasn't the Paris unveiling we had expected, but Ford has indeed pulled the covers off its Fiesta Panel Van at the 2008 IAA Commercial Vehicle Show in Hanover, Germany. Based on the three-door Fiesta hatchback, the new Panel Van is designed for commercial and private users who only need to haul non-human goods and want to use the most economical vehicle possible for the job. Sure, it's no Super Duty, but it'll get the job done for a large number of drivers across the pond. Under the stylish hood, buyers will find a choice of gas or diesel engines ranging from a 60-horse 1.2-liter gas unit to the range-topping 1.6-liter diesel outputting 90-horsepower and 150 lb-ft. Europeans will be able to get over 67 miles out of each of their oddly-sized gallons while sending just 110 g/km of carbon out their tailpipes with the most frugal diesel engine option. See here for a preview of how the new car might drive and click past the break for all the juicy details.


[Source: Ford]

PRESS RELEASE:

ALL-NEW FIESTA VAN LEADS FORD LINE-UP AT 2008 IAA COMMERCIAL VEHICLE SHOW

* World premiere of the all-new Fiesta Van at 2008 IAA Hanover Show
* Professional and eyecatching van derivative of the all-new Ford Fiesta
* Fiesta Van delivers 110g/km CO2 and combined fuel economy of 4.2l/100 km (67.3mpg)*
* Practicality, style and fun for the light commercial vehicle segment

HANOVER/COLOGNE, September 23, 2008 – The all- new Ford Fiesta Van makes its public debut at the 2008 IAA Commercial Vehicle Show in Hanover, bringing practicality, style and fun to the European light commercial vehicle segment.

Based on the all-new Ford Fiesta car which is being launched in Europe from autumn 2008, the Fiesta Van derivative is designed to meet the needs of professional or personal use customers and will be available in most European markets from early 2009.

Practical and Compact
For its latest reincarnation, the new Fiesta Van sets out to exceed the needs and expectations of commercial customers who want a small van.

With its compact exterior footprint, practical load compartment area and low cost of ownership, the Fiesta Van is the ideal choice for urban express delivery, service fleets and artisans thanks to its combination of van practicality and car-like styling and usability.

Note: Fuel economy figures quoted are based on the European Fuel Economy Directive
EU 80/1268/EEC and will differ from fuel economy drive cycle results in other regions of the world
The new model shares many of its key qualities with the car on which it is based, the all-new Ford Fiesta. The sturdy yet lightweight 3-door body shell is a solid foundation for a safe and agile driving experience, high levels of durability, low fuel consumption and emissions, and a payload capacity that meets LCV segment expectations.

The new Fiesta Van is particularly stylish, thanks to the 'kinetic design' form language of its 3-door passenger car body in which the rear side windows are replaced by body coloured solid panels, and the rear passenger seats are removed to provide space for a clean and step-less load box area.

The load box volume is targeted to exceed 1,000 litres in volume, with a maximum useable load length of up to 1292 mm, as well as a maximum load box width of 1278 mm (1004mm between the wheel arches) and heights of up to 936 mm. The roomy load area is shielded from the driver compartment with a standard half-high bulkhead. Standard solid DIN-compliant tie-down hooks and an optional upper DIN bulkhead extension make sure that this compact city-friendly van is fully compliant to the DIN cargo retention regulations all over Europe.

Low Cost of Ownership
The new Fiesta Van is available with a well balanced choice of engines to offering commercial customers excellent fuel economy and low cost of ownership.

Engines available include the 1.25-litre Duratec 16V petrol unit (82 PS/60 kW), a frugal 1.4-litre Duratorq TDCi turbo diesel (68 PS/50 kW), and a top-of the-range 1.6-litre Duratorq TDCi (90 PS/66kW) turbo diesel with standard closed-loop coated DPF (Diesel Particulate Filter).

(Note: All technical data quoted for Fiesta Van are preliminary, and may be subject to final adjustment prior to launch)

The fuel economy figures of the Fiesta Van are targeted to match those of the Fiesta 3-door passenger car. With a European Drive Cycle combined fuel consumption of just 4.2 l/100 km (67.3 mpg)* and an average CO2 emission of just 110 g/km, both of the diesel engines offer a value-for-money 'green' proposition and deliver real world fuel cost savings to business customers when compared with older types of diesel powertrain.

Safe and Enjoyable
Using the 3-door new Fiesta passenger car as the basis for the Fiesta Van means that commercial customers can benefit from a wide range of technologies and features designed to ensure a safe and enjoyable working environment for their drivers.

The nicely balanced chassis setup with MacPherson struts in the front and a rear twist-beam suspension is designed for a safe and controllable ride under all loading conditions.

The new EPAS (Electric Power Assisted Steering) system delivers high levels of steering accuracy and contributes to lower fuel consumption thanks to the absence of a hydraulic device that would increase inertia and raise fuel consumption.

The safe and agile chassis setup is complemented by standard active safety features like ABS anti-lock brakes including Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD). ESP is available as an option with all engines and includes Emergency Brake Assist (EBA). The passive safety feature list includes standard front airbags and optional seat mounted side airbags for driver and passenger, with a knee airbag for the driver – an industry first in this segment.

As with the new Fiesta, the Van version is also equipped with the acclaimed Ford EasyFuel capless refuelling system which is clean and easy and clean to use and also has a mis-fuel inhibitor that protects against the wrong filler nozzle being inserted. This feature is a major benefit to commercial customers, particularly for mixed fleets and vehicles that are used by multiple drivers.

In addition, a wide range of options and accessories is available to make the Fiesta Van a tailored professional tool. The infotainment options include various audio systems, a Bluetooth® wireless mobile phone interface and a docking station for mobile navigation systems. Different levels of security systems can be specified, including remote controlled double-locking and a perimeter alarm.

Deliver with Style
The all-new Fiesta Van is not just all about capacity and practicality. Because it is derived from the all-new Ford Fiesta passenger car, it is the first Ford commercial vehicle to incorporate fully the company's latest 'kinetic design' styling.

"A commercial vehicle is not just a tool that has to deliver goods in a reliable and cost-efficient way – it's also a business card," said Steve Adams, Ford of Europe's new Vehicle Line Director for Commercial Vehicles. "The new Fiesta Van delivers with great style, thanks to its highly attractive and contemporary design that stands out from the crowd, yet does not sacrifice practicality."

On the inside, the contemporary, driver-focused interior design makes the driver feel at home during working hours, while the carefully executed ergonomics contribute to a safe and easy journey.

Further technical details of the new Fiesta Van will be released closer to launch in early 2009.

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