The 2014 Ford Fiesta is in showrooms now with refreshed styling and new performance ST model, but it's what isn't yet available that should help the Fiesta stand out from the growing crowd of subcompacts. Aside from the new 1.0-liter EcoBoost model coming later this year, Ford recently told us that a new Fiesta SFE trim level is on the way that should put the updated Fiesta at the top of its class for fuel economy.

The new Fiesta SFE will hit an estimated 41 miles per gallon on the highway when equipped with the six-speed automatic transmission. The current listing on fueleconomy.gov shows the 2014 Fiesta getting up to 29 mpg city and 39 highway, but the SFE will get minor aero tuning and a recalibrated engine controller to help bump the highway figure past rivals like the Chevrolet Sonic and Nissan Versa – both of which top out at 40-mpg highway. There's still no word as to when the small 1.0-liter EcoBoost will show in the US, but Ford has indicated that engine's fuel economy isn't expected to be released until October.

UPDATE: official press release added below
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2014 Ford Fiesta Earns Best-in-Class 41 MPG on the Highway

-2014 Ford Fiesta achieves best-in-class highway fuel economy
-Ford Fiesta becomes only car in subcompact class to return more than 40 mpg on the highway
-Ford Fiesta Super Fuel Economy package combines aerodynamics and a patented PowerShift six-speed automatic transmission

DEARBORN, Mich., June 12, 2013 – The new 2014 Ford Fiesta has achieved 41 mpg in EPA testing. Fiesta is the only subcompact car to surpass 40 mpg.

The fuel economy claim is for Fiesta SE with the Super Fuel Economy package that includes Ford's 1.6-liter engine and PowerShift automatic transmission. Along with the EPA-certified 41 mpg highway rating, Fiesta achieves 30 mpg in the city and 34 mpg combined.

The claim is significant because fuel economy is often cited as the No. 1 reason for purchase consideration in the subcompact class, according to Ford data. The new 2014 Fiesta will be arriving in dealers soon.

"The 2014 model is shaping up to be a game changer for Fiesta," said Liz Elser, Ford Fiesta marketing manager. "With the addition of Fiesta ST and the award-winning 1.0-liter EcoBoost®, we have fantastic performance and fuel efficiency. But with today's news, buyers will have a fuel-efficient Fiesta no matter which they choose."

Two key technologies help Fiesta achieve fuel economy leadership – its advanced aerodynamics and dry, dual-clutch PowerShift automatic transmission.

In terms of aerodynamics, the SFE package adds rear spoiler, side air deflectors, underbody shields, lower grille blockers, low-rolling-resistance tires and cruise control. Together, these features decrease the amount of fuel needed to push the car through the air at speed.

The second enabler is the PowerShift transmission. Unlike regular, hydraulically operated automatic transmissions that use power-sapping torque converters, wet clutches and pumps, Ford's new dual-clutch PowerShift automatic consists of two manual transmissions – in the same case – working in parallel. Each has its own independent clutch unit controlled by computers, and fast-acting electromechanical actuators that shift the gears.

In addition to the leadership claim for highway fuel economy, the new Fiesta boasts a best-in-class suite of technologies and features that give drivers a connected, yet untethered, driving experience.

A new MyFord Touch® system with 6.5-inch touch screen featuring enhanced voice control is now available, providing drivers more options than ever for navigation, communication and entertainment functions. Fiesta still features SYNC® AppLink™ capabilities pioneered on the first Fiesta, which allow drivers to access and control Ford-approved smartphone apps with voice commands and vehicle controls while on the go, helping them keep their hands on the wheel and eyes on the road. Turn-by-turn navigation remains part of SYNC Services.

Ford MyKey® is a new feature for Fiesta, which enables parents to encourage safer driving and limit their teenagers' exposure to risk at the wheel. The system allows owners to configure maximum speed and audio volume limits. It also mutes audio until seat belts are fastened and ensures driver aids, safety systems and more vigorous alerts cannot be deactivated when used.

About Ford Motor Company
Ford Motor Company, a global automotive industry leader based in Dearborn, Mich., manufactures or distributes automobiles across six continents. With about 175,000 employees and 65 plants worldwide, the company's automotive brands include Ford and Lincoln. The company provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company. For more information regarding Ford and its products worldwide, please visit http://corporate.ford.com.