As the new Ford Fiesta goes on sale in Europe, on of the highlights of the lineup is the new ecoNetic model that gets a combined fuel efficiency rating of 63.5 mpg (U.S.) on the EU cycle. Yes, I know the European cycle is different and testing the same on the EPA cycle would probably yield something closer to 50 mpg, but the highway rating would probably still be up around 60 mpg with its 1.6L diesel engine. Ford isn't planning to offer the ecoNetic when the Fiesta launches here because the bean counters don't seem to think Americans would pay $25,000 for such car. I agree with Richard Truett at Automotive News that Ford may well be wrong on this point. If nothing else, just having the bragging rights of offering a car that gets 60 mpg or more on the highway would be worth it to Ford, and probably worth $25,000 to a decent number of buyers. In the past, automakers have offered stripped-down small cars that sold in low volumes just so they could advertise the low ball prices. Now would seem the ideal time to go the other direction and offer a super mileage version at a slightly premium (no more than what a well-equipped gas MINI costs now) price. What do you think? Cast your vote!
[Source: Automotive News - sub. req'd]