Today diesel power represents 38.5 per cent of all Ford car sales, making the introduction of its first mainstream diesel car – a Fiesta in 1984 – a significant landmark. Now, 30 years on, today’s Ford Fiesta has been named “Small Car of the Year 2014” by Diesel Car magazine for the third year in a row.
The UK’s best-selling car for the past five years, the Ford Fiesta, was launched with the company’s first volume diesel engine in April 1984. Ford’s large car range, including the Granada, had offered a 2.1-litre, 63bhp diesel from 1977.
The original 1,608cc diesel engine, also used to power the Ford Escort and Orion diesel models, was boosted to 1,753cc in 1988 and became a mainstay of Ford products for the next 20 years.
The 1.8-litre diesel was replaced in May 2007 by Ford’s low-carbon Duratorq TDCi turbo-diesel common-rail engines, returning to a 1.6-litre capacity and with the addition of a 1.4-litre TDCi engine soon after. This new line of Duratorq diesel engines was built at the Dagenham Diesel Centre (DDC), which opened in 2003 and remains the home of Ford’s small-capacity diesel engine production today.
The DDC continues to produce the 1.6-litre and the new 74bhp 1.5-litre diesel engine, introduced last year. In 2013 the Dagenham facility produced a total of 787,398 engines, with Ford’s small-capacity diesel units accounting for more than half of those.
Today’s Ford Fiesta diesel range is stronger – and greener – than ever, with all variations emitting less than 100g/km of CO2. The 1.6-litre ECOnetic with Auto-Start-Stop returns a combined 85.6mpg, with CO2emissions as low as 85g/km.
Ian Robertson, Diesel Car editor, said: “It’s the hottest small car on the market thanks to a winning blend of class leading driver enjoyment, affordable running costs and a wide range of derivatives to suit all budgets and tastes.”
Dagenham-produced diesel engines are available in cars from Fiesta to Ford’s large car Mondeo, S-MAX and Galaxy range, as well as in Fiesta Van and Transit Connect vans.
|1984 Ford Fiesta L 1.6D 3-door||2014 Ford Fiesta 1.6 TDCi ECOnetic 3-door|
|Torque (lb ft)||70||147.6|
|Combined MPG||50.4 (constant at 75mph)
74.3 (constant at 56mph)
56.5 (simulated Urban driving)
91.1 (Extra Urban)
|Gearbox||5-Speed manual||5-Speed manual|
|Width (mm)||1585||1764/1978 (mirrors in/out)|
|Unladen weight (kg)||835||1108|
|Vehicle price||£6,000||(from) £14,795|