When there's a long weekend, and you've got a race on the Saturday, then you're flying overnight to Europe, then you're in a hotel where you have to go sit in the stairwell to grab a wireless Internet signal because there is none in your room, it can be a bit difficult to keep up a blog!
So I apologize for the few days' gap in my posts.
I am here to test-drive some of Ford of Europe's cars, notably the current Focus and its variants (none of which we currently get, boo hoo) and the next-generation Fiesta, which we will get (yay), starting in late 2010. I will have full details on all of the above in next week's Wheels print edition.
Meantime, I can tell you some good news. When Ford first announced they were bringing a "B-Segment" car (that would be the Fiesta) to North America, they said it would only come as a four-door sedan. They said there was no market for a hatchback in Canada or the US.
Um, yes, that's why Toyota doesn't have a hatchback Yaris. No wait, yes they do.
But that's why Nissan doesn't have a Versa hatchback. No wait, yes they do.
But that's why Honda doesn't have a Fit hatchback. No wait, yes they do. In fact, that's ALL they have.
But Hyundai Accent, Kia Rio, Chevrolet Aveo, Suzuki Swift + - well, you get the point.
So at this year's Detroit Auto Show, Ford showed the Verve concept car which is as near as dammit is to swearing the two-door hatchback Fiesta. The public and press reaction, plus some subsequent market research, indicated that either they were always wrong (my guess; hence every other car maker's decision) or the market had changed (also true).
So while Fiesta will launch here as a four-door sedan (built in a former F-Series pick-up truck plant in Mexico, which also tells you how the market has changed), it wiil be followed in very short order by a hatchback. A four-door hatch as opposed to a two-door, but that makes even more sense.
Good on them for making this change.
I think you're gonna love this car.
Sorry; no four-door sedan photos yet.