This Supermini’s a Major Model Ford will take the wraps off a major new model at Frankfurt as part of a program that’s designed to get the sickly Ford of Europe organization back into good financial health again. The newcomer is a brand-new iteration of the Fiesta supermini, which first saw the light of day back in 1976. The supermini class – in U.S. terms, think of a sedan a little larger than a Miata – is commercially very important in Europe, and if Ford is to pull its European operation back from the brink, the Fiesta will have to be a success. It’s backed up by the team that created the Focus, which means that it will be a great drive, and it will be put together to the quality standards that have transformed Jaguar, so there’s hope. The 154-inch five-door (hatchback) will have four four-cylinder engine options – 1297cc, 1388cc and 1596cc gas and a 1399cc diesel – and it will go on sale in early ’02. Ford’s accountants will be waiting to see how it goes.
Mitsubishi’s popular SUV gets a radical makeover for Frankfurt in the shape of a concept car that has a strong French accent. The tough 4x4 has been shaped by Mitsubishi’s new chief designer, Frenchman Oliver Boulay, and it has been influenced by the Mitsubishis that have been so successful in the toughest trans-continental race in the world, the legendary Paris-Dakar rally. This event was conceived in France, the drivers that know it best are French and French specialists are the best at preparing SUVs for it. A Pajero won the 2001 event, and the concept is designed to give an idea of the kind of Mitsubishis that will be tackling the event in the future.
2002 Mitsubishi Pajero conceptEnlarge Photo