The Ford Festiva, a Subcompact and Worldwide Kia by Mazda (Part I)


We embark on the critical and global tale of a subcompact hatchback now. Your creator referenced it very last week in Part I of our Kia massive cars and trucks sequence, and now it is time for the promised comprehensive Scarce Rides coverage! Produced in different locations all-around the entire world, our subject matter car or truck lived a lengthy lifestyle and had no fewer than 10 identities above its extraordinary 17-calendar year span. We’re likely to get together, karamu, Festiva, eternally.

The Festiva’s tale started out in the Seventies, as Ford increased its possession stake in pleasant and wholesome Japanese automaker, Mazda. The two companies’ marriage commenced in the latter aspect of that ten years. Mazda experienced been in a tough place monetarily because the Sixties, and Ford acquired its possession on the cheap. Ford’s first investment decision was a paltry seven p.c stake in the Hiroshima firm.

The relationship deepened in 1979 when Ford poured in some more hard cash and raised their stake in Mazda to 24.5 p.c. The timing happened to align for both equally organizations with regard to an all-new subcompact featuring, as Ford’s solution was outdated and Mazda experienced some totally free design and style capacity.

As much as Ford was concerned, subcompact choices have been break up into the Pinto for the North American industry, and the Fiesta for Europe and other spots. The Pinto had a horrible name and was around the stop of its everyday living soon after becoming on sale because 1971.

The West German and Uk-built Fiesta was a bit newer, but wouldn’t last a great deal more time in its initially-gen Seventies guise. On sale considering that 1976, German examples ended up offered in North The united states concerning 1978 and 1980. The very first Fiesta was frequently effectively-been given, particularly in North The usa due to the fact the Pinto choice was crap.

The Fiesta continued in generation through 1983 in its preliminary version, prior to it was changed by the Fiesta Mark II. But that Fiesta, like the initially, was much more for European consumption and would not work as a environment car as nicely as anything purpose-intended. Hold that assumed.

Around at Mazda, there was only one particular subcompact motor vehicle in the company’s history, and it was only this sort of on a technicality. Named the Carol 600, the coupe and sedan were being marginally larger sized versions of the Kei R360 coupe, which was also bought as the Carol. Its 600 title was due to its 586-cc motor, and it graduated from Kei to subcompact due to the fact it experienced larger bumpers. Inside of, the place was the exact as the smaller auto.

The “larger” Carol 600 was of a higher tax bracket and proved unpopular simply because it supplied no positive aspects over the Kei version other than a larger motor. The 600 was on sale for two model a long time before it was pulled from generation, with about 8,800 illustrations sold. Mazda didn’t make yet another subcompact till 1986. Back to Ford.

Specified the Pinto was performed and the Fiesta was not supposed for North American use, Ford would go devoid of a subcompact featuring for a handful of many years. In 1981 the compact Escort became the alternative for the subcompact Pinto, which experienced straddled the measurement lessons with how big it was. The alternative for the Fiesta in North The united states would be a true subcompact.

In Europe, the Fiesta Mark II would go on as the smallest motor vehicle on provide in the supermini class, while the European Escort was in its third era and was considered a tiny family auto (compact). The freshly established subcompact would not be sold in Europe but would be marketed eventually by Ford Australia to that current market.

Merchandise have to have analyzed, Ford approached Mazda with its sizeable early Eighties ownership stake and directed the Hiroshima folks to develop a new subcompact motor vehicle. The title Ford picked was Festiva, surely in hopes the status and achievement of the extant and likewise named Fiesta would rub off on its new import. The resultant Mazda-developed ride was a simple, sq., three-doorway hatchback condition.

Even though it wore a Ford badge, it was immediately very clear the Festiva was a Japanese style and design. Its over-all topic was “practical box.” An unadorned fascia introduced two sq. composite headlamps, which ended up flush with the grille and used amber corner markers. The grille between was entire body-coloured and featured a quite basic singular bar with a Ford emblem in the center. The bumper was concluded in a grey rubber (or system-colored on larger trims) and had pretty much no decoration other than two flip indicator lamps.

The hood experienced negligible decoration and only a modest electrical power bulge that tapered off in advance of the top edge at the grille. The higher 50 percent of the Festiva’s hood had a solitary lifted element, in the form of a centrally-placed black plastic windshield sprayer nozzle.

Fenders featured a one character line that ran straight to the stop of the shorter human body. It was interrupted by a very obvious gas door on the driver’s aspect, and a black doorway handle that was pulled from the Ranger. Aspect rub strips ongoing from front to rear wheel perfectly and featured a contrasting tape stripe within just them. They had been black on decreased-conclusion styles, but physique-coloured if a more zesty trim.

At the rear, the tall greenhouse fulfilled with a uncomplicated rear hatch for most practicality and visibility. Pillars all all around ended up slim, a nod to the relatively lax crash basic safety specifications of the Eighties. There was minimal adornment at the rear, just a basic set of badges, a rear wiper, and a bumper with a cutout for the very small tailpipe.

As a person may be expecting on this sort of a course of car or truck, the Festiva’s inside was built to a price and utilized a less is extra design theme. In front of the driver was a two-spoke Mazda steering wheel, and beyond a quite uncomplicated set of gauges. Speedometer, temperature, and gasoline were being the only gauges supplied. No tachometer was current, even with a guide transmission. Somewhere else, the cabin had incredibly uncomplicated HVAC sliders, a quite basic stereo, and no centre console. In between the flat bucket seats was the shifter and parking brake, and nothing else.

The Festiva’s seats were somewhat unadorned, however some illustrations utilized extra upmarket ribbed velour as their seating content. Doorway panels had been similarly very simple, coated with a minimum amount total of padding, and concluded mainly in vinyl. Seat belts had been everyone’s least favorite type: Automated and hooked up to the doorway for the shoulder, with a manual lap belt. In standard, ease and comfort and advantage functions were saved at a bare minimum, in purchase to assure the lowest pricing achievable.

There is not a lot remaining to say about the exterior and interior styling of the tremendous simplistic Festiva. We’ll wrap up there, and discover about the Festiva’s engineering and mechanicals in Portion II. We’ll also protect its significant environment debut.

[Images: Ford, YouTube]

Become a TTAC insider. Get the hottest information, attributes, TTAC usually takes, and everything else that will get to the reality about cars and trucks initially by subscribing to our newsletter.


Source link