The supermini is the best-selling car in British history and has been a constant presence on the country’s roads since it launched in 1976. In the years since then, the Fiesta has gone through eight generations and sold more than 4.8 million units in Britain alone. However, a focus on more profitable larger electric vehicles is thought to be behind the rumoured plans to bring production to an end as early as mid-2023.
If this is the end of the line for the Fiesta it will mark the demise of a car that’s acted as everything from a driving school staple to a full-blown rally star as well as acting as trusty family transport and a desirable hot hatch. To mark its potential demise, here are some of the standout cars from the Fiesta’s history.
1. Mark 1
The car that started a phenomenon. The first generation Fiesta was a new proposition for Ford - a compact front-wheel-drive hatchback amid a sea of larger saloons. Launched in standard 1.0-litre trim or “luxurious” 1.1-litre Ghia, it was an instant success, selling a million units in Europe within three years and paving the way for nearly half a century of market dominance.
2. Mark 8
If rumours are to believed, this is the final version of the Fiesta and if that’s the case, the car is going out on a high. Launched in 2017, the Mk8 Fiesta represented a major modernisation of the previous model, with more space, better looks and better technology. It has continued to evolve since then with increasing levels of “big-car” safety and assistance tech, plus hybrid engines. There’s also the small matter of the phenomenal ST which like its predecessors is among the best hot hatches money can buy.
The Supersport is technically the first sporty Fiesta but it’s the XR2 that cemented the idea of a hot hatch version of Ford’s supermini. The first generation was powered by a 84bhp 1.6-litre and, with lower stiffer suspension, body kit and unique pepperpot alloys, it was the first Fiesta to reach 100mph. The pictured second-gen upped the ante with a 1.6-litre CVH engine producing 96bhp, giving it a top speed of 112mph.
4. Mark 3
Longer and wider than before, the third-generation Fiesta was also notable for being the first to come as a three- or five-door model. It was the first supermini to feature ABS and Ford’s first car engineered to meet Euro emissions standards. Along with regular models, Ford created the XR2i and Fiesta RS Turbo, as well as the RS 1800.