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Ford Verve Sedan, F150 (2008): first official pictures

Sun, 13 Jan 2008

By Liz Turner

Motor Shows

13 January 2008 18:48

The Mustang Bullitt GT is the cherry on top, not of a cake, but a pile of bread-and-butter products at Detroit that could save Ford. The Blue Oval has unveiled an all-new mighty F150, a four-door US version of the Fiesta-sized Verve concept seen at Frankfurt and a range of turbocharged direct-injection petrol engines, dubbed EcoBoost.

Derrick Kuzak, group VP for global product development, told CAR Online that to truly reduce emissions you need a mass-production solution people can afford, and EcoBoost doesn’t need all the expensive and complex after-treatments for NOx and particulates needed by diesel to meet US regulations. Ecoboost will come in four-cylinder and V6 configurations and will offer up to 20 percent better fuel economy and more torque compared to larger displacement engines. The aim is to have 500,000 Ecoboost engines in the US within five years, starting with the 3.5 V6 Lincoln MKS in 2009.

In Europe, the pretty Verve hatch is merely an interesting new look for the Fiesta. In the US this car has the tough mission to persuade customers that small doesn’t have to mean cheap or shoddy. For that reason, Ford is packing it with technology and taking every opportunity to mention the quality of its materials.

The three-door is here to gauge the reaction of the crowd, but in the US a hatchback is what Mom drives. So the main player at Detroit is this ‘contemporary notchback’  four-door which looks OK as a concept. However, insiders admit the 2010 production car will have a B-pillar and it won’t get the fancy glass roof. The roofline will have to go up to get full-sized people in the back. Add a stupid little opening for the boot and it seems a lot less attractive.

They say: Verve redefines the small-car segment
We say: The hatchback is better, pity the US demands saloons
CAR verdict: 3/5

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By Liz Turner