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Ford Fiesta XR4 Now Available



10th June, 2007

Ford Fiesta XR4 - WQ series

Ford's latest hot-hatch, the Fiesta XR4, will deliver an exciting new sports performance option for small-car enthusiasts when it goes on sale this month.

Engineered in Germany and offering European styling and superb driving dynamics, the feature-laden Fiesta XR4 will have a recommended retail price of $24,990*.

Ford dealers have reported strong pre-sale interest in Fiesta XR4 following its rave reception at the Melbourne International Motor Show.

"Such anticipation is not surprising as Fiesta XR4 is engineered by Ford’s TeamRS, the same organisation responsible for the stunning Focus XR5 Turbo," said President of Ford Australia, Tom Gorman.

"Fiesta XR4 is a vehicle designed with the passionate driving enthusiast in mind and delivers another performance offering to Ford customers. The eagerly awaited new model is sure to become a showroom sell-out" said Gorman.

* excluding dealer delivery and statutory charges


Fiesta XR4 is powered by a specially modified version of Ford’s 2.0-litre Duratec 16-valve engine, the same engine that powers the Focus.

"The 2.0-litre Duratec engine characteristics are ideally suited to the performance Fiesta as it combines free-revving performance and impressive low-end torque for excellent all-round driveability," said Director of TeamRS, Jost Capito.

"It delivers a wide spread of torque for flexibility and pulling power."

The engine has undergone performance enhancements which see it develop 110 kW at 6,000 rpm, compared with the 107 kW at 6,000 rpm when installed in the Focus. The increased output is the result of an all-new, low-loss intake system and new sports exhaust system developed specifically for the Fiesta XR4.

Maximum torque of 190 Nm is increased from 185 Nm in the Focus and the torque delivery is of an exceptionally wide spread, with 80 per cent of peak torque available from as low as 1,500 rpm and more than 90 per cent from 2,200 rpm all the way to 6,150 rpm.

Fiesta’s Durashift five-speed manual transmission has been extensively modified to suit its application. The Fiesta XR4 is only available with a manual transmission.

A short-throw gearshift is fitted to allow quick, accurate shifting, all the gear ratios have been changed and the first, second and third gearsets have been shot-peened for extra strength.

New variable intake system

The Duratec’s sophisticated variable intake system (VIS) is the secret to the Fiesta XR4's impressive spread of torque. This system uses gas dynamic effects in the engine’s intake system to tune its performance through variable intake runner lengths. This technology improves the gas-dynamics inside the intake system.

The Duratec’s VIS intake manifold achieves this by using butterfly valves in the runners. These valves are operated by a vacuum motor and split the runners into a longer part and a shorter part.

They are closed at low rpm to give a long runner length and are opened at high rpm to join all the runners to a common air chamber, which sets up a standing wave effectively to generate a shorter runner.

The lightweight, all aluminium alloy construction of the Duratec engine is the key to its successful installation in the Fiesta.

The Duratec engine has a gravity sand-cast cylinder block with cast-iron cylinder sleeves cast directly into the block. An aluminium alloy ladder frame structure, which carries the bottom crankshaft bearing races, and a ribbed aluminium oil pan contribute further to stiffness.

The aluminium alloy cylinder head has an asymmetrical four-valves-per-cylinder layout with twin overhead camshafts driven by a silent chain drive.

Tailored installation

In addition to the new exhaust system, considerable amounts of detailed engineering work have been done by TeamRS to install the larger power unit into Fiesta XR4’s engine compartment.

The engine, which is inclined backwards at six degrees, mates to the Durashift transmission with a new clutch housing. Its belt driven auxiliaries have been re-positioned with a rear mounted alternator and front mounted air conditioning pump.

A low inertia flywheel has also been fitted to provide faster throttle response. The Fiesta XR4 exhaust system incorporates a revised catalyst for reduced back pressure, while a great deal of tuning work has been done to give the engine a suitably sporty note.

Rewarding Chassis

The TeamRS target for Fiesta XR4 was to provide a fun to drive, rewarding and safe handling car. After nearly two years of development work, on every sort of road from twisty English country lanes to the famous Nürbürgring Nordschleife race track, the team’s engineers feel they have more than achieved their objectives.

The Fiesta range was engineered from the start with a chassis intended to provide high standards of driving quality, inspired by the class-leading dynamics of Focus and augmented with a dash of small car fun.

An exceptionally rigid body structure with ultra-stiff mounting points for the suspension and steering was the solid foundation for the team’s work.

A rigid front sub-frame carries the MacPherson strut front suspension and steering system, while the Fiesta's rear suspension is a twist-beam system that provides accurate control of wheel geometry, has strong lateral stiffness to aid handling and good longitudinal compliance for ride comfort.

All these qualities enabled TeamRS to develop the Fiesta XR4 without the need for any structural changes to the Fiesta’s core suspension layout.

"The latest generation Fiesta is solid as a rock. It was the ideal basis for a performance derivative," said Mr Capito.

Developed for handling and grip

The XR4’s handling set-up has been tailored to reward the enthusiast driver and at the same time enabling relaxed driving.

"What I am particularly proud of is that we have achieved its high standards of handling and grip while keeping a really good ride quality," said Mr Capito.

The XR4 front springs have also been considerably stiffened from 16.5 N/mm of the standard car to 24 N/mm and the dampers have been recalibrated. A revised design for the front suspension knuckle provides more negative camber to the front suspension to generate more front end grip.

The rear springs also have been stiffened, from 15 N/mm to 17 N/mm and the dampers modified to suit the XR4. The twist beam axle has also been stiffened from 520 Nm/degree on the standard Fiesta to 720 Nm/deg.

The steering rack ratio for Fiesta XR4 has been shortened by 10 per cent and the toe-in reduced, to make the steering more agile whilst maintaining high speed stability and controllability.

The front sub-frame has been stiffened to enhance suspension control and to provide an even more precise steering feel.

Fiesta brakes have been upgraded to match the performance of Fiesta XR4. The 278 mm x 22 mm front ventilated discs have been fitted with larger calipers and pads.

At the rear, XR4 also features the first time fitment of disc brakes to any Fiesta model. Additionally, the brake system has been tuned for optimum response, achieving good initial bite followed by firm, progressive stopping performance as a result of fine tuning of the brake booster.


Safety specification in the Fiesta XR4 is in keeping with its performance car credentials – very impressive. This includes driver and front passenger airbags, side curtain airbags and side thorax airbags.

Standard fitment driver aids consist of Dynamic Stability Control (DSC), traction control and ABS with Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD). Sports suspension, a passive anti-theft system and remote central locking complete the package.

DSC tuned to complement the XR4

Ford’s Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) and traction control systems are fitted as standard on Fiesta XR4. The DSC system has been specially calibrated by TeamRS chassis engineers, allowing the enthusiast driver to exploit fully the fun to drive nature of XR4 within the safety net of the system parameters, without the feeling of being restricted by the system.

In order to encourage use of the fun to drive aspects of Fiesta XR4 and fully utilise its chassis dynamics, the system’s oversteer control has also evolved. The result is a DSC calibration that, even under track conditions, the performance driver enjoys exploiting.

DSC uses the individual wheel speed sensors of the ABS system together with yaw rate, steering input and lateral acceleration sensors to constantly monitor the car’s dynamic behaviour and compare it to the driver’s inputs.

If the system detects imbalances, it first uses the traction control system to reduce engine power and prevent loss of traction. If it detects understeer, DSC provides a braking impulse to the inside rear wheel to stabilise the car. If it detects oversteer, a braking impulse to the offside front wheel has a similar effect.

Tyre choice has been a crucial part of development and TeamRS engineers worked closely with Pirelli to develop a special version of the high performance P Zero Nero tyre.

The P Zero Nero has an asymmetric tread pattern with longitudinal channels to disperse water, optimised for position and size. The central strip is made up of continuous semi-slick elements to increase rigidity and improve directional precision whilst avoiding wheel slip during acceleration.

Fiesta XR4 comes with a low profile 205/40 ZR17 tyre, wrapped around a unique multi-spoke alloy rim.

During the development process of the Fiesta XR4, a great deal of time and effort was spent ‘balancing’ the controls to provide harmony between the feel and response of the brakes, clutch, steering and gearshift functions.

As a result all these controls display a performance feel and are a coherent part of the car, while also having that essential sporty Ford feel which enthusiasts recognise and appreciate.


The Fiesta XR4 is based on the three-door Fiesta model which, unusually among cars in its class, already has its own distinctively sporty appearance compared with its five-door counterparts. To achieve this, the three-door features a more sloping roofline and steeper angled tailgate, creating a youthful and lively look.

Fiesta XR4 develops this further and adds a strong performance flavour. At the front a new, XR5 Turbo-style bumper and air dam moulding features a deeper, sportier version of Fiesta’s hallmark trapezoidal grille. Situated either side of the grille are circular chrome-ringed front fog lamps.

The grille opening has been tailored for optimum engine breathing and the small lip spoiler under the front air dam is the result of detailed aerodynamic tuning.

Subtle side skirts carry the lower body line of Fiesta XR4 through from the front bumper to the rear, where there is a matching, deeper new bumper moulding. This has a large air diffuser opening and, like the front bumper, has its lower section finished in a charcoal grey colour.

To complete the detailing, the exhaust tail pipe is finished with a half-round section, polished metal trim as it exits the bumper.

A rear roof spoiler has been fitted, with the gap between it and the roof having been carefully tuned for optimum aerodynamics, thereby reducing drag and improving downforce.

New body side mouldings angle down towards the front end of the car and further emphasise the performance stance of the Fiesta XR4. Body side mouldings, door handles and newly designed door mirrors, powered and heated, are all body coloured.

The whole effect is complemented by the lowered suspension, low profile Pirelli P Zero tyres and large, arch-filling alloy wheels. These alloys were specially developed for the car and their look is another styling element that establishes the XR4 brand in the hierarchy of performance Fords.


Inside, Fiesta XR4 has been designed both to look good and to provide the driving environment an enthusiast driver demands.

The special sports seats have been developed carefully to give maximum support to drivers of different sizes and builds. At the same time they have retained the excellent everyday comfort required of a Fiesta variant.

The front seats themselves are trimmed in black leather with central cloth sections finished in either red or blue, depending on exterior body colour.

Fiesta’s ergonomically excellent driving position is given the special XR4 treatment with a thick, leather-wrapped steering wheel that has a bright steering wheel spoke design, metal pedals and a leather wrap gear knob. It all provides a ‘cockpit’ that will not just look the part but will also be supremely functional.

Special XR4 interior detailing includes matt finish rings around the instruments themselves, added brightwork on the handbrake and door pull handles, and alloy ‘XR4’ scuff plates on the door sills.

Vehicles with an exterior colour of Performance Blue or Frozen White will feature a blue instrument panel, while all other examples will offer white on black instrument graphics.

"These elements are details the more enthusiastic driver looks for in a sporty car, the ‘jewels’ that advertise elegantly that you’re inside something special," said Mr Capito.


The new Fiesta XR4 will come in six exterior colours, all available with an optional overhead stripe combination.

The colour palette is Colorado Red, Frozen White, Moondust Silver, Sea Grey, Panther Black and Performance Blue. There are three different optional overhead stripe colours available, being silver, blue or white, depending on the exterior colour chosen.

"The overhead stripe is a signature feature unique to Fiesta XR4 and the bold twin stripes create an eye catching appearance, which alludes to the performance intent of the new vehicle," said Mr Capito.

"Fiesta XR4 in Frozen White with the overhead blue stripes delivers the classic sports appearance, very reminiscent of the famous original Ford GT."


Fiesta XR4 will be available for sale in June with a recommended retail price of $24,990*.

After the initial launch period supply will be limited to 40 units per month, ensuring the exclusivity of the new model is retained.

"Fiesta XR4 will become a cult car, much in the same genre as Focus XR5 Turbo," said Mr Capito.

"European styling and German engineering evident in Fiesta models, mated with the technical and sports-performance expertise of TeamRS, have combined to produce an absolutely fantastic vehicle."

"Fiesta XR4 is an invigorating vehicle which rewards enthusiastic drivers, yet still retains road-handling manners and refinement that ensures it is just as enjoyable to drive every day."

* excluding dealer delivery and state/territory government statutory charges

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