The 2011 Fiesta Brigade has landed. At least the group of specially prepared Fiesta Movement vehicles that are destined for 100 lucky "agents" who'll be reporting on their six-month adventures via various social networking Internet sites. But in addition to the official cadre of 100 that rolled off the transport ships in Baltimore, Maryland and Oxnard, California, 45 additional Fiestas also made the trip. While some will serve as backups and display cars, Ford revealed that at least 25 are slated to participate in a previously unannounced promotion aimed at raising the Fiesta's profile in the real as well as the virtual world.
In conjunction with the mid-April start of the primary Fiesta Movement program, 5 five-car teams from this supplemental group will set out from St. Louis, Missouri and start making their way around the country to allow potential buyers of any age the opportunity a close-up look and a test drive. Ford is currently finalizing the list of cities these vehicles will visit and plans to announce those destinations on its fiestamovement.com website. In commenting on the additional visibility the firm hopes to generate with this more broad-based road-show regimen, Fiesta brand Manager Sam De La Garza admitted, "We need the car driving around; we need people to see it. It's not just going to live on the Internet."
A couple of other facts came to light about the vehicles that will be part of both Fiesta fiestas. All are five-door hatchbacks, which will be sold here along with a four-door sedan. Cars in the hands of designated agents will be fitted with a 1.6-liter gasoline engine and manual transmission, a combo that's definitely headed our way. Many in the secondary group will have an optional automatic transmission but match it with a 1.4-liter gas engine that's not expected to make it to the U.S. All of these pre-intro Fiestas are some form of upper-level Titanium-trim models that were built in Germany. Their speedometers and other critical information displays have been converted from metric to standard and while Bluetooth equipped, none offer Ford's slick SYNC system that will be available when the production Fiestas arrive here early in 2010. Thankfully, all of the vehicles in both programs have replaced the garish super graphic that wrapped the car in the original P.R. photos with a more discreet "fiestamovement.com" tag on their rear fascias.