Ford Fiesta (first generation)
The Ford Fiesta Mk1 is the first generation of the Ford Fiesta supermini. Introduced in 1976, it was Ford Europe's first multi-national front-wheel-drive automobile, was available in both 3-door hatchback and panel van body styles. In 1983, the Fiesta was updated, the Fiesta Mk2 was introduced; the Fiesta was developed under the project name "Bobcat" and approved for development by Henry Ford II in September 1972. Development targets indicated a production cost US$100 less than the current Escort; the car was to have a wheelbase longer than that of the Fiat 127, but with an overall length shorter than that of the Escort. The final proposal was developed by Tom Tjaarda at Ghia; the project was approved for production in December 1973, with Ford's engineering centres in Cologne and Dunton collaborating. Ford estimated that 500,000 Fiestas a year would be produced, built an all-new factory near Valencia, Spain. Final assembly took place in Valencia; the name Fiesta belonged to General Motors when the car was designed, as they had used the name for the Oldsmobile Fiesta in the 1950s.
Ford's marketing team had preferred the name Bravo, but Henry Ford II vetoed it in favour of the Fiesta name. The motoring press had begun speculating about the existence of the Bobcat project since 1973, but it was not until December 1975 that Ford announced it as the Fiesta. A Fiesta was on display at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in June 1976, a few rallys. Mechanically, the Fiesta followed tradition with a end-on four-speed manual transmission of the Ford BC-Series mounted to a new version of the Ford Kent OHV engine, dubbed "Valencia" after the brand new Spanish factory in Almussafes, developed to produce the new car. Ford's plants in Dagenham and Saarlouis and Cologne in Germany manufactured Fiestas. To cut costs and speed up the research and development, the new powertrain package destined for the Fiesta was tested in Fiat 127 development "mules". Unlike several rivals, which used torsion bars in their suspension, the Fiesta used coil springs; the front suspension was of Ford's typical "track control arm" arrangement, where MacPherson struts were combined with lower control arms and longitudinal compression links.
The standard rear suspension used a beam axle, trailing links and a Panhard rod, whilst an anti-roll bar was included in the sports package. All Mk1 Fiestas featured 12-inch wheels as standard, with disc brakes at the front and drum brakes at the rear. Ford paid particular attention ease of service, published the times required to replace various common parts. Although not the first Ford vehicle to feature front-wheel drive, the Fiesta is credited as being Ford's first globally successful front-wheel-drive model. UK sales began in January 1977, where it was available from £1,856 for the basic 950 cc-engined model, it was only the second hatchback mini-car to have been built in the UK at this stage, being launched a year after the Vauxhall Chevette, but nearly a year before the launch of the Chrysler Sunbeam and four years before the Austin Metro. The millionth Fiesta was produced in 1979; the car was available in Europe with the Valencia 957 cc I4, 1,117 cc engines and in Base, Popular, L, GL, Ghia and S trim, as well as a van.
The U. S. Mark I Fiesta was built in Saarlouis and Cologne, Germany but to different specifications. S. models were Base, Decor and Ghia, the Ghia having the highest level of trim. These trim levels changed little in the Fiesta's three-year run in the USA, from 1977 to 1980. All U. S. models featured the more powerful 1,596 cc engine, fitted with a catalytic converter and air pump to satisfy strict Californian emission regulations), energy-absorbing bumpers, side-marker lamps, round sealed-beam headlamps, improved crash dynamics and fuel system integrity as well as optional air conditioning. In the U. S. market, the Ford Escort replaced both the Fiesta and the compact Pinto in 1981. At the beginning of the British government's Motability scheme for disabled motorists in 1978, the Fiesta was one of the key cars to be available on the scheme. A sporting derivative was offered in Europe for the 1980 model year, using the 1.3 L Kent Crossflow engine to test the market for the similar XR2 introduced a year which featured a 1.6 L version of the same engine.
Black plastic trim was added to the interior. The small square headlights were replaced with larger circular ones resulting in the front indicators being moved into the bumper to accommodate the change. With a quoted performance of 0–60 mph in 9.3 seconds and 105 mph top speed, the XR2 hot hatch became a cult car beloved of boy racers throughout the 1980s. For the 1979 auto show season, Ford in conjunction with its Ghia Operations in Turin, produced the Ford Fiesta Tuareg off-road car, it was touted in press materials as "a concept vehicle designed and equipped for practical, off-road recreational use."Minor revisions appeared across the range in late 1981, with larger bumpers to meet crash worthiness regulations and other small improvements in a bid to mainta
A retractable hardtop — known as "coupé convertible" or "coupé cabriolet" — is a car with an automatically operated, self-storing hardtop, as opposed to the folding textile-based roof used by traditional convertible cars. The benefits of improved climate control and security are traded off against increased mechanical complexity, cost and reduced luggage capacity. A 2006 New York Times article suggested the retractable hardtop may herald the demise of the textile-roofed convertible, a 2007 Wall Street Journal article suggested "more and more convertibles are eschewing soft cloth tops in favor of sophisticated folding metal roofs, making them practical in all climates, year-round." 1919 Ben P. Ellerbeck conceived a retractable hardtop – a manually operated system on a Hudson coupe that allowed unimpeded use of the rumble seat with the top down – but never saw production.1935 Peugeot introduced the first production, power-operated retractable hardtop in 1935, the 402 Éclipse Décapotable and patented by Georges Paulin.
The French coachbuilder, Marcel Pourtout, custom-built other examples of Paulin's designs on a larger Peugeot chassis as well. The first Eclipse 402s offered a power-retractable top, but in 1936 was replaced by a manually operated version on a stretched chassis, built in limited numbers until World War II.1941 Chrysler introduced a retractable hardtop concept car, the Chrysler Thunderbolt.1953 Ford Motor Company spent an estimated US$2 million to engineer a Continental Mark II with a servo-operated retractable roof. The project was headed by a 30-year-old draftsman; the concept was rejected for marketing reasons. Engineering work was recycled to the Ford Division which used the retractable mechanism in their 1957-1959 flagship Ford Fairlane 500 Skyliner after an estimated US$18 million more was spent.1955 Brothers Ed and Jim Gaylord showed their first prototype at the 1955 Paris motor show, but the car failed to reach production. 1957 Ford introduced the Fairlane 500 Skyliner in the United States.
A total of 48,394 were built from 1957 to 1959. The retractable top was noted for its complexity and decent reliability in the pre-transistor era, its mechanism contained 10 power relays, 10 limit switches, four lock motors, three drive motors, eight circuit breakers, as well as 610 feet of electrical wire, could raise or lower the top in about 40 seconds. The Skyliner was a halo car with little luggage space, cost twice that of a baseline Ford sedan. 1989 Toyota introduced the MZ20 Soarer Aerocabin. The car featured an electric folding hardtop and was marketed as a 2-seater with a cargo area behind the front seats. Production was 500 units. 1995 The Mitsubishi GTO Spyder by ASC was marketed in the U. S; the design was further popularized by such cars as the 1996 Mercedes-Benz SLK. and 2001 Peugeot 206 CC. 2006 Peugeot presented a concept four-door retractable hardtop convertible, the Peugeot 407 Macarena. Produced by French coachbuilding specialist Heuliez, the Macarena's top can be folded in about 30 seconds.
It has a reinforcing beam behind the front seats which incorporates LCD screens into the crossmember for the rear passengers. Retractable hardtops are made from between two and five sections of metal or plastic and rely on complex dual-hinged trunk/boot lids that enable the trunk lid to both receive the retracting top from the front and receive parcels or luggage from the rear; the trunk often includes a divider mechanism to prevent loading of luggage that would conflict with the operation of the hardtop. The Volkswagen Eos features a five-segment retractable roof where one section is itself an independently sliding transparent sunroof; the Mercedes SL hardtop features a glass section that rotates during retraction to provide a more compact "stack." The Mazda MX-5 has been available since the 2006 model year with an optional power retractable hardtop, in lieu of the standard folding-textile soft-top. Compared to the regular soft-top, the hardtop weighs 77 lb more yet has no reduction in cargo capacity.
The MX-5 is one of the few cars offering soft-top convertible choices. The hardtop roof is manufactured by the German firm Webasto; the Chrysler Sebring's retractable hardtop is marketed alongside a soft-top. According to development engineer Dave Lauzun, during construction, the Karmann-made tops are dropped into a body, identical: both soft-top and retractable feature the same automatic tonneau cover, luggage divider and luggage space; the retractable does feature an underbody cross-brace not included in the softtop. The retractable hardtop's advantages include: More weatherly when roof is raised More secure than fabric tops Increased structural rigidity May enable consolidation/simplification of a manufacturer's car lineup; the retractable hardtop's disadvantages include: Higher initial cost Increased mechanical complexity Potentially diminished passenger and trunk space compared to a soft-top convertible. Higher weight and center of gravity than soft-top convertibles reducing handling. Potential need for more than minimum clearance.
For example, the Volvo C70 requires 6.5 feet of vertical clearance during operation, the Cadillac XLR requires 6 ft 10 1⁄2 in of vertical clearance and the Mercedes SLK's trunk lid extends rearward while lowering or lifting the top
Ford Maverick (Americas)
The Ford Maverick is a compact car manufactured and marketed by Ford for model years 1970–1977 in the United States as a two-door sedan employing a rear-wheel drive platform original to the 1960 Falcon — and subsequently as a four-door sedan on the same platform. The Maverick was manufactured in Venezuela, Mexico, from 1970 to 1979, in Brazil; the name "maverick" was derived from the word for unbranded range animals, the car's nameplate was stylized to resemble a longhorned cow head. The Maverick was introduced on April 1969 as a 1970 model; the Maverick was conceived and marketed as a subcompact "import fighter", intended to do battle with the Volkswagen Beetle and newer Japanese rivals for North America from Honda and Toyota. The Falcon, Ford's compact offering since 1960 and main rival to the Chevrolet Nova and Dodge Dart, had seen its sales decimated by the introduction of the Mustang in 1964, despite a redesign in 1966, was unable to meet the forthcoming U. S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration motor vehicle standards that would come into effect on January 1, 1970.
The Falcon was discontinued midway through the 1970 model year, the Maverick repositioned as Ford's compact entry, giving the Nova and Dart a new rival. A bigger Falcon was a rebranded low-trim version of the Fairlane for the second half of the model year went away; the Maverick's styling featured the long hood, fastback roof, short deck popularized by the Mustang, on a 103-inch wheelbase — and featured pop-out rear side windows. Nearly 579,000 Mavericks were produced in its first year, approaching the record-setting first year of Mustang sales, outpaced the Mustang's sales of fewer than 200,000 in 1970. Available only as a 2-door sedan, early models lacked a glove compartment, added for model year 1973. A 4-door sedan on a 109.9-inch wheelbase was introduced in 1971. At introduction, exterior paint colors were named with puns, including Anti-Establish Mint, Hulla Blue, Original Cinnamon, Freudian Gilt, Thanks Vermillion — along with more typical names including Black Jade, Champagne Gold, Gulfstream Aqua, Meadowlark Yellow, Brittany Blue, Lime Gold, Dresden Blue, Raven Black, Wimbledon White, Candyapple Red.
In the first half of production for the 1970 model, two engine options were available, a 105 hp 170 cu in straight 6 and a 120 hp 200 cu in straight 6. A 250 cu in straight 6 was added mid-year. Commercials and advertsing compared the Maverick at $1995 to the smaller Volkswagen Beetle, about $500 less in price; the Pinto was Ford's primary competitor to the Beetle in the subcompact class, while competing in that segment with the Chevrolet Vega and AMC Gremlin subcompacts new to the market at that time. The earliest Mavericks featured a two-spoke steering wheel with a partial horn ring found on other 1969 Fords, while late 1969 production was changed to a revised steering wheel with no horn ring; the early models located the ignition switch in the instrument panel while the cars built after September 1, 1969 had the ignition switch mounted on a locking steering column, as did all other 1970 Fords in compliance with a new federal safety mandate that took effect with the 1970 model year. A four-door model was introduced in 1971, available was a vinyl roof.
Mercury revived the Mercury Comet as a rebadged variant of the Maverick. A 210 hp 302 CID V8 was introduced for both the Comet and the Maverick; the Comet was distinguished from the Maverick using a different grille, taillights and hood. The Maverick Grabber trim package was introduced in mid-1970; the package included trim, including a spoiler. It was offered from 1970 to 1975. In 1971 and 1972, the Grabber came with a special "Dual Dome" hood. A Sprint package offered for 1972 featured white and blue two-toned paint with red pinstripes and a special color coordinated interior; the rear quarter panels included a stylized U. S. A. flag sheild. This trim package was available for only one year. A "Luxury Decor Option" trim level introduced late in the 1972 model year included reclining bucket seats in a soft vinyl material, plush carpeting, woodgrained instrument panel trim, radial tires with body-color deluxe wheel covers, a vinyl roof; the Maverick LDO option was one of the first American compacts to be marketed as a lower-priced alternative to the more expensive European luxury/touring sedans from Mercedes-Benz, BMW, other makes.
Minor changes were made from 1973 to 1975. For 1973, the 170 CID engine was dropped. Additionally, improved brakes and a optional chrome grille became standard. An AM/FM stereo, aluminum wheels, a new larger front bumper to comply with federal 5 MPH regulations. In 1974, the Maverick was unchanged except for new larger federally required 5 MPH bumpers for both front and rear which required new rear quarter panel end caps. Jumping gas prices and increasing demand for smaller cars resulting from the Arab oil embargo did cause the Maverick to grow in popularity, selling 10,000 more units than the year before. Production of the Maverick dropped in 1975 with the release of the Granada as a more European-style luxury compact; the Maverick received minor trim changes for 1975 that included new grilles and the replacement of nameplates on the hood and trunklid with FORD nameplates, in block letters. In 1976, the Grabber was dropped, a Stallion package was introduced; the Stallion option trim. Standard Mavericks received another new grille and gained front disc brakes as standard equip
Ford Thunderbird (second generation)
The second generation Ford Thunderbird was produced by Ford for the 1958 to 1960 model years as a successor to the popular 1955-1957 two-seater. In response to Ford-conducted surveys two major changes were made to attract potential buyers: two rear seats were added and the level of luxury and features of a full-sized car were incorporated into a mid-size platform; as a result, sales soared and the new model expanded the personal luxury car market, winning the Motor Trend Car of the Year in 1958. Over 200,000 units were produced in its three-year model run, quadruple that of the two-seater in its three-year span. Along with the 1958 Lincolns, the 1958 Thunderbird was the first Ford Motor Company vehicle designed with unibody construction. Although the 1955-1957 Ford Thunderbird had proved successful, Ford executives—particularly Robert McNamara—still felt its overall sales volume had room to improve. Market research suggested sales of the Thunderbird were limited by its two-seat configuration, making it unsuitable for families.
As a response, Ford executives decided to add a rear seat to the Thunderbird. The new Thunderbird had a distinct new styling theme; the design was driven by the styling department and approved before the engineering was considered. The design was one of two proposals, styled by Joe Oros, who worked on the 1964 Ford Mustang. However, the losing proposal, styled by Elwood Engel, would gain its own place in Ford Motor Company history: after minor revisions, it would become the 1961 Lincoln Continental; the four-seat Thunderbird was designed with unibody construction. The intent was to allow the maximum interior space in a small exterior package; the 1958 Thunderbird was only 52.5 inches tall, nearly 9 inches shorter than an average American sedan. Ford incorporated the higher drivetrain tunnel, required in a lower car into a center console dividing both front and rear seats which featured ashtrays and minor controls; the remainder of the engineering was conventional, with Ford's new 300-hp 352 cu in FE-series V8 coupled to a three-speed manual transmission, with overdrive or Cruise-O-Matic three-speed automatic transmission optional.
Front suspension was independent, with unequal-length A-arms. The rear was a live axle suspended by trailing arms and coil springs, which were intended to be interchangeable with optional air springs that were canceled before production; this was changed to a more conventional leaf spring suspension in the 1959 model year. Drum brakes were used at all four wheels. Various delays conspired to have production start only on December 20, 1957, much than the normal September start; the new Thunderbird captured Motor Trend's Car of the Year award in its debut season, making history as the first individual model line to do so. While many fans of the earlier, two-seat Thunderbirds were not happy with the new direction, Ford was vindicated with sales figures of 37,892, more than double the previous year despite losing three months of production and 1958 being a poor year for car sales—the Thunderbird was one of only two cars to show a sales increase that year; the convertible did not go on sale until June 1958.
For the 1959 model year, Ford made changes to the front and side ornamentation. The rear suspension was revised, discarding coil springs for Hotchkiss drive with parallel leaf springs. A new V8 engine, the 345-hp 430 cu in MEL-series, was available in small numbers. Sales doubled again, to 67,456 units, including 10,261 convertibles. Thunderbird advertising in 1959 targeted women in particular, showing glamorous models in country club and other exclusive settings, the sales figures bore out Ford's marketing plans. With more trim changes, most notably the addition of a third tail light in the rear clusters, 1960's sales figures hit another record: 92,843 units sold, including 11,860 convertibles. A rare option in this year was a sunroof. At the end of 1960 production two Thunderbirds were constructed of stainless steel for the Allegheny Ludlum Steel Corporation, at a price of $35,000 each; because of the properties of stainless steel, the production dies would be destroyed as a result of the stamping of the parts.
This was not a problem for Ford. To duplicate the T-Birds 3,957 lb. normal production weight, body panels were made of Type 302 stainless steel, trim pieces out of Type 430 stainless steel. At the time of their production, because of the maximum rolling mill for stainless steel only produced stock, 72 inches in width, both cars' roofs were constructed from two 42-inch-wide sections welded together in the middle. Both T-Birds received mechanical and interior restorations in the 1980s and survive to this day, with one on permanent display at the Heinz History Center in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; the new Thunderbirds were produced at a new assembly plant at Wixom, built as part of a corporate expansion plan to increase the sales of up-market cars. A second location was opened in Pico Rivera, California at another new location called Los Angeles Assembly
Ford Fairlane (Americas)
The Ford Fairlane is an automobile model, sold between 1955 and 1970 by Ford in North America. The name is derived from Fair Lane, near Dearborn, Michigan. Over time, the name referred to a number of different cars in different classes; the mid-sized model spawned the Australian-built Fairlane in 1967, although in that market it was considered a large car. For the 1955 model year the Fairlane name replaced the Crestline as Ford's premier full-sized offering. Six different body styles were offered, including the Crown Victoria Skyliner with a tinted, transparent plastic roof, the regular Crown Victoria coupe with lots of stainless steel trim, a convertible Sunliner, the Victoria hardtop coupe, traditional sedans. All featured the trademark stainless-steel "Fairlane stripe" on the side. Power options were a 223 cu in straight-6 engine and a 272 cu in V8; the 292 cu in Y-block was offered as an option and was called the Thunderbird V-8. Few changes were made for 1956; the Lifeguard safety package was introduced.
The two-door Victoria hardtop featured a new and slimmer roofline. A one-year only two-door station wagon, the 1956 Ford Parklane, featured Fairlane-level trim, it was marketed to compete against the Chevrolet Nomad. For 1957, a new style gave a longer, wider and sleeker look with low tailfins; the new proportions and modern styling were a hit with customers to the extent that the Ford outsold Chevrolet in 1957 for the first time since 1935. A new top trim level was reversed, the Fairlane 500. For the first time, the lower-level Custom line had a shorter wheelbase than the Fairlane. Engines were the same as the year before; the big news for 1957 was the introduction of the Fairlane 500 Skyliner power retractable hardtop, whose solid top hinged and folded down into the trunk space at the touch of a button. Another facelift for 1958 had fashionable quad headlights, a grille that matched the 1958 Thunderbird, other styling changes. New big-block FE V8s of 332 and 352 CID replaced the previous largest V8s, a better three-speed automatic transmission was available.
A new top-level full-sized model was introduced at the Ford Galaxie. The 1959 Galaxie displayed both "Fairlane 500" and "Galaxie" badging. Full-sized Fairlane and Fairlane 500 models were restyled for 1960 and again for the 1961 model year; the Galaxie series continued as the top-of-the-line full-sized Ford. Fairlane 500s were equivalent to the Chevrolet Bel Air. Fairlanes were sold as base level trim models for fleet use. Both were only available as pillared sedans; the big-block 390 CID V8 was available in 1961 as the top-horsepower option, as the "horsepower wars" in Detroit continued. The Fairlane name was moved to Ford's new intermediate, introduced for the 1962 model year, to bridge the gap between the compact Ford Falcon and the full-sized Galaxie, making it a competitor for GM's A-body "senior compacts", the Dodge Custom 880, the AMC Rambler. With an overall length of 197 in and a wheelbase of 115.5 in, it was 16 in longer than the Falcon and 12.3 in shorter than the Galaxie. Wheel track varied from 53.5 in to 56 in depending on specification.
Like the Falcon, the Fairlane had a unibody frame, but the body incorporated an unusual feature Ford dubbed torque boxes, four boxed structures in the lower body structure designed to absorb road shock by moving in the vertical plane. Suspension was a conventional short-long arm independent arrangement in front, with Hotchkiss drive in the rear; the Fairlane was offered only in two-door or four-door sedan body styles. The Fairlane's standard engine was the 170 CID six, but as an option, it introduced Ford's new, lightweight Windsor V8 with a displacement of 221 CID and 145 hp; the Sports Coupe option débuted a small floor console. The trim level supplemented the Fairlane 500 trim levels; the Challenger 289 CID engine was introduced in mid-1963, with solid lifters and other performance pieces helping the engine produce an advertised 271 hp. This engine was coded "K" in the vehicle identification number. Exterior identification was by fender-mounted "V" badges that read "289 High Performance"; that same year, station wagons arrived, called the Ranch Custom Wagon.
All 1962 Fairlanes had "B" posts despite the popularity of the pillarless hardtop and convertible styles in that era. Ford saw the problem and introduced two pillarless hardtop coupes for 1963, in Fairlane 500 and Sports Coupe trim. For 1963 and Sports Coupe models, the center console, which had come from the Falcon parts bin for 1962, was changed to be similar to that of the Galaxie. Sports Coupe models got a floor-mounted shift lever for the center console when Cruise-O-Matic or 4-speed manual transmissions were specified. Front-end styling for the 1963 models mimicked the big Galaxie models, b
Subcompact car is the American classification for small cars, broadly equivalent to the B-segment or supermini classifications. According to the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency car size class definition, the subcompact category sits between minicompact and compact categories; the EPA definition of a subcompact is a passenger car with a combined interior and cargo volume of between 85–99 cubic feet. Current examples of subcompact cars are the Ford Chevrolet Sonic; the smaller cars in the A-segment / city car category are sometimes called subcompacts in the U. S. because the EPA's name for this smaller category— minicompact— is not used by the general public. The prevalence of small cars in the United States increased in the 1960s increased imports of cars from Europe and Japan. Widespread use of the term subcompact coincided with the early 1970s increase in subcompact cars built in the United States. Early 1970s subcompacts include Chevrolet Vega and Ford Pinto; the term subcompact originated during the 1960s, however it came into popular use in the early 1970s, as car manufacturers in the United States began to introduce smaller cars into their line-up.
Cars in this size were variously categorized, including "small cars" and "economy cars". Several of these small cars were produced in the U. S. in limited volumes, including the 1930 American Austin and the 1939 Crosley. From the 1950s onwards, various imported small cars were sold in the U. S. including the Nash Metropolitan, Volkswagen Beetle and various small British cars. Due to the increasing populary of small cars imported from Europe and Japan during the late 1960s, the American manufacturers to began releasing competing locally-built models in the early 1970s; the AMC Gremlin was described at its April 1970 introduction as "the first American-built import" and the first U. S. built subcompact car. Introduced in 1970 were the Chevrolet Vega and Ford Pinto. Sales of American-built "low weight cars" accounted for more than 30% of total car sales in 1972 and 1973, despite inventory shortages for several models; the Gremlin and Vega were all rear-wheel drive and available with four-cylinder engines.
The Pontiac Astre, the Canadian-born re-badged Vega variant was released in the U. S. September 1974. Due to falling sales of the larger pony cars in the mid-1970s, the Vega-based Chevrolet Monza was introduced as an upscale subcompact and the Ford Mustang II temporarily downsized from the pony car class to become a subcompact car for its second generation; the Monza with its GM variants Pontiac Sunbird, Buick Skyhawk, Oldsmobile Starfire, the Mustang II continued until the end of the decade. The Chevrolet Chevette was GM's new entry-level subcompact introduced as a 1976 model, it was an ` Americanized' design from GM's German subsidiary. And there were subcompacts that were imported but sold through a domestic manufacturers dealer network Captive imports, the Renault Le Car and the Ford Fiesta In 1977, the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency began to use a new vehicle classification system, based on interior volume instead of exterior size; this resulted in cars classified as subcompact now being classified as compact cars, a smaller group of cars now being classified as subcompact.
In 1978, Volkswagen began producing the "Rabbit" version of the Golf— a modern, front-wheel drive design— in Pennsylvania. In 1982, American Motors began manufacturing the U. S. Renault Alliance— a version of the Renault 9— in Wisconsin. Both models benefiting from European designs and experience. To replace the aging Chevette in the second half of the 1980s, Chevrolet introduced marketed imported front-wheel drive subcompact cars: the Suzuki Cultus and the Isuzu Gemini. During the 1990s GM offered the Geo brand featuring the Suzuki-built Metro subcompact; because of consumer demand for fuel-efficient cars during the late-2000s, sales of subcompact cars made it the fastest growing market category in the U. S; as of 2016, numerous models of subcompacts are sold in North America. As of 2012, the Chevrolet Sonic was the only subcompact assembled in the United States. Imported subcompact cars include Korean models such as Hyundai Accent, Kia Rio along with Japanese models such as Honda Fit, Mazda 2, Nissan Micra, Scion xD, Suzuki Swift, Toyota Yaris and Toyota Prius C.
Car classification Mini SUV Economy car