The Mk3 (1989-1995)
The Mk3 Fiesta was produced from 1989 onwards, this time the car looked alot different and it was also the
first time the Fiesta was available with three doors.
The Mk3 Fiesta range was announced in February 1989, and appeared in April 1989.
The new range had more engines to choose from, the Valerncia engine was dropped
to be replaced with a new HCS (High Compression Swirl) engine, this engine was
designed to be more economical and was available in 1000cc and 1100cc. The
base model can with a 1000cc HCS engine and a 4-speed gearbox, the rest all had
5-speed gearboxes. The other engine were the CVH (Compound Valve-angle
Hemispherical combustion-chamber) range from the Mk2.
The Mk3 was a bigger car overall but there are a couple of things which are
similar to the Mk2, the lights and indicators at the front and the lines on the
bonnet, apart from that the car is very different. The Mk3 has alot smoother
design, the windscreen has been slanted back to help aerodynamics, larger single piece
bumpers. The fog light was moved into the rear light cluster, this meant loosing one
of the revering lights. The interior was completely redesigned, a new seat
and dashboard design with the extra space gave the car a feel inside, the Fiesta
now had the option of being fitted with a front windscreen.
One of the biggest changes from the Mk2 was that the bonnet now open backwards, this
allows easier access when doing engine maintenance, but this design is more dangerous.
In a Mk1 or Mk2 if you forget to close you bonnet properly and it's only on the
cache, when you drive the air traveling over the bonnet try's to push it down. In
a Mk3 the air will force the bonnet up, if it's not held down properly the bonnet
could flip up over the windscreen.
The models. The Mk3 started with the Popular, Popular plus, L, LX, Ghia and 1.6S.
In September 1989 the XR2i was released, and in December 1989 the Ghia and LX models
had a new engine option of the 1.4 CFI. In January 1990 the Fiesta saw a new type of
power in the way of 1.6 RS Turbo. This was the start of the end for the CVH engine,
although the design was used to make the Zetec engine.
The SX model was released in April of 1991 this model only had the 1100cc HCS engine,
but in July of 1991 it was given a new 1300cc HCS engine instead. As new engines were
developed the models changed engine. In September 1991 the LX was given the 1.3 CFI
and in May 1992 the 1000cc HCS engine was discarded and the RS1800 was introduced.
The Mk3 range was given a overhaul, all new cars featured drivers airbag as
standard and the passenger airbag as an option. The cars body shell was also changed this
included reinforcements to the cars shell and the introduction of a new seat belt system,
to take in the slack in the belt. The Mk3 was also given better suspension and better
equipment inside, this included an option of power steering. The petrol models were now
fitted with a catalytic converter and certificated to 1983 US emissions levels. The
exterior of the Mk3 was also changed, a flap over the petrol cap and stream lined mirrors,
which had the option of being heated and being electrically controlled. The square side
repeaters were also changed to oval ones.
The XR2 now became the XR2i.
The Mk3 XR2i used the 1600 CVH EFI (Electronic Fuel Injection) engine used in the Mk3 Escort
the only difference was that the Escort used MFI (Mechanical Fuel Injection) although later
on it did use EFI. The XR2i came with different bumpers with fog and spot lights mounted in
them, once again alloys were optimal.
The Fiesta gets a Turbo.
The Mk3 is the first Fiesta to come from the factory with a turbo, almost identical to the
XR2i in appearance, the only difference being the bonnet vents and the three spoke wheels.
The RS Turbo used the engine from the Escort but there were changes made, a T02 Garret turbo
which would spin faster and a updated EEC IV engine management system. This
meant the Fiesta
has a EFI rather than the MFI system use on the escort.
The standard engine would produce 133bhp, which meant the car could do 0-60 in 7.7 seconds
and reach 130mph. When the car was introduced in June 1900 Ford only wanted to produce it
for two years. The Turbo was a massive success but in 1992 it was taken off the market.
After the RS Turbo had been taken of the market there was a gap in there model range, so in
May 1992 the RS1800 was introduced, it used the new 1800cc Zetec 16v engine that later went
into the XR2i. The RS Turbo and the RS 1800 were identical in appearance, the RS 1800 was given
a new set of 14 inch 5 spoke alloy wheels.
In October 1995 the Mk3 range was reduced to 3 special models to make way for the Mk4