• Fiesta ECOnetic vehicles finish 1st, 2nd and 4th in the "Fossil Fuel" class
• Team of Pascal Aimé and Stéphanie Aimé take first place in the standard run
• Ford finishes 1st overall in manufacturers’ standings

St Germain en Laye, France, April 1, 2009: The third Monte-Carlo Rally for Alternative Energy Vehicles took place over the last weekend in March and the new Ford Fiesta ECOnetic emerged victorious in its class.

The event, which uses traditional Monte Carlo Rally roads was the first round of the FIA Alternative Energies Cup, which is organised around the most innovative environmentally friendly vehicles. The Ford Fiesta ECOnetic was entered in the class for fossil-fuel-powered cars with emissions of less than 120g/km of CO2 per kilometre. The class featured 28 cars from nine different manufacturers.

Three Ford Fiesta ECOnetic cars, entered by Ford France and driven by the "Drive Classic" team, delivered an outstanding result with first, second and fourth places in the class. This impressive result was coupled with Ford’s overall victory in the manufacturers’ classification.

Target Speeds, Minimal Consumption
The rally began simultaneously from two different starting points in Lugano and Clermont-Ferrand, and included three legs - the Parcours de Concentration, Parcours Commun and Parcours Final). The rally was run over 1000 km and included four "regularity runs" during which the teams were given the tough challenge to meet target average speeds while using as little fuel as possible.

The pairing of Pascal Aimé and Stéphanie Aimé took their Fiesta ECOnetic to a convincing class win and also claimed first place in the overall regularity standings. They led home the team of Alain Jongerlynck and his son Greg, who finished second in the fossil-fuel category, just 40 points behind their team-mates. The third Fiesta ECOnetic driven by Gaël Brianceau and Stéphane Césaréo finished fourth. With this convincing team performance, Ford France secured first place in the final manufacturers standings.

“We are particularly pleased with this result,” commented Alain Jongerlynck, who drives for, and also manages the "Drive Classic" team. “Pascal (Aimé) had great confidence in the outstanding fuel economy of the Ford Fiesta ECOnetic plus its excellent chassis. On the final night, Pascal decided to go for performance while we chose the opposite strategy, focusing primarily on fuel consumption. In the end, these two approaches complemented each other and there was barely anything between us at the finish.

"We both achieved very similar fuel consumption. Over 540 km of competitive stages, we used a total of 18.77 litres of fuel," Jongerlynck added. "This equates to an average of just over four litres per 100 km – in spite of the fact we were running over mountainous rally stages, and had to achieve a challenging target average speed. The last night was particularly difficult in fog and rain.”

Ford France Managing Director Jean-Luc Gérard said: “This winning performance was achieved with standard production Fiesta ECOnetic cars, and demonstrated the model's potential for outstanding fuel economy. Competing in the Monte-Carlo Rally for AEVs highlighted not only the engine’s exceptional energy efficiency but also its power and torque, coupled with a chassis that delivers impeccable handling.”

The Ford Fiesta ECOnetic is powered by the Ford 1.6-litre Duratorq TDCi engine, fitted with a standard particulate filter. It develops 90 bhp and 204 Nm of torque at 1750 rpm, while emitting just 98g of CO2. Compared to the previous generation Fiesta, the new ECOnetic model uses 160 litres less fuel over a distance of 20,000 km. In the extra-urban cycle, it achieves fuel consumption of just 3.7 l per 100 km.

Fiesta's impressive list of awards and accolades include 'Car of the Year' in two major British automotive publications, and it has been voted National 'Car of the Year' in Scotland, Croatia, Greece and Ireland. Following nominations from readers of Spain's Car and Driver magazine, Fiesta was named the 'Woman's Car 2009'.

With European sales in January and February totalling 59,600 the Fiesta is the best-selling Ford model in Europe so far in 2009. Since it made its debut in August 2008, sales of the new Fiesta have totalled 120,300 and the car is already making a significant contribution to Ford of Europe's market share improvement.

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