Ford to release "affordable" entry-level car by 2022

It will fill the void left by the Fiesta.

Ford's on-going shift away from sedans and hatchbacks will leave it without an entry-level model, a move which risks alienating buyers looking for an affordable new car. The company will move back into the space currently occupied by the Fiesta when it releases a new entry-level car in the early 2020s.

"It's an example of how we're moving faster, working together differently and leveraging our five all-new flexible vehicle architectures. We came up with the concept in just 12 weeks using our new product creation process. Previous all-new vehicles could have taken years of research before receiving approval," Ford said in a statement sent to Automotive News.

There's no word yet on what the yet-unnamed vehicle will look like, or what it will be powered by. Ford called it an "affordable" car, and its entry-level positioning suggests it will start in the vicinity of $15,000. The Fiesta -- which is on its way out of the American market -- currently starts at $14,260.

Hitting that price point will require keeping the vehicle simple, so we're not expecting a high degree of electrification or a mile-long list of tech features. It will need to sit higher than a Fiesta to fall in line with Ford's shift towards crossovers and SUVs, and it will need to have four doors in order to appeal to families. Our speculation paints an image of a small soft-roader with a rugged design. It's being described as a new model, so Ford (hopefully) won't simply pluck the Fiesta Active (pictured) from its European line-up and ship it to America.

We'll learn more about how Ford plans to fill the void left by the Fiesta in the coming years. The new entry point into its portfolio of models will go on sale by 2022, and it's one of nine new nameplates the Blue Oval will add to its line-up through 2023.

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