For anyone old enough to remember the '70s, the concept of a lowered van brings about images of groovy decals and Cheech & Chong, not fuel economy. But Ford Europe has other ideas.

The US automaker's Ford Fiesta "van" (OK, it's "car-derived" from a really small car) starts sales in Europe this month, and features some fuel economy figures far better suited for a Honda Civic than an Econoline.

Ford, which will start selling the model across the Pond this month, says its Fiesta Van variants all get at least 76.4 miles per gallon, per the slightly more optimistic European driving cycle, with the Fiesta ECOnetic topping out at 85.6 mpg. That version features stop-start technology, hardcore aerodynamics and, yes, a lowered suspension. Overall, the Fiesta Van will have two diesel variants and one petrol version, all in the 1.25-to-1.6-liter engine-size range.

The model also features a payload capacity of about 1,100 pounds and steel bulkhead, lest we forget that it's, well, a van. Check out Ford Europe's press release below.
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New Ford Fiesta Van Combines Class-Leading Fuel Economy with Sharp Looks and Smart Technologies

Stylish new Fiesta Van offers businesses an agile and good looking vehicle with class-leading fuel-efficiency – all diesel engines achieve sub-100 g/km CO2 emissions and 3.7 l/100 km (76.4 mpg)* or better
Fiesta Van offers new 75 PS 1.5-litre Duratorq TDCi diesel for the first time; Fiesta ECOnetic Van variant features enhanced fuel-saving technologies to deliver best-in-class 87 g/km and 3.3 l/100 km (85.6 mpg)

Fiesta Van offers key segment-first technologies including in-car connectivity system SYNC with Emergency Assistance, Active City Stop, and MyKey system to encourage safer driving, plus practical features like Easy Fuel and Rear View Camera

COLOGNE, Germany, Dec. 18, 2012 – The new Ford Fiesta Van, an agile and stylish car-derived van for both large and small businesses, will deliver class-leading fuel efficiency and segment-first technologies when it hits the road in early 2013.

All diesel engines in the new Fiesta Van achieve sub-100 g/km CO2 emissions and 3.7 l/100 km (76.4 mpg)* or better; the Fiesta ECOnetic Van features enhanced fuel-saving technologies to deliver best-in-class 87 g/km and 3.3 l/100 km (85.6 mpg), a feat that no other manufacturer in the class can match.

"The new Fiesta Van is a stylish mobile workshop for light duty tools and equipment that makes great business sense," said Nick Readings, Ford of Europe's commercial vehicle marketing manager. "Both local tradesmen and urban delivery fleets will appreciate its sharp, professional looks, while relying on its versatility, dependability and exceptionally low running costs."

With its practical 1.0 cubic metre load space, the Fiesta Van offers businesses an adaptable van with classic Fiesta driver appeal. The load compartment features a secure steel bulkhead and four cargo tie-down hooks, both developed in accordance with the international DIN standard for load restraints, plus a tough rubber floor mat and durable sidewall trim. And with a load length of 1.3 metres and gross payload ranging from 485-508 kg, there is ample capacity for bulkier items.

Fiesta Van powertrain choice now includes the new 75 PS 1.5-litre Duratorq TDCi diesel, alongside the 95 PS 1.6-litre Duratorq TDCi diesel and 82 PS 1.25-litre Duratec petrol units. The ultra-efficient ECOnetic Van variant offers the specially developed 95 PS 1.6-litre Duratorq TDCi diesel ECOnetic powertrain with standard Auto-Start-Stop, along with lowered suspension, aerodynamic rear under-tray and wheel trims, and low rolling resistance tyres.

The new Fiesta Van's package of leading Ford driver assistance and safety features includes a number of important segment-first technologies. Ford MyKey allows businesses to encourage safer driving and limit the driver's exposure to risk at the wheel as well as providing fleets with ownership information. Following on from the new Transit Custom, Fiesta Van also offers the in-car connectivity system Ford SYNC.

Ford SYNC with Emergency Assistance directly connects the vehicle occupants to local emergency services operators after an accident, in the correct language for the region. Also introduced to new Fiesta is class-first technology Active City Stop, a system designed to help drivers avoid low speed collisions, alongside Hill Launch Assist, Easy Fuel and Rear View Camera.

The dynamic new version of the Fiesta Van features a sharper design inspired by the latest Ford global design language and concept vehicles, including laser-cut headlamps incorporating LED technology, power-dome bonnet and, for the first time, the option of 17-inch alloy wheels. Ford ergonomics and interior design experts have reconfigured the Fiesta interior with relocated switch-gear, a new centre-console with arm-rest and new materials, interfaces and displays.

The new Fiesta Van is available to order now, with customer deliveries commencing in January.

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* The stated fuel consumption and CO2 emissions are measured according to the technical requirements and specifications of the European Regulation (EC) 715/2007 as last amended. The results may differ from fuel economy figures in other regions of the world due to the different drive cycles and regulations used in those markets.

About Ford Motor Company
Ford Motor Company, a global automotive industry leader based in Dearborn, Mich., manufactures or distributes automobiles across six continents. With about 172,000 employees and 65 plants worldwide, the company's automotive brands include Ford and Lincoln. The company provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company. For more information regarding Ford's products, please visit www.ford.com.

Ford Europe is responsible for producing, selling and servicing Ford brand vehicles in 50 individual markets and employs approximately 47,000 employees at its wholly owned facilities and approximately 69,000 people when joint ventures and unconsolidated businesses are included. In addition to Ford Motor Credit Company, Ford Europe operations include Ford Customer Service Division and 24 manufacturing facilities (15 wholly owned or consolidated joint venture facilities and nine unconsolidated joint venture facilities). The first Ford cars were shipped to Europe in 1903 – the same year Ford Motor Company was founded. European production started in 1911.