Ford has unveiled the Ford Fiesta for the North American market, meaning that one of its most popular worldwide models will be available in the US in 2010 for the first time in 30 years.

The Fiesta has sold over twelve million units worldwide since its introduction in 1976 and is one of the most iconic cars on the market today. It is Ford Europe's best-selling car and is the second-best selling car in Europe, beaten only by the Volkswagen Golf. Despite this, Ford has only ever sold it in the US for two years between 1978 and 1980, before discontinuing it in favor of the Ford Escort. Ford hopes that it can use the 39-year design pedigree of the Fiesta to shake up the growing US subcompact car market in its favor.

"For North America, the global Fiesta was tweaked, not re-designed or re-developed." said Steve Pintar, chief engineer. "We built on the success of the European Fiesta and are really proud of how little has changed."

Ford claims that the 2011 Fiesta , shown for the first time at the Los Angeles Auto Show, will offer a fuel economy of 40 mpg (5.88 L/100km), beating other vehicles in its class such as the Honda Fit, Nissan Versa and Toyota Yaris. The model will feature a 1.6L engine with an estimated 119 horsepower.

Several further unveilings are expected at the Los Angeles Auto Show, which kicked off with a press preview Wednesday. Cadillac, Chevrolet and Porsche have all released early photos for models expected to debut at the event, which opens to the public on December 4.

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