New small hatchback could reach Europe by 2017.

Here’s our first look at the next Ford Fiesta, which is slated to reach Europe by 2017 and will likely come to the U.S. market shortly thereafter. The most obvious change evident on this prototype is that the small hatchback appears to get a little less small in its next iteration.

As our earlier renderings suggested, the next Ford Fiesta should grow a little bit compared to today’s model, while keeping a familiar face to fit in with the rest of the Blue Oval family. Key design cues will come from the next Focus, with swept-back headlights and a wide-mouth grille, as seen on every other new Ford product. Expect a lengthened wheelbase -- a change also in store for the larger 2018 Focus -- that should result in more interior room. Ford’s Global B platform will still underpin the car, but with plentiful revisions.

By moving the Fiesta up in terms of size, Ford will create some breathing room for the new Ka+ to fit below it in the European range.

With that increase in size, Ford will also try to reposition the Fiesta as a slightly more premium model. According to Auto Express, the car, “will be nudged up in price, quality, refinement ,and features” as the small-car segment overall matures. But by keeping with the same Global B platform, Ford can reportedly save development costs that, instead, can be used to bring higher-end features down to the Fiesta.

Underhood, the next Ford Fiesta is widely expected to ditch four-cylinder powertrains and go exclusively with turbocharged inline-three mills, including the award-winning 1.0-liter EcoBoost. AE also posits that soft-touch dash materials, an improved touchscreen with Ford’s Sync 3 software, and active-safety tech like lane-keep assist will trickle down to the Fiesta.

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