Perfectly pitched. The Birdie is indeed the “afterthought” where the Eagle GTi is the mainstay. Its strengths and weaknesses that Gavin so accurately captured are somewhat modelled after the 9th Gen UK Civic Hatch: same strangely disappointing power to eco ratio, lazy auto with long gears, strangely deficient rear legroom and teeny rear doors, but also really nice and pleasant to sit in and drive. The main point of difference is that it has alu panels so it’s lighter. But also a bit more expensive than the entry-level it aimed to compete at, which is why it’s the afterthought: it can’t really make up its mind because it is in essence a heavily detuned, toothless Eagle. You’d get it if you were struggling to eke out a little enjoyment in your commute in a life dictated by practical concerns and people wanting you to get a car with all the amenities so they didn’t have to suffer, a situation I know very well. As a result I would expect the Birdie to sell about as well as the 9th Gen Civic Hatch, which is to say, not particularly, especially since the hatches of 2017 are so damn competitive I wouldn’t be surprised if rear leg room was actually a major determinant in market share.
As for the Eagle, well, it’s pretty much been said. You might ask “why not just make it FR, MR or AWD, anything but FF” but, again, like the FK2 and FK8 Type R, that’s precisely the point and Armada simply won’t do otherwise, because they have cars in other formats already, duh. This is out to prove that FF can do real sporty, and for that to happen it had to be light.
With markups accounted for, you can get the Fore Birdie for under 17k AMU, and the Eagle GTi for 27.7k AMU. The latter is expected to compete with sport cars in the 30-35k AMU bracket.