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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)

Fiesta ST_Xgames_Foz_Brazil_April 2013_Fiesta Movement 040_edited by Bryan Redeker BRGT350, on Flickr

Out of everything I did in Brazil for the X Games and the Fiesta Movement, my favorite moment was the one not captured on film or with anyone with me. It wasn’t hanging out with Tanner, Ken, or Brian. It wasn’t talking rally with ESPN. It wasn’t even being the first to repel down the most powerful dam in the world. It was the 20 minutes I spent with a Fiesta ST prototype. Even with the first Fiesta Movement, the program has always been about the car. The car was the star, and not me or Brandon. I never saw the program as a way to get more YouTube views or more friends online. It has always been about the connection between man and machine. I spent a day filming with both Fiesta ST’s at the Iguassu Falls, and almost instantly, I felt connected to the cars. After filming with the Performance Blue Fiesta ST and Molten Orange ST pace car, it was time to get the cars back to the GRC paddocks. The only problem was there were too many cars and not enough drivers who could drive a stick. I offered my services to transport the Performance Blue ST. Doing so would make me the first person outside of Ford Motor Company to drive a US spec Ford Fiesta ST.

The Fiesta ST fires up with the same push-to-start as the regular Fiesta and you get more exhaust note at ignition. A slight blip of the throttle is rewarded with the sound of a spooling turbo. The ESC OFF button is next to the shifter, right where it should have been from day 1. I turned it off because nobody should ever drive a car with a system that limits hooning. The gear lever is shorter than the regular car, but not as short as the Ford Racing shifter. It is also not as tight, but most consumers would want it that way. Leaving the falls under the watchful eyes of security personal, the ST is not much different than your normal car. It gets a ton of stares and you sit more like you would in a fighter plane than a compact car with the highly bolstered Recaro seats. I was now strapped in behind the wheel of a 197hp, 1.6L turbocharged rocket with miles of smooth Brazilian asphalt under me.

Once past the eyes of armed security, I jump on the throttle in 2nd gear and the ST springs to life. There isn’t any torque steer as the trees quickly become blurred. The turbo spools with the sound a jet engine. The intake and exhaust notes create a symphony of mechanical music in the cockpit. Let off of the throttle to shift into 3rd and there is a loud Pffffffffffffffttttttttt from the waste gate. Oh yea, this thing makes real turbo sounds. For the next few miles I left the car in 4th and just revved the engine under load to listen to the turbo spool and waste gate release excess pressure. My face began to hurt from all the smiling and laughing that was going on with all the turbo foolishness. I giggled like a child with each release of air from the blow off valve. The next few miles were spent downshifting, accelerating, and shifting into 4th in order to hear all the glorious sounds coming from the ST.

The area around the falls is full of these small raccoon looking animals called Coatis’. Of course being curious little guys, one ran out in front of the ST while I was listening to all the turbo sounds. I jumped on the brakes and the ST came to a stop with an incredible amount of force. The upgraded pads, larger rotors, and rear rotors have the effect of a brick wall then the middle pedal is pushed down. The pad compound is grabby, but that is normal for brakes that don’t have many miles on them. The pedal feels very firm and it was easy to modulate braking during the panic stop. I let the little guy waddle across the road, which was fine since it gave me an excuse to accelerate from a dead stop and run the car through the gears again. The ST quickly caught back up to the rest of the convoy and the car sure accelerates faster than I would have expected it to. Even with the AC on, the engine just loves to pull.

I decided to test out the handling by slaloming around the reflectors on the center of the road. I fully expected the ST to have a softer suspension than the Ford Racing suspension I have installed on my Fiesta. Typically, the Ford Racing guys get to have a more enthusiastic suspension than the production guys will allow. Not the case at all! The ST is much stiffer than the Ford Racing suspension, and the rear is vastly stiffer in roll. The steering input is also more precise than the regular Fiesta with summer tires and the FRPP suspension. The ST carves the slalom with the precision of a scalpel and the car wants you to go faster and push harder. It changes direction more like a F1 car or a go-kart instead of a bubbly hatchback. I felt like I could pick a pebble on the road and make the car clip it with the edge of a tire. This car will dominate autocrosses.

We arrived at the GRC paddocks and the fun was over. The Fiesta ST provides a level of joy that I have not felt from a car in a very long time. I have driven all sorts of pricey sports cars and muscle cars and none of them have made such a huge impression on me. I thought for sure that the Focus ST would still be the car for me since it would be impossible for any car to beat it. I was wrong; the Fiesta ST is vastly more fun, more engaging, and full of more sounds than the Focus. The Fiesta ST simply works perfectly. It doesn’t isolate the driver from the mechanical bits and sounds that make a car fun to drive. It doesn’t hide anything; instead, it puts all of those things in tune with your body. The result is a compact car that is an extension of the driver. A shifter kart with a roof. Of everything I did in Brazil, I would have not thought a 20 minute drive would become the icing on a very exciting cake. Yes, the Fiesta ST is that good.


Fiesta ST_Xgames_Foz_Brazil_April 2013_Fiesta Movement 094_edited by Bryan Redeker BRGT350, on Flickr


Fiesta ST_Xgames_Foz_Brazil_April 2013_Fiesta Movement 010_edited by Bryan Redeker BRGT350, on Flickr


Fiesta ST_Xgames_Foz_Brazil_April 2013_Fiesta Movement 015_edited by Bryan Redeker BRGT350, on Flickr


Fiesta ST_Xgames_Foz_Brazil_April 2013_Fiesta Movement 027_edited by Bryan Redeker BRGT350, on Flickr



Fiesta ST_Xgames_Foz_Brazil_April 2013_Fiesta Movement 064_edited by Bryan Redeker BRGT350, on Flickr


Fiesta ST_Xgames_Foz_Brazil_April 2013_Fiesta Movement 076_edited by Bryan Redeker BRGT350, on Flickr
 

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Damn, makes me want to buy an ST!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
The nose is just ok, but the regular Fiesta nose isn't much better. The best looking front end has always been the 2009-2013 European bumper with projector headlamps. I figure if I am going to have an ugly nose, best to have it with 197 horsepower and turbo sounds. I do not like the front of my current Fiesta since it is too toned down in comparison of the European car and the Verve concept. Don't worry, people will only see the nose for a few seconds until you blow by them and they are looking at the rear.
 

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BRyan, did you get a chance to look underneath and see if the US spec had any upgraded chassis pieces (ala what TB Performance offers)?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
BRyan, did you get a chance to look underneath and see if the US spec had any upgraded chassis pieces (ala what TB Performance offers)?
I did not take a look under the cars. They were pretty messy under there after doing a ton of filming on the rallycross track. I don't know if the ST's have any extra stiffening parts on them compared to the regular Fiesta. I have pictures from under the cars that were on display in Chicago, but those were pretty far from production. These cars were closer, but still not fully there yet. The interior really amazed me since it has that giant screen and arm rest, but once driving, the screen looks more like our normal screen and the arm rest is out of the way. The ESC button is right where it should be, but doesn't fully turn off as we found out during filming on the rallycross track. It allows for some serious hooning, but steps in if the yaw angle gets too great. You can see from the Deegan Dare commercial that the car slides really well before the ESC does anything.
 

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So jelly right now. So jelly! Ergh, your review makes me want to touch one even more! :eek:
 

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. The ESC button is right where it should be, but doesn't fully turn off as we found out during filming on the rallycross track. It allows for some serious hooning, but steps in if the yaw angle gets too great. .
Did you press-and-hold the ESC button? Yaw control shouldn't have kicked in if you did...
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Did you press-and-hold the ESC button? Yaw control shouldn't have kicked in if you did...
yep, press and hold until the bar on the screen was completed and the ESC off light came on. I did not get a chance to drive the car on the Rallycross track or on any surface that would allow me to slide. Deegan was sliding the car during filming at the rallycross track. He noticed that the car seemed to still have some ESC effect when the car would get really sideways. I turned the system back on, and then turned it off by pressing and holding the button. He said he had done the same thing and the car behaved the same. TC did not come on when he accelerated on the rallycross track. I only drove on tarmac and wasn't going to do anything to the car to risk hurting it. I pressed the button and held it since I have wanted to do that to a Fiesta since 2009 and finally got a chance to do it.
 

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hmmmm...

differential TC will still be in effect and so will torque vectoring. Wonder if he was picking up one of these. Yaw control should be totally off though....
 

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Discussion Starter #12
hmmmm...

differential TC will still be in effect and so will torque vectoring. Wonder if he was picking up one of these. Yaw control should be totally off though....
it very well could be TC and TV acting on the wheels as the car is sliding and is hard on the throttle on loose dirt. Brian said he could feel it in the steering wheel and throttle. I had assumed it was the computer shutting down the fun. I could not feel it from the passenger seat, but Brian had made mention of it while filming. At one point we were coming on the front straight and he did a handbrake hair pin turn around the "joker barrier" and was hard on the throttle coming around the corner. He mentioned then that it felt like the ESC was acting on the car. When we stopped for the next scene, I had turned the system back to On and then held the button until the status bar was complete and it said it was off. I had thought the system was a 2 stage with pressing the button once to allow for some slip, and press+hold for full off. I figured it wasn't fully off, so I did the press+hold. This was in the Molten Orange pace car and not the blue one that I drove. I did drive the orange ST, but only a very short distance to move it for filming. I spent most of my time with the blue ST.
 

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BRyan, did you get any interior shots that you are able to share with us?
 

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Discussion Starter #15
BRyan, did you get any interior shots that you are able to share with us?
The interior wasn't completely ST, so I did not take any pictures. I could tell things were missing and I knew everyone would see them too and I did not want anyone to think the interior was accurate. The interior of the car from Chicago was accurate, except for the ESC off button.

Rodmoe, I have been around Performance Blue on the Focus ST and love it. The Fiesta ST in the same blue is equally as stunning. I am 100% getting Performance Blue when I buy one. The Molten Orange is a neat color since it changes under the lights. It is a little too wild for me, but the blue is perfect. Imagine a blue ST with white Axis or fifteen52 Tarmacs. Yummmy!
 

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Thanks I too have seen the P blue on a Focus at the dealer here and it is a bit different than my Kona Blue Mustang was but i don't think that's a bad thing lol. So here is a off the wall question do you have any idea what type of gas was in the car you drove ? like was it a 93 octane or the Brazilian equivalent? Like I said its a off the wall thing just trying to gauge the cars pref through your driving fun till mine gets here ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Thanks I too have seen the P blue on a Focus at the dealer here and it is a bit different than my Kona Blue Mustang was but i don't think that's a bad thing lol. So here is a off the wall question do you have any idea what type of gas was in the car you drove ? like was it a 93 octane or the Brazilian equivalent? Like I said its a off the wall thing just trying to gauge the cars pref through your driving fun till mine gets here ;)
good question on the fuel, and I don't know. I asked the same thing and nobody had an answer. The Global Rally Cross took care of shipping the fuel for the race cars, the ST's, and the F150 support trucks with the safety gear. I would have assumed it was 87, which would make the car slower than it would be on 93. I wish I had a better answer for you, but nobody had an answer when I asked. Normally, the power doesn't change significantly with octane, but it sure does with EcoBoost cars! I can't wait to run 93 octane in a ST and feel what it is like.
 

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You sir, are the focus for my envy. I've been trying to convince myself to move up in size, it sounds like that'll be harder than I thought!
 

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Thanks for the great write up. Is the ECS off button in the blank space next to the drivers seat heater?
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Thanks for the great write up. Is the ECS off button in the blank space next to the drivers seat heater?
yep, right where it should have been since day 1. Press and Hold for a few seconds and the ESC turns off. I have waited since 2009 to have that button!

Captainmorbid, one drive of the Fiesta ST and you will be hooked. Don't bother going bigger, stay small and go fast.
 
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