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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
First off, let me send out major props to Fiesta Movement Agent 25 (Charlie Brumfield and Nick Malone of Burnout Radio) Burnout Radio - the slightly humorous podcast for everything automotive.

Second, Thanks to Jordan Ford for hosting this event and letting Charlie and Nick leave some tire marks in their front lot. It was a blast!

Third, THANK YOU FORD FOR LETTING THIS CAR SEE PAVEMENT IN THE US!

I am now a total believer in the Fiesta and I believe that this car will revolutionize how America sees compacts provided consumers get to experience this car.









Normally, whenever I drive by Jordan Ford in San Antonio, Texas, I'm riding on my motorcycle doing near 75 MPH. Legal speedlimit, of course.

Even at highway speeds, you really can't miss the large "Jordan" lettering on the face of the building, the large LED sign in the middle of the parking lot, and the rows upon rows of Mustangs and F150's that create a border that separates the access road of Interstate 35 and Jordan Ford's parking lot, but today was a little different.

I didn't see those rows and rows of Mustangs or those rows and rows of F150's. Instead, I see something that makes me much more enthusiastic.

I see bright orange cones.

In the middle of those orange cones was a shape and color that I have only seen on various automotive forums.

Before me was a Grabber Green Ford Fiesta.










I pull into the parking lot and quickly hop off my motorcycle. I take my gloves and helmet off and walk towards a conveniently placed canopy right beside the Fiesta. I immediately introduce myself to everyone and start shaking hands. I am almost as quivery as a school girl who is about to receive her first kiss.

Why?

Quite simply because I cannot believe that I'm standing less than 20 feet away from one of the most anticipated subcompact vehicles of this decade and I might have the opprotunity to actually get behind the wheel and put it through its paces.

I break away from my moment of being in awe and dig out my camera to get some pics. This moment must be documented and documented it will be.










Snapping my first pics, I'm greeted by Charlie Brumfield who is Ford's Fiesta Movement Agent 25. (For more info on this go to Fiesta Movement | The 2011 Ford Fiesta: Live Feed | FiestaMovement.com)

"How are you today?" he asks.

"I'm doing great, how 'bout yourself?"

"Awesome! Do you want to drive?"

"Hell yeah I want to drive it!"

He gives me the waiver form to sign and gives me another form to sign to recieve information about the Fiesta and The Fiesta Movement.










Finally inside the car, my eyes immediately focus on the stereo. It's probably the most standout piece on the whole interior. It begs to be seen, but I'm not here to critique interior design or to describe it. There are enough interior pictures on the internet. I'm here to DRIVE IT!

I reposition the seat and rev the motor up a bit and in traditional auto enthusiast fashion, dump the clutch and spin the wheels a bit to jump out of the starting box of this mini autocross course.

With the engine screaming, I enter the mini sweeper, the inside wheel begins to spin on entry into the turn. It's apparent that I'm pushing this car, but not hard enough to satisfy my naughty bits. I immediately know the car can take more than what I'm throwing at it.

Exiting out of the first turn, I set up for a mini slalom that would throw off the balance of even the sportiest compact vehicle on the market today.

The next gate is a tight shikane that really tests the cars ability to grip when pushed to the max. My first instinct is to get on the brakes and unfortunately I succumb to my insecurities and press the brake then quickly jump back on the gas to make the front tires pull me into the stopping box.

One thing is certain. When you want this car to stop, it will stop, and it will stop quickly. I was shocked to find that this car did not have disk brakes all the way around.

All in all,my first run was decent for someone who had never driven this car before, but I want to push the car a little harder.

We circle back around to the starting box and I get another chance to redeem myself.

My second run is better. I don't hit the brakes as hard on my entry into the shikane, but the cars feedback is telling me that I can still push harder.

At the end of my second run, Charlie asks me about what I thought about the car.







The first thing that pops into my head is that it is very similar to my stock Ford Focus ZX5's handling and that is a very good thing. Most other manufacturers suspensions are soft and boring. You never get responsive feedback from them like you do with a Focus and this car does just that. The Fiesta's suspension, in stock form, is very adequate.


Charlie tells me to let him drive and he'll show me what this car is capable of and that he does.







I realize that I was too soft on the car, even when I thought I was pushing it.

We were able to cause the car to understeer, but most of that was caused by the winter tires that Ford accidentally sent for the car.

(No Ford, South Texas does not have winters like Michigan. We can run summer tires year round.)


I was able to get ahold of a few friends and con....errr.....beg them to come out and test out the Fiesta. They are all Focaljet members so I knew they'd jump at the chance to put the car through the paces. After all, Focaljet has a sister forum called Fiesta Faction (Fiesta Faction: The Ford Fiesta Enthusiast Community), right?

Everyone that drove the Fiesta really loved it. Myself included.....and I drove it a total of 9 times today. That's how much fun I had in this car.

Getting down to the nitty gritty, the Fiesta is amazing for being a subcompact. I've driven a lot of cars and no other subcompact that I've driven feels this nice. The steering is soft and allows you to spin the wheel under hard cornering. The brakes are amazing. The interior is fun. The exterior is flowing. This car is a winner, plain and simple.


People are going to love this car if they give it a chance.



P.S. Ford, please make a ST version with Ecoboost.









David Barnett




VIDEOS:



 

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Thanks for the review, Dave!

Do you have any other cars besides your Focus and bike? I assume you're very familiar with manual transmissions.
There sure must be something you didn't like about the Fiesta? Maybe the seats were too narrow? Would you feel more secure if the car had disc brakes instead of drums in the back?

Would you buy this car in a heartbeat, or testdrive the final US version first?
Did you feel like you were on the Jay Leno show, driving a great Euro-Ford? (okay, it's a Focus, but still..)

Nice pictures; looking forward to seeing your video!

Marc

ps Welcome :)
 

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Autocrossing is a blast to do, I should look at my schedule and see when the next event near me is so I can do it again. I may not be a fan of Green on cars but I do love that shade of Green called da Squeeze on the Fiesta. Glad to also know it will be offered on the North American line up. I think Ford of CA has offered some serious hints as to the color line up for North America. Aside all that looks like it was tons of fun and yes Ford ST Fiesta please with an Ecoboost and Manual Tranny to go with it.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the review, Dave!

Do you have any other cars besides your Focus and bike? I assume you're very familiar with manual transmissions.
There sure must be something you didn't like about the Fiesta? Maybe the seats were too narrow? Would you feel more secure if the car had disc brakes instead of drums in the back?

Would you buy this car in a heartbeat, or testdrive the final US version first?
Did you feel like you were on the Jay Leno show, driving a great Euro-Ford? (okay, it's a Focus, but still..)

Nice pictures; looking forward to seeing your video!

Marc

ps Welcome :)
Thanks Marc.

I own a ZX3, ZX5, and a Yamaha Warrior 1700.

What I'm saying in my writeup is absolute truth. It reminded me of my stock ZX5 in the handling department.

The steering did feel like it was assisted because of the ease of use. It was really soft and required little effort at all to make the car turn.

The brakes are more than adequate in my opinion. They provide great stopping power and the ABS is not overbearing and doesn't cause the bumpiness that most other ABS systems have.

Disk brakes on a performance model? Sure, but this particular car was fine with the drums.

As for what I would change....

As a commuter car for the average person, this car is a perfectly balanced subcompact. I really loved the convex mirrors. The rear window is a great size to see out of. The trunk room is adequate for a car of its size. The back seat "LOOKED" a little cramped for most average Americans, but at the same time, this car isn't as roomy as a Bentley.

The seats did not pose a problem for the short distances that I was driving the car. Now, if I had taken the car for a long road trip, perhaps I would notice the nuances of the seats. For Autocrossing, I would want a little more bolster.

From an enthusiast stand point, a short throw shifter would feel right at home to me. I currently have a Tri-Ax STS in my ZX3, so I'm used to a little more positive feel from the shifter.

The stock shifter movement reminded me of the factory Focus shifter feel as well.


From what I gathered, the Fiesta came from Ford with Perelli P-Zero's and Charlie Brumfield said that they felt great on the car, but I could tell that the tires that were currently on the car held it back and that was evident when the car was pushed to the limit of the tires.

The car kept begging for more to be thrown at it, but the tires could not and would not take any more. Notice the picture of the Fiesta cresting the Apex. This is when Charlie got a little understeer when he went into the first turn.


I would seriously consider this car as a replacement if I ever decided to get rid of my Focus as long as the American version feels like this one.

Ford really does have a winner on its hands and I'd love to see a performance model come out of this.

dave.
 

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Hopefully we can get the ST model along with the Focus ST. Its a very high hope though and I won't hold my breath.
 

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your review of the Fiesta sounds exactly like the stuff I write! The Fiesta reminds me of my ZX3 as well, and the only real modification needed is a short throw shifter. I love the pic of the Fiesta badge with the tire rubber on it. Charlie and Nick are doing a great job of pushing the Fiesta to the limit! I found this weekend that I have balls of rubber stuck inside the inner fenders from open track use!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Yeah, Brian. We mentioned you when we were talking about autocrossing a Fiesta. I know there haven't been many people in the US who've had the privilege to run these around a tarmac or around cones.

The car really does feel like a Focus minus the steering IMO. The steering is much more soft, but everything else is pretty much spot on compared to the MK1 Focus.

dave.
 

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Is it safe to assume that most Focus ZX owners are moving to the Fiesta hatchback because of the lack of a hb Focus?

Also, where are the reviews of Focus sedan owners? ;)
 

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Owning the US ST Sedan I give it a 9.9 out of 10. Only problem is lack of cargo space you get with the 5DR Hatch.
 

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This is interesting

I fail to understand why someone would put a car that is designed for getting from point "A" to point "B" to thru this kind of abuse.

It's good to know that it was a factory demo unit.

I also fail to see the point of driving this car (an EU Fiesta) to get a feel for a car that will not be identical.

It seems if you are going to autocross, that you would buy a dedicated car, have it modified and then trailer it to each venue.

I don't see the logic in taking a car designed to be an efficient comfortable commuter and disabling, and modifying it to a point to where the ride is compromised, and the fuel efficiency is affected.

Therefore, I think it would be an ideal situation where you had a daily driver, and then, as I said before a car for the autocrossing that you trailered to each event.....

Think about it then you have 3 nice Ford products, 1. The Truck to pull the trailer (F150) 2. The "modified Fiesta" 3. The daily driver.

That is what makes sense to me. That way when you go to car shows you don't have to worry about bug shields and all detailing away all that road grime when you get there! The car is nice and snug as a bug in a rug in it's trailer and no detailing when you get to the car show/autocross etc or whatever. Plus, since you are not driving it on the roads, you could do so many more modifications, and not have to worry about being street legal.

Ford wins too! 3 sales instead of one!:D:p
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
I fail to understand why someone would put a car that is designed for getting from point "A" to point "B" to thru this kind of abuse.

It's good to know that it was a factory demo unit.

I also fail to see the point of driving this car (an EU Fiesta) to get a feel for a car that will not be identical.

It seems if you are going to autocross, that you would buy a dedicated car, have it modified and then trailer it to each venue.

I don't see the logic in taking a car designed to be an efficient comfortable commuter and disabling, and modifying it to a point to where the ride is compromised, and the fuel efficiency is affected.

Therefore, I think it would be an ideal situation where you had a daily driver, and then, as I said before a car for the autocrossing that you trailered to each event.....

Think about it then you have 3 nice Ford products, 1. The Truck to pull the trailer (F150) 2. The "modified Fiesta" 3. The daily driver.

That is what makes sense to me. That way when you go to car shows you don't have to worry about bug shields and all detailing away all that road grime when you get there! The car is nice and snug as a bug in a rug in it's trailer and no detailing when you get to the car show/autocross etc or whatever. Plus, since you are not driving it on the roads, you could do so many more modifications, and not have to worry about being street legal.

Ford wins too! 3 sales instead of one!:D:p


______________________________________________________________


Um...obviously your ignorant to exactly what you've witnessed and even more obvious is that you're trying to be a troll (given the fact that you have bombarded my email with a bunch of nonsense started talking smack on my youtube videos), but because I am a reasonable guy, I'll answer your questions.

I fail to understand why someone would put a car that is designed for getting from point "A" to point "B" to thru this kind of abuse.

It's good to know that it was a factory demo unit.

This was part of the challenge given to Burnout Radio for the FiestaMovement.com agents. If you remember back, the Fiesta Agents were given challenges and one challenge that Ford gave Burnout Radio was to autocross a Fiesta. So that's why we're abusing a car that was meant to go from A to B.

Ford wanted as many people to put the car through the abuse to prove that it can withstand it. Given the fact that these cars go through much worse in the testing period before they are ever see the sales floor, I don't think we beat this car all that much.


I also fail to see the point of driving this car (an EU Fiesta) to get a feel for a car that will not be identical.
Again, this was a challenge for fiestamovement.com. The American spec Fiesta was not available at the time and a marketing and human relations expert such as yourself should clearly be able to see the advantage of putting this car out there for the public to physically be able to touch, see, and smell.


It seems if you are going to autocross, that you would buy a dedicated car, have it modified and then trailer it to each venue.

Think about it then you have 3 nice Ford products, 1. The Truck to pull the trailer (F150) 2. The "modified Fiesta" 3. The daily driver.
Again, John, you show ignorance so allow me to educate you on autocrossing.

There are some people who do have a dedicated car that they autocross, but for many people, this is just not an option, so being car enthusiasts who love to push the boundries of their car on a closed course that is safe, some use their daily driven cars.

If you do your research on autocrossing, you'll find that it is an autosport that the average joe or grassroots racer can enjoy. The cost is very inexpensive and the risk of actually doing major damage to your vehicle is minimal.

Being a grassroots racer means that you generally don't have sponsors to donate money for a large truck or trailer. Most of it comes out of your own pocket.

The other point that you're obviously ignorant on is the fact that a car MUST be modified to run in an autocross. As per the SCCA handbook, they have stock classes specifically for stock vehicles. In many cases, novice drivers start with a stock vehicle and learn to drive the vehicle correctly before adding mods that will aid in masking bad driving habits
.....because the most important mod you can ever do to a car is improve the driver.


Many autocross drivers that drive their daily driven car get a better feel for what the car is capable of in hairy situations which leads to a safer all around experience in daily situations on the highway.

A person who is not familiar in the absolute breaking point capabilites of their vehicle may make the wrong move and potentially put themselves and their families in life threatening situations, where as a person who knows the limits of the car and their capabilities as a driver will be able to make a better decision and have a faster reaction time to avoid such situations.

In the case in which you're asking, again, let me reiterate that this was a challenge given to the Fiestamovement.com agent and that's why we autocrossed this car.


So, in closing, I hope that I've somehow educated you a little on the reason why we autocrossed this Fiesta.



dave.
 

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Thanks for the detailed post Redlight. Autocrossing is a great/safe way for people to get initiated to the limits of their cars.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Thanks for the detailed post Redlight. Autocrossing is a great/safe way for people to get initiated to the limits of their cars.
Thank you Ron. Autocrossing is a great way to hone your skills for sure. I hope we see more Fiestas at the upcoming autocrosses in the future.

dave.
 

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@Redlight

Don't know who you are.....you are a "newbie" so I hardly know how I could have gotten your personal email much less your youtube channel, unless you are one of the people that a certain "mod" here put up to bombarding MY email account.

Since I am trying really hard to be nice, I won't be rude.....but accusing me of bombarding someone I don't even know is just not called for.

For the record....My personal blog has been bombarded by a bunch of people who seem to think I was unusually harsh on my opinion of a certain member of the moderating staff here. I just called it like I saw it.

If you want to tell me who you are instead of hiding behind a "newbie" user name, then go ahead, otherwise....just leave well enough alone.

And as far as the other, If you can't afford to do something right, don't do it at all! A truck, with all the incentives Ford is offering right now, is not really that expensive, $18 -$20 thousand for a nice trailer one with a generator and air conditioning, I would probably just go ahead and get a nice "B" class motorhome to pull it with, that way you don't have all the lodging expenses when you travel.

That's how you do it right. Anything else is just so high school........

Both of my brothers race IMCA Modified....they both have nice Freightliner Century Class trucks with Featherlite custom trailers...they have sponsors, but if you think sponsors come even close to covering the cost of what they have you are sorely mistaken......A good portion comes out of your own pocket. They also include their families in their hobby......The whole point of the Truck/Coach and trailer....so everyone can go.
 

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...If you can't afford to do something right, don't do it at all! A truck, with all the incentives Ford is offering right now, is not really that expensive, $18 -$20 thousand for a nice trailer one with a generator and air conditioning, I would probably just go ahead and get a nice "B" class motorhome to pull it with, that way you don't have all the lodging expenses when you travel.

That's how you do it right. Anything else is just so high school........

Both of my brothers race IMCA Modified....they both have nice Freightliner Century Class trucks with Featherlite custom trailers...they have sponsors, but if you think sponsors come even close to covering the cost of what they have you are sorely mistaken......A good portion comes out of your own pocket. They also include their families in their hobby......The whole point of the Truck/Coach and trailer....so everyone can go.
Performance driving (autocrossing, drag strips, road courses) is much more than having dedicated, custom trailers and vehicles, or sponsors, or even licenses. It's not an "elitist" activity or something that's monetarily based. Even if there is no fancy motorhome, countless of spouses and family members take part through volunteering or just showing up -- heck, some even participate. Performance driving is about improving yourself as a driver, and knowing your limits AND your vehicle's limits.

"Doing it right" is actually getting behind the wheel and learning. It's not about having all the fancy gear that make you think you can.
 

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Don't know who you are.....you are a "newbie" so I hardly know how I could have gotten your personal email much less your youtube channel, unless you are one of the people that a certain "mod" here put up to bombarding MY email account.
YouTube - Broadcast Yourself.

Funny, seems to be a reply from you right there trashing his work. And I am curious, who are you accusing of putting people up to bombard emails? I know of no mod here that has done such a thing.


And as far as the other, If you can't afford to do something right, don't do it at all! A truck, with all the incentives Ford is offering right now, is not really that expensive, $18 -$20 thousand for a nice trailer one with a generator and air conditioning, I would probably just go ahead and get a nice "B" class motorhome to pull it with, that way you don't have all the lodging expenses when you travel.

That's how you do it right. Anything else is just so high school........
SCCA - Results

D Street Prepared class....first place. Pat Lipsinic. 200K+ mile daily driven 2000 Subaru Impreza 2.5RS takes first place in class at a Divisional Solo event.

And again: 2007 Results and Points

And again: 2008 Event Results

And again: 2006 Results

And again: 2006 Results

And again: 2005 Event Results

And again: 2005 Event Results

I'd say taking a daily driven car and winning that many Divisional events is how you do it right and DEFINITELY NOT "high school".

BTW, there are 9 Divisions across the US made up of about 15-20 Regions in each. Winning at a Divisional is beating the best of the best.
 

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It didn't say "Dentless Dave"

It said Redlight......I didn't know who that was, and the Dentless guy did in fact leave a message on my blog, criticizing me for criticizing a certain moderator on this board. And I wasn't bashing his work. You in fact, can remove small hail dings with dry ice, and intense heat. Some body shops do it, so it's not just something Joe Sixpack does to save some cash....The Paintless Dent guys fill a very important gap, and save people a lot of money.

Anyway, if you want to make fun of my opinions, its a free world....It's no skin off of my back. I told Ron I wasn't going to instigate, and I am not. I will respond if spoken to, but I do not intend to further any ill feelings.

As far as my opinions about racing/autocrossing etc, those are just my opinions, just like all of you have your own opinions.

Nothing is meant to hurt anyone's feelings or any of the like. Just opinions.
 

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I ran my daily driven 1996 Saturn SC2 in DSP and was a Detroit Council Class Champion in 2000 and Detroit Region SCCA Class Champion in 2001 and 2002. in 2003 or so I switched to Street Touring [I was tired of changing tires] and was 2nd in 2009 in the Detroit Region in my 2002 Saturn SC2. On "street" tires :D Having a truck and a trailer and a dedicated car for Solo events would be nice but a bit of a hassle and a lot of money to do three or four 45-60 second runs at an event. I really enjoy driving to Solo events, removing my spare tire, jack and floor mats and I'm ready to run. Oh and pump up the tires to 42-47 psi or so. One big appeal to Solo is you don't need a truck and trailer and dedicated race car to participate. You don't even need to own a helmet -- we have loaner helmets available. and you can share a car with a buddy so you don't really need a car.
 

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It said Redlight......I didn't know who that was, and the Dentless guy did in fact leave a message on my blog, criticizing me for criticizing a certain moderator on this board. And I wasn't bashing his work. You in fact, can remove small hail dings with dry ice, and intense heat. Some body shops do it, so it's not just something Joe Sixpack does to save some cash....The Paintless Dent guys fill a very important gap, and save people a lot of money.
I am sure Redlight can inform you what kind of mistake it would be for the average Joe to try and dry ice a body ding. More damage will likely happen than repair.

Anyway, if you want to make fun of my opinions, its a free world....It's no skin off of my back.
No making fun of opinions, just informing you of your misinformed view on motorsports.

I told Ron I wasn't going to instigate, and I am not. I will respond if spoken to, but I do not intend to further any ill feelings.
This sure seems like instigating things, accusing someone of something that did not happen:
...unless you are one of the people that a certain "mod" here put up to bombarding MY email account...
As far as my opinions about racing/autocrossing etc, those are just my opinions, just like all of you have your own opinions.

Nothing is meant to hurt anyone's feelings or any of the like. Just opinions.
As I stated before, misinformed opinions that people like me, GapBoy, and Redlight, who are educated in this area, are trying to correct bad assumptions.
 
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