Ford Fiesta Test Drive - Ford ST Performance Academy

Discussion in 'Fiesta ST Photos and Media' started by Slip, Aug 15, 2013.

  1. Slip

    Slip Member

    Went down to FedEx Field in DC with some friends for the newest iteration of Ford ST Performance Academy. This time with both the Focus ST and Fiesta ST. My thoughts on the ST's driving experience?

    Well, I know I went in to this event a little cockier than I should have. I thought, “Hey, I autocross my own Fiesta so driving a boosted version of my car will be cake!"

    WRONG.

    I really should have taken the first lap to feel out the car instead of pouncing on it to get two hot laps in. The first corner and slalom were like a knife through butter and fell just short of perfect - after that - not so much. I tried to push it like I would my own car and overshot the next corner really badly; mowing down a whole slew of the marker cones. As per the rules we were given at the outset; going as badly off course as I did got me pulled from driving duty. I took it; it was my own fault. Lesson learned. The Fiesta ST is going to be a great car, and is NOT to be underestimated. I can only hope I get a redemption drive at some point before they hit dealer lots so I can see what it’s really made of!

    But enough about the handling... As far as fit and finish goes this car has it nailed down. We had the chance to ogle a test car that a Ford Engineer brought to Carlisle this year and everything that wasn't quite ready then has been polished to a shine. The partial leather Recaros are the ONLY option you should be going with as far as I'm concerned. They are superb. All the new controls inside fall easily within reach and the 6-speed is just as smooth as the one in the larger Focus ST.

    Here is my lap in the Fiesta ST gone wrong, lol. In retrospect, I think I got really out of shape because I punched the throttle and was expecting the car to understeer a little like the Focus ST.... but as you can see in the video I slide out through the cones in an entirely neutral manner. Almost straight sideways in fact. Neutral handling = very good, if not unexpected in this case, lol.

     
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  3. tommy

    tommy New Member

    I'd agree with you. I did about the same thing. Didn't take out a whole bank of cones like you did, but didn't have impressive times either. I guess I'm too used to my crx's setup - didn't get comfortable in the Fiesta ST until about halfway through the second lap. Also, the early forced shift into second threw me off. Oh well, not my tires and brake pads. o_O
     
  4. Removed

    Removed Guest

    Totally agree. Got a chance to see/drive a 2014 Fiesta SE and an ST back-to-back and maybe it's me, but it seems like the interior quality (plastics, etc.) definitely got an upgrade versus the base fiesta. The leather shift knob, shift boot, e-brake, wheel and Recaros really make the car feel upscale. Even the SE seemed nicer inside that previous years.
     
  5. Slip

    Slip Member

    Yeah, Ford has been stepping up their interior game over previous years. The leather seats from my year car (2011) don't really have any embellishment other than the white piping along the seams. If you see the leather seats in the new 2014's, they have stitched patterns in the center of the seat, like ribbing and what-not, that REALLY add a bit of class to the look.

    It's also worth noting that the base seats in the 2014 Fiesta's have a pattern that looks strangely like the European seat from 4 years ago that we never got Stateside
     

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