Introducing the All-new Ford Fiesta ST

Welcome back everyone. Scrolling through YouTube today, I came across this video of the upcoming Ford Fiesta ST, and you know what…it looks pretty good. In the video you can see that it dances across the track nicely and the chassis looks as lively as ever.

The upcoming redesigned model receives both Sport and Race modes, similar to that of it’s bigger brother, the Focus RS.

Although I like the styling, I’m not completely sold on the exterior. Can’t quite put my finger on it, maybe it’s the taillights or the LED strip in the headlights, but something doesn’t work for me. I do like that they addition of the adaptive headlights like that of the projector lamps find on the Focus RS and Focus ST (ST2/3 package), only these are a jewel pattern similar to that of Acura. These might be part of an upgrade package similar to how they structure the Focus ST with the ST 1,2, & 3 . Depending on your selection you get upgraded lighting, seats and infotainment system based on the package.

On the inside they improved the look of the Recaros. They still look very supportive while looking a bit less restrictive. In the picture below you can see that they are covered in cloth rather than the two-toned partial leather you see in the current generations ST2 package and have a stiched pattern that runs vertical down the middle portion of the seats.

Reading up on the vehicle, Ford gave the horsepower output a small bump to 200 from the 197 hooning ponies you get now. There is an optional LSD which I’m sure lots of enthusiasts will select the opt box for when purchasing. Aside from what I mentioned earlier the ST also gets Ford’s patented – force vectoring springs and the addition of launch control, so you can now “Send It!” without the need for aftermarket ECU tuning.

From what I’ve read the Fiesta ST will not make its way back to the states after 2018, so it’s likely that we will not get this model version of the ST. But that door is not 100% closed as markets outside of Europe will be discussed at a later date per a Ford spokesman.

For now I’m just waiting on the Focus ST launch and promo videos to surface, because that seems to be the only Ford hot hatch making its way back to the states after 2018 models.

Video and photos courtesy of Ford Europe and the interwebs https://youtu.be/gQ_0xOTITbQ

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1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,NINE…oh my!

Heeeee’s Baaaaack!  The world famous Hoonigan Ken Block has returned to deliver another monumental Gymkhana thrill ride.  And man does he get you on the edge of your seat with his 9th, I mean…NINE’th one.   Ken and his all new 600hp Ford Focus RS RX take his driving skillz to new heights.  

Now pop some popcorn,  strap yourself into your makeshift Recaro and hold on tight!  It’s going to be one h3ll of a ride! 

Please don’t try this!!!  I’ve seen too many RS’s already ruined thinking that drift mode will make them Formula D super stars and fail miserably. 

Video courtesy of Hoonigan 

Gymkhana 8 is here, no wait it’s in…Dubai!?!

This is me usually when I am running late to catch the bus.  HAHAHA!  I kid, I kid!  This is actually the long awaited return of Ken Block and his Gymkhana series (#8 for those keeping track).  This time Ken and his 650hp Fiesta are raising havoc in Dubai.  Wait, what…they use Ferrari’s and G-Wagon’s for police cars in Dubai??? (Relax Mike this was just for the video).

Gymkhana 8 is truly a must see video for any driving enthusiast and exotic car nut. Coincidentally, this appears to be a super promo for some upcoming Ford vehicles. Check for the Ford Raptor, 2016 Focus RS and the 2017 Ford GT all making cameos.

Can’t wait for the Focus RS version in Gymkhana 9.

 

Enjoy!

video courtesy of Ford

Drift Battle Hoonigan Style

I remember when back in the day when they were only drifting Hachi-Roku’s a.k.a. AE86’s a.k.a. Toyota Corolla hatchbacks
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and Silvia’s.
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We would beam with joy from as the pillows of smoke, the screeching of tires and the smell of burnt rubber filled the air at drift events.  You could hear the crowd cheering and screaming “one more ‘gin!” A way to tell the judges that the drift battle was too close to call. Those moments fueled me to want to get my hands on a rear-wheel drive something, just to practice sliding around corners.

Since the day Formula D was first introduced to America’s soil and trickled it’s way down to SoCal,  thousands of kids bought and modified every Nissan 240SX and Corolla they could get their hands on. Well in the last 20 years (plus or minus), things have changed…A LOT!!!

When did a Lambo become disposable enough to do the dirty dance against Formula D champion Vaughn Gittin Jr. in the streets on Russia?  Check out this video.

A Lambo…really?!

Video from Monster.

Photos borrowed gingerly from the interwebs…hehe.

Welcome to the Darkside!

Well, Saturday my friend Corey calls me up and starts firing off questions…”Where are you?  What are you doing right now?  When is the next time you will be on this side of town?”  I tell him “Whoa, slow it down there partner.  Whats going on? ”  Then he tells me that he bought It!  He made the purchase that changes the fabric of our automotive lives.

Now I know that there are those out there are saying, “Whats the big deal?  Your friend bought a car.”  Well I say…back away from the computer and get back to your competitive couponing!  You’re probably wondering what so special about this car purchase?  You see,  I have know Corey for a good 20+ years and we have been import owners and car enthusiasts from birth.  Between the two of us we have owned and modded/customized over 20 cars (with the exception of the $500 CRX that I bought with a post dated check that ended up getting impounded for not having current tags).  We have gone from Honda Civic’s, that impounded CRX, Accord, S-2000, 2 Acura Integra’s, a TL, a Datsun 510, 2 Mitsubishi Evo’s, a Miata, VW Rabbit and the list goes on.  All special to us in their own right.  But, for my friends and I – this purchase… this right here…this is a game changer!

So on this day Corey calls telling me that he just picked up a 2015 black on black 5.0 Mustang GT with the Track Package.  A 435-hp All-American V8 with a lowered tuned suspension sitting on 19’s with 2 Recaro seats that keep you nestled quite nicely for some high speed Hooniganism. For comparison, the Evo that he gave up for this Muscle Car actually put 350-hp to the wheels, which is roughly about 395-ish horsepower from a engine half the size of the Mustang, but turbocharged.  Now those of you that are unfamiliar with what all these numbers mean, the average car driving down the road puts around with 200-hp and everyone driving them thinks that they are Mario Jeff Andretti Gordon.  Take a look at all those guys in their Honda Civic Si’s or Scion FR-S or even that BMW 328 flying down the freeway thinking that he is doing the most.  Each one of the aforementioned cars is putting out almost twice the power of those cars and wouldn’t break a sweat while tearing that Civic or BMW a new one.

Taking advantage of the Labor Day weekend, my wife and I headed to my buddy’s side of town to sample what this FORD had to offer.  And to find out why he switched over to…The Darkside!

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We met up in the Best Buy parking lot over in the LBC to take a few snaps before seeing what makes this new Mustang, so special.

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My initial impression was, WOW!  This thing is…WOW!!!  The lines, the wheels, the lowered stance, to the sloping rear window.  The proportions and styling with the Track Package all contribute to the aggressive look which is further backed up when the angry V8 is brought to life with a push of the Start/Stop button.

We saw what I like to call Darth Vader sitting in the parking lot so I had him pull up next to it.  It’s another American Beauty…The Chevy Camaro ZL1!  Here are a few from when the GT met the ZL1.  Easy fellas…

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As you may be able to tell from the photos, the ZL1 is more beast mode than the GT, but at a $70k sticker and 100-hp more, it should be.

After the quick cell phone paparazzi session, we folded my 6’3″ son in the rear seat and strapped myself in the passenger seat of the Mustang.  A few toggles of the performance settings, a blip of the throttle and we were off.

Man, the sound of that V8 is intoxicating.  When he let off the clutch and mashed down on the go-fast pedal, I was thrust back into the Recaro with a Joker-esque smile was plastered across my face.  Being a passenger when my friend drives is a thrill ride in itself, and the all new Mustang is like the new Twisted Colossus at Six Flags.  It has that nostalgic American heritage, but it is draped in enough modern gadgetry to wow you.  The ride was surprisingly smooth and compliant for a sports car with 19 inch wheels and summer tires.  With 435-hp, there was plenty of power on tap in any gear.  Cruising in 4th gear, you simply drop the hammer and everything in the rear-view gets really tiny, really fast.  There is no need to downshift to try and muster up torque like you would need to do in lesser powered cars.

The good things about being friends for so long is being trusted…trusted enough to drive his brand new car and not be afraid that I would tear it up.  I mean we used to take turns co-piloting for each other while we raced all over the So-Cal freeways like we were a pro-rally team, so I guess that evokes some confidence in each other.  Besides he rode my GSX-R from the dealership the day I bought it (8 years ago), so taking hold of his almost $40k Stang should be an even trade 🙂

I had my wife go for a ride in the black beauty.  Obviously a ploy on my part to get her new car endorphins kicking in, hehehe!  They were gone for a good while racing through the local industrial area under the night sky’s cloak of darkness.  When I finally caught up with them and she exited the car, I could see her smiling from a mile away.  She was impressed but then I got really sad because I heard her muttering to Corey how she has already banned me from buying cars…for the next 5 years!  WHUUUUT!?

It was finally my turn to tame this steed, so I buckled into the drivers side Recaro and started to measured myself to the steering wheel and pedals.  My hand gripped the shift knob, depressed the clutch and we were off.  I took it easy at first because I didn’t to pull a rookie move and stall it.  Once we started rolling, I gave the accelerator a good squeeze and threw Corey back in his own passenger seat.  “Second! Second!”  I hear him as I shift and another rush of power came over us as the speedo and tach needles raced higher and higher.  The shifts were smooth and the throws were short.  Out of the corner of my eye, I see him smiling as we come upon a red light.  I really wanted to do a burnout, but I’ll leave the tire shredding to the owner of this wild pony car.  He told me to take it on the freeway to get a feel for it.  The freeway on-ramp never knew what hit it.  This car is like a rocket!  We blasted onto the freeway and I dipped into traffic and did my thing.  Lane change, smash the gas and exit after exit flew by.  We were moving!  This was very reminiscent of our old freeway romps when we were younger.  This car is a blast to drive!  It is very sure-footed for a muscle car with such a robust engine.  Braking with the Brembo calipers is enough to pop an eye out of the socket.  What amazed me the most is that the car handles so well, unlike the 2011 Camaro SS I drove at a Chevy event.  Can you say nose heavy?

Well this is a lot of words and I definitely could go on and on so I will wind it down.  I do want to commend Ford for creating the best-looking, and best handling Mustang ever!!!  The fit and finish on the interior was very nice.  From the soft touch dash, the center stack layout, all of the chrome accents, its a place you wouldn’t get tired of sitting in.  Quality, style and performance, this Stang is worth every penny.  All that’s left to say is…the Darkside never looked so tempting!

The 2015 Ford Mustang GT is the new American Revolution.  God Bless America!0906151925a

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Pictures of the just shy of 400-hp Evo and the owner (Corey) taking a nap.

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Ford Focus RS

I saw this video and had to repost it.  Ford has just put the exclamation point on the hot-hatch and the entry-level sports car segment!  They wet our whistle with the tossable Fiesta ST and it’s almost 200hp and the Focus ST with its 252hp and its mixed reviews of being too tame and not as fun as it’s little brother.  So thank you Ford for finally delivering on your promise to bring America the Focus RS.

Ford is claiming at least 345hp and all-wheel drive matted to a 6-speed manual gearbox. These numbers trump both, the VW Golf R with it’s 296hp and the Rally-bred Subaru WRX STi delivering 305hp respectively (the Mitsubishi Evolution will no longer be in production by the end of this year). Neither of these are anything to sneeze at, and both tip the horsepower power per dollar scale very nicely.

More expensive sports cars fail to deliver the driving dynamic and smiles that these two cars deliver with their sub 40k price range.  I mean, why spend 60-100k when you can have the same if not more fun for 40k.  My eyes and ears are peeled for what a Ford will require for enthusiast to stake claim for their very own U.S. spec Focus RS. My guess is the high 30’s so as not to undercut the Mustang too much, although it is geared towards a different crowd.  #Hooniganism

Hmmm, I wonder what Mazda will deliver with the Speed3…stay tuned.
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Photo courtesy of Jalopnik.