Ford Fiesta

Ford Fiesta

In the shadows of all the auto shows going on around the world, Ford took to the Autosport International Racing Car Show in Birmingham, England to unveil the 2012 Ford Fiesta WRC Rally Car dressed in its new livery.

Heading into its sophomore season in the WRC, the Fiesta is looking to build on the surprising success it had last year when it won the season-opening and season-ending races as the successor to the Ford Focus WRC .

Just like last year, the Fiesta RS Rally Car comes with a 1.6-liter Ford Ecoboost turbo engine and has been designed with the Blue Oval’s acclaimed ’kinetic design’ styling language. The car was prepared for rally-spec use by Ford’s long-time partner M-Sport and as has been the case for years now, Castrol remains the team’s primary sponsor.

The Fiesta RS’ surprising showing at the 2011 WRC season has given the team high hopes for a better showing this year. If for nothing else, the team should give perennial title-holder, Citroen , a serious run for its money.

The Stig is an intimidating character that even the most professional of racers can’t help but be in awe of. At least that’s what the Stig likes to think of himself. We can’t blame him for the lack of oxygen in his head. Lord knows how long it’s been since he last took that helmet off, but whatever you think of him, the dude is a polarizing figure that needs someone of equal stature to put him in check.

Enter Ken Block.

The world-class rally driver recently teamed up with Top Gear ’s resident test driver for a promotional gig for Top Gear Australia magazine. The two are scheduled to be in the cover of the November issue of the magazine and you can expect that article to be a must-read.

Before that issue hits newsstands, though, Top Gear Australia bought a camera crew to a race track to film the two drifter extraordinaires participate in a one-on-one Hoonigan show in Melbourne, featuring Block’s Monster Rally Fiesta and the Stig’s ride-of-choice, the Australian-born Ford Falcon FPV.

Check out the video after the jump and wait for the dramatic climax in the end. There’s plenty of rubber-burning, tire-shredding action in this 90-second promo video.

Hatchbacks may not offer the same kind of thrill as sports cars and muscle cars. They also don’t have the utility of SUVs and pick-ups. Heck, they’re not so much for luxury, either. But at the 2011 SEMA Auto Show , hatchbacks will have their turn in the spotlight as a host of custom-modded hatches will be making their way to Las Vegas.

This list comprises most of the vehicles you’ll see. There are Scions iQs, Ford Fiestas , Ford Focus , and even a Lexus CT200h . Not only are these vehicles modded to the brim, but they also give us an idea on all the possibilities that come with aftermarket works being done on hatches.

The people who think that hatches aren’t cool enough should take a good look at this list and if they don’t change their minds, then they really need to check themselves before they wreck themselves.

But for those like us that enjoy modded hatchbacks, this list will tell us all the vehicles we need to look out for at the SEMA Auto Show.

Check out the 2011 SEMA Auto Show: Hatchbacks after the jump.

The Chevrolet Camaro Hot Wheels Concept wasn’t the only car at SEMA bearing the Hot Wheels brand. Turns out, Chevy’s biggest rival, Ford, also had one in attendance, on a Ford Fiesta .

As far as the latter is concerned, the hatchback comes with edgy exterior graphics from Original Wraps with the Hot Wheels logo emblazoned on the sides of the car. It also has a new rear hatch spoiler, printed headliner technology from Freudenber Vitech, an aggressive Ford Racing suspension, and a new set of 18" custom-painted Motegi Racing wheels wrapped around Goodyear Eagle F1 Ultra Performance Low Profile tires. Meanwhile, the interior of the Team Hot Wheels Ford Fiesta Ford Fiesta boasts of a comprehensive, factory-available, two-tone interior package from Ford’s Custom Accessories division and a new short-throw shifter courtesy of Ford Racing.

The elaborate graphics design on the car alone was enough to catch our attention, but we also found out that nearly all of the styling components and functional accessories on this car are available from Ford Custom Accessories, Ford Licensed Accessories, or Ford Racing Performance Parts. That leads us to think that maybe we can dress up our own little Fiestas using this smoking hot Fiesta Hot Wheels racer as inspiration.

UPDATE 11/07/2011: We have added live images from the 2011 SEMA Show. Check them out in the picture gallery!

The Ford Fiesta did not have as many representatives at the SEMA Auto Show as that of the Ford Focus . Nevertheless, the former was in attendance in a variety of tuning programs, one of which comes courtesy of Gold Coast Automotive.

The US tuning firm prepared a program for the Ford Fiesta with an eye towards a comprehensive aerodynamic kit to go with a steady diet of performance modifications. In the case of the former, Gold Coast Automotive dressed up the Fiesta with a number of elements, including a 3dCarbon body kit, a SoCal SignWorx graphic wrap, a new fender flare kit, a custom front splitter, and a new APR Performance rear wing. As for the performance mods, the Fiesta was treated with a Jackson Racing Rotrex intercooled supercharger, a Wilwood four-piston front, a two-piston rear brake system, and a new set of Hankook Ventus racing tires.

All told, the changes done by Gold Coast Automotive on the Ford Fiesta have turned the car from a pedestrian hatchback to a definite eye-catcher. And at the end of the day, that’s what SEMA is all about, isn’t it?

UPDATE 11/07/2011: We have added live images from the SEMA Show. Check them out in the picture gallery!

Of the three SEMA Auto Show -bound Ford Fiestas , the one customized by Aaron Vaccar appears to be the one that has the least appeal, at least as far as first impressions are concerned.

But to say that little work was done on the car is completely ridiculous. As a matter of fact, this particular Ford Fiesta just may be the best of the bunch once you know all the modifications done.

Outside, Aaron Vaccar dressed the Fiesta with a custom BASF bright Silver Matte Metallic paint finish and a new set of 17" Advanti Racing V3 Vago wheels. As for the interior, the custom dress-up on the Fiesta includes a new Portable Trim red leather upholstery, a pair of Bride Vios III racing bucket seats, and a state-of-the-art audio system that features an MB Quart Onyx Series speaker and amplifiers.

On the performance side, Aaron Vaccar and his people also addressed some modifications to the Fiesta with the installation of several new components, including a new Weapon-R Secret Weapon air intake and a Wilwood Dynapro six-piston brake kit, among other things.

Wherever your tastes lie as far as this Fiesta is concerned, you can’t and won’t be able to deny the fact that Aaron Vaccar did a fantastic job on the car. We certainly attest to that.

The Ford Fiesta has turned out to be a very good addition to the US market, with many people showing great interest in the hatchback in a very short amount of time. Ford is now reaping in those growing sales numbers and to keep the momentum going, a number of tuners will be showcasing the Fiesta at the 2011 SEMA Auto Show. One of those tuners is M2-Motoring.

The new program for the Ford Fiesta combines form and function by adding an Injen Technologies cold-air intake system and a DC Sports cat-back exhaust. The chassis has been upgraded with a Wilwood big brake kit and Megan Racing coilovers. The most impressive feature, and surely the most noticeable at first glance, is the candy purple paint finish by Status Motorsports. That paint is also joined by a 3dCarbon body kit and upper roof spoiler. The interior is then treated to an upgraded Jensen Mobile Audio Power sound system and Audiovox flip-down touch-screen monitors.

Next to the Focus ST , Ford also unveiled the Fiesta ST at the Frankfurt Motor Show. The Fiesta ST is a concept car that features bold and dynamic exterior styling inspired by the Fiesta RS WRC and a driver-oriented interior. The concept also hints at what a future Fiesta ST performance model could look like.

The Fiesta ST concept continues a tradition started 35 years ago with models like the Fiesta XR2 and XR2i, Fiesta RS1800, and RS Turbo. Under the hood, the concept gets a 1.6-liter Ford EcoBoost engine that delivers a total of180 HP.

"The Fiesta has a rich history of high-performance models so a new ST performance model is a logical next step in our performance vehicle strategy for our global small cars," said Derrick Kuzak, Ford group vice president, Global Product Devel Devel opment. "The Fiesta ST Concept continues that tradition by showing how a global performance version of our best-selling B-car can be both technically advanced and dramatically styled."

Hit the jump to read more about the Ford Fiesta ST Concept.

It was only a few days ago that we brought you spy shots of the Fiesta-based Ford B-Max , but apparently that won’t be the only model using the small hatchback’s platform. New spy shots reveal that Ford is also preparing a new baby Kuga which we expect will debut late next year.

The yet-unnamed baby Kuga will be placed below the current Kuga and will be offered with the same engines and gearboxes found in the Fiesta line-up. However, there may be a more powerful version offered to compensate for the higher weight of the SUV or a more powerful engine for the optional four-wheel-drive version.

The baby Kuga’s main target market will be Europe where it will take on models like the MINI Countryman , but judging from the fact that this test model was caught testing at the top of Pikes Peak, it may also be available in the US.

Every year, the collective wait surrounding the release of Ken Block’s Gymkhana video seems to grow by the load and it shouldn’t come as a surprise that a lot of fans have waited in earnest for the release of the fourth installment of Gymkhana. So now that it’s out, it’s time to sit back, relax, and marvel at Block’s expertise in theatrical hooning.

Similar to Block’s Gymkhana TWO: The Infomercial, Gymkhana 4: The Hollywood Megamercial shows the man himself performing a seven-minute hoon-a-thon inside the lot of Universal Studios Hollywood. The whole production set-up is amazingly executed by director Ben Conrad with an ode to Hollywood-style film-making that involves plenty of pyrotechnics, gorilla stunts, explosives, and lots of tire-burning hooning action.

Block’s newly-launched Ford Fiesta H.F.H.V is the other star of the show as it blasts through a number of film sets belonging to some of the most iconic Hollywood blockbusters of all time. Heck, even the infamous mechanical shark from Jaws makes an appearance in the video.

For his part, Block wanted to set a higher bar for the Gymkhana film and found the perfect partner, Universal Studios, to stage his epic hoon-ness.
"We opted to go over the top on FOUR with a big Hollywood production and Universal Studios provided the perfect place for it," he said. "

The backlots provided real life obstacles, plus an extremely varied collection of settings all just minutes from each other. Without question, Gymkhana FOUR is the most ridiculous film we’ve done yet, but it’s also packed with some of the hardest and most dangerous driving I have done in these films.”

So without further ado, ladies and gentlemen; get ready for Gymkhana 4: The Hollywood Megamercial!

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