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Watch a Subaru-Powered 70s-Era Ford Fiesta Run a 9-Second Quarter Mile!

Watch a Subaru-Powered 70s-Era Ford Fiesta Run a 9-Second Quarter Mile!

Don’t be fooled by the small frame or you’ll end up KO’d in a flash… on the drag strip, of course

The first-generation Ford Fiesta was of paramount importance for the Blue Oval. But with all the optimism in the world, nobody at Ford would have imagined that their globally-sold, fuel-efficient subcompact car would live to hide a Subaru engine where its trunk was originally supposed to be or bang mid-nine-second quarter-mile runs. Case in point: Chris Todd’s Mk1 Ford Fiesta.

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Ford Reveals Updated Ka+; Adds Crossover Model and Diesel Engine

Ford Reveals Updated Ka+; Adds Crossover Model and Diesel Engine

Mid-cycle facelift enhances fuel economy, adds practicality

Launched back in 1996 as the company’s smallest vehicle, slotted under the popular Fiesta, the Ford Ka+ was redesigned in 2014. Four years later and the tiny hatchback is getting its mid-cycle refresh with new styling cues and updated technology. But unlike most facelifts, the Ka also gained a much-needed diesel engine and a crossover-inspired model. Design changes are pretty much what you’d expect from a mild facelift. The headlamps are slightly larger; the grille was revised and gained a new chrome frame, while the rear features chrome taillight detailing and C-shaped moldings at each corner of the bumper.

Inside, there’s a revised dashboard that looks clean and crisp, plus some new tech. Highlights include a 6.5-inch touchscreen with Sync3 infotainment, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, rain-sensing wipers, and a heated windscreen. Automatic climate control and parking sensors are available as options. Under the hood, the Ka+ continues with the familiar 1.2-liter, three-cylinder gasoline engine. The unit is rated at either 70 or 85 PS (69 or 84 horsepower), depending on trim. The big news is the addition of a diesel engine for the European market. But more about that and the new Active version below.

Continue reading for the full story.

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2016 Ford Ka+

2016 Ford Ka+

Ford’s smallest hatchback gets a comprehensive makeover

The third-generation Ford Ka was unveiled in November 2013 in Brazil. It was launched about a year later in the same country in both hatchback and sedan body styles. Unlike its predecessor, which shared underpinnings with the Fiat 500, the third-gen Ka is based on Ford’s global B platform, also used by the Fiesta. Available in various markets in South America and Africa since 2015, the supermini is being sold in Europe as well starting 2016.

In case you’re wondering why it took so long for the small hatch to cross the pond, it’s because Ford had to create a version that complies with European safety standards. For instance, the original model developed in Brazil didn’t have standard airbags and lacked many of the features European drivers are accustomed to. Thus Ford created the Ka+, which was introduced in Latin America in late 2015 and it is now being offered in certain markets across the Old Continent. The Ka+ is in many aspects identical to the standard Ka. What makes it stand out are the added convenience features, the two front airbags, and a retuned chassis for European roads.

“Choosing a compact car should not mean having to compromise,” said Darren Palmer, small car vehicle line director at Ford of Europe. “Our all-new Ka+ lives up to the high standards set by our Ford Fiesta, B-MAX and EcoSport compact cars by delivering the style, space, advanced technology and refinement that customers want.”

Continue reading to learn more about the 2016 Ford Ka+.

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Sync 3 Will Debut in the 2016 Ford Fiesta and Escape

Sync 3 Will Debut in the 2016 Ford Fiesta and Escape

Ford’s SYNC/MyFord Touch system has been a bit of a bust, as there have been numerous complaints about it being finicky, and in some cases, not working at all. Well, that may soon come to an end, as Ford has announced that its new Sync 3 will debut in the 2016 Ford Escape and Fiesta.

As the proud owner of a Ford Focus ST3, my car has Sync/MyFord Touch, and I can say many of the issues reported are very much true. Sure, it broke the mold when it debuted in 2007, but the growing complaints are deafening. Some of my main complaints include the counterintuitive button placement on the touchscreen, the touchscreen sometimes doesn’t pick up your input, it’s slow to respond, and it’s downright buggy. However, the voice control is actually fairly decent, all things considered.

The new Sync 3 promises to deliver where the existing system failed, and build upon some of its better points. Some of the new features include a simpler voice-command structure, improved AppLink to automatically detect smartphones and their apps, Siri Eyes-Free integration with the iPhone, an all-new, quicker-responding captive touchscreen, response to smartphone gestures, tile-like icons with a quick-access tray on the bottom, and updates via Wi-Fi (no more flash drives for updates, yay!).

You can see a preview of the new and improved Sync 3 in the video above. I must say, it looks like a dramatic upgrade over the current system, but the current Sync system looked great at first too. Only time will tell if Ford has actually improved up on the existing system or just slathered a little lipstick on that pig.

Continue reading for the full story.

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2014 - 2015 Ford Fiesta ST

2014 - 2015 Ford Fiesta ST

The growling Fiesta ST is finally arriving in American Ford dealerships! After a long run-up and many tweaks to the global three-door’s interior technology and body style, this five-door pocket-rocket is finally on the Ford order books with a starting price of just $21,400. A hot body kit and the 2014 Focus ST’s Rado Gray wheels with red calipers are available, as are Recaro bucket seats to keep you in place while pulling G-force in this monster go-kart.

Endlessly lauded by the English car mags, the Fiesta ST’s American debut was partially delayed by a Fiesta-wide nose restyle and revamp for this year. The two models launch together with deliveries starting in September to Ford dealerships nationwide – and both have an EcoBoost engine option for the first time.

The base Fiesta’s turbocharged 1.0-liter three-cylinder marks a first in this modern age of fuel economy, but still lags nearly two seconds behind the potent ST’s 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder at the drag strip.

Power is only part of the fun with this flyweight sports car – the other half comes from its responsive cornering and impressive agility. Even the quickest luxo-barges like the Bentley Continental GT have nothing on the Ford when it comes to transient handling dynamics – like you need on the tightest of race tracks.

In this regard the Fiesta ST is indeed the most accomplished in a U.S. market class that also includes the Chevrolet Sonic RS and the new Kia Forte5 Turbo.

Is the ST’s rally styling even better in other colors? Does it even come in any colors that are not orange or red?

Continue reading for the full review of the Ford Fiesta ST – including an exclusive graphic of the ST-exclusive paint colors offered.

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Ford Fiesta ST Vs. Mini Cooper S

Ford Fiesta ST Vs. Mini Cooper S

Compared with our friends in Europe, where hot-hatches are as plentiful as 500-year-old cathedrals and socialized medicine, we in the United States and the rest of North America have been fairly limited in our hot-hatch options. That’s changing. The Volkswagen Golf GTI has always been the constant — not always great, but excellent in recent years. It had the market all to itself until the first Ford Focus ST and Mini Cooper S were introduced in the early 2000s. Three generations later, the Focus got bigger, but the Mini stayed more-or-less the same size. So, to cover its bases in the junior hot-hatch segment, Ford launched the Fiesta ST for the first time in the U.S.

That pretty much brings us up to date. On paper, the current Mini Cooper S and Fiesta ST couldn’t be more evenly matched. Both have torque-happy turbocharged engines producing between 190 and 200 horsepower. Both are roughly the same size to within a few inches. Performance figures and fuel mileage are so similar that you would need a data logger to detect the difference. But despite having similar mission briefs, these are two very different cars with different personalities, tailored to appeal to different end users. Lets take a closer look at both to see which you should put in your driveway.

Continue reading to find out which of the two cars we find better.

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DRIVE Pits The Ford Fiesta ST Vs. The Mustang: Video

DRIVE Pits The Ford Fiesta ST Vs. The Mustang: Video

The Fiesta ST has been hailed as a major victory for Ford, and for good reason. The little car is one of the best examples of a hot hatch that has been introduced to American shores in quite some time. But American interest in hot hatches started at a time when the more traditional American performance machines were at an all time low in terms of both performance and build quality. Can a hot hatch, even a very good one, still excite when sport coupes are no longer a depressing shadow of their former selves? Drive endeavors to find out.

The comparison is actually between Matt Farah’s mildly tuned Fiesta ST and an EcoBoost Mustang. We’re using the term “sports coupe” because it’s difficult to call anything with a four-cylinder engine a muscle car, even if it uses the body of one. But this isn’t a criticism, as Farah points out in the video, the turbocharged Mustang has become quite a modern machine, making it worth taking another look for the sake of comparison. The result, as you might expect and as Ford will doubtless be happy to see, is that each car shines in its own distinct way.

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