The year was 2008. I was working the course at the SCCA Toledo Pro Solo during the Ladies’ class runs. For those of you who don’t know what a Pro Solo is like, I’ll try to explain quickly. It’s a mirrored autocross course with two competitors, one on each side. Instead of being waved onto the course by a flagger, like in a regular autocross, there’s a drag tree that starts the drivers. It’s the closest thing to “racing” that you’ll find at an autocross.
As I watched one particular pairing of cars leave the line, I noticed that one of the cars, a Mini Cooper S, was getting up on two wheels in the first 3-cone slalom. As the car rocked back and forth from the left two wheels to the right and then back to the left, the front left wheel bent and caught the cement, tripping the car and causing it to flip forward. It bounced off of its roof, and ended up landing on its wheels, facing back toward the starting line.
“Whoa, hold on. A car hauler is actively trying to run me off the road.”
Yesterday, I was talking to my older brother via Bluetooth while driving home from Louisville when, for the third time in approximately ninety miles of highway driving, a trucker was moving over on me in a way that clearly indicated that he hadn’t seen me. Not in the passive aggressive way that truckers normally do, when they put on a blinker and start moving slowly in expectation that you’ll just get out of their way—no, this was a straight-up swing out into what he perceived to be an empty lane. I quickly checked my mirrors and accelerated into the adjacent lane.
“You in the FiST?” my brother asked.
“But of course!” I replied.
Such is the danger of driving a B segment car on the highways of the Commonwealth of Kentucky.
When we last saw our hero, he was debating between keeping his Boss 302 or selling it and downsizing to a little pocket-rocket Fiesta ST for a year or so until the Shelby GT350 hits the showrooms. Wait, let’s leave that writing-in-third-person nonsense to NFL wide receivers and people with delusions of grandeur. Reset.
I spent much of last week crunching numbers and trying to figure out what I wanted to do. Like our fearless leader (Obama, not Derek)—to those of you who voted in the comments section, I heard you. For those of you didn’t vote, I heard you, too. I read all of the reasoned opinions. I calculated. I planned. I schemed.
The 2014 Ford Fiesta ST is finally here! When I found out that I’d be covering the Fiesta ST for TTAC in place of E-I-C pro tem Jack Baruth, said E-I-C offering some lame excuse about pneumonia, I went over the comment sections of previous ST posts to find out what the B&B were wondering about. I received information on the car from Ford engineers over lunch, then had the Fiesta ST for about 3 hours on back roads around Ann Arbor, and here’s what I found out.
Ford has made it clear that a 250 HP “ST” version of its 2012 Focus will be making its way to America, hopefully opening a new chapter in Ford’s US-market hot hatch history. The perfect followup? How about a 180 HP Fiesta ST, featuring the new 1.6 liter Ecoboost engine? Autocar says its coming to the UK by the end of this year, and Ford is already teasing its arrival with the release of a “warm” Fiesta, the 134 HP S1600 (above). There’s no word on US availability yet, but if Ford’s going to bring us the Focus ST, why not its baby cousin? With the Fiesta getting plenty of play in rally racing and, far more importantly, Ken Block videos, this seems like an easy call. If nothing else, it will at least look like the bargain of the lifetime compared to the Fiat 500 EV.