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Pocket Rocket: MK7 Ford Fiesta ST Review

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2014 Ford Fiesta ST

Ford has always had a knack for developing cars that send petrol heads into a frenzy. The Sierra Cosworth RS had a decent rallying pedigree and still has some impressive performance figures by today’s standards. The Fiesta XR2 may not have been the best looking or as well-equipped as its competitors but it was certainly the most fun.

This all means that the Fiesta ST of today had a lot to live up to, and with a new model going on sale in early 2018, it’s only right that we take a look and see just how much the little car will have to live up to.

The Fiesta has been a best-seller in worldwide for decades now, and the previous Fiesta ST (the MK7-generation model) is already a true legend. Boasting just 180 horsepower, it’s not a very powerful car, and the average person would tell you to buy any of its competitors due to an assumed lack of speed. How wrong they’d be…

Although the slowest on paper against the likes of the Peugeot 206 GTI and the Vauxhall Corsa VXR, neither of those two models can match the Fiesta in the corners or under braking. This has been a common theme with Fast Fords — engineers got the ST down to a tee with precise steering and minimal body roll, largely thanks to the sophisticated torque vectoring system.

Fortunately, the Fiesta ST isn’t a one-trick pony — it’s more than just a pocket rocket and is very capable of being an everyday driver, offering many creature comforts. As a hatchback, it has a lot of cargo space for its size, and its 1.6 Ecoboost engine can deliver well in excess of 40 MPG in highway driving.

The few niggle you’d find as you clocked up the miles include the slightly firm suspension at low speed and the lack of options when adjusting the seat, which can become irritating on longer journeys. Furthermore, regardless of the trim level you pick, the interior does little to excite the senses, with cheap plastic being common throughout the interior (it is a subcompact car after all). An outdated infotainment screen could also leave you edging towards the competitors.

While these shortcomings may be frustrating to some, they take nothing away from the purpose of this car, which was always to blast down B-roads. Why would Apple CarPlay matter when you can listen to the punchy 1.6 growl and the tires screech as you throw it around your local country roads?

Overall, the current Fiesta does everything you want it to do. It’s quick and agile, corners like a dream, can deliver very impressive fuel economy figures, and doesn’t look too shabby.

From what we hear, the new Fiesta ST is even better, addressing most of the issues of the MK7 Fiesta ST.

Ford

Ford Ranger Raptor Deputes With Serious Off-Road Cred, Diesel Power

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New, 2019 Ford Ranger Raptor

Meet the Ford F-150 Raptor’s very capable younger brother — the Ford Ranger Raptor! Beefed up to handle much more extreme terrain than the regular Ranger, the performance-tuned pickup truck comes equipped with a torquey diesel engine as part of its arsenal of off-road features.

Revealed in Thailand at a media event for the Asia Pacific market, the little Raptor is much more rugged-looking and wider than the standard Ranger, borrowing many styling cues from the F-150 Raptor such as a larger grille with the large block FORD lettering. It boasts dent-resistant front bumpers, more than 11 inches of ground clearance, a 32.5-degree approach angle, 24-degree ramp-over angle, 24-degree departure angle, and bespoke all-terrain BF Goodrich 285/70 R17 tires.

The Ranger Raptor’s flared fenders are made from composite materials and can accommodate a long-travel suspension, while its modified rear bumper comes with an integrated tow bar and two recovery hooks.

Ford’s engineers also reinforced the frame, added Fox Racing Shox to better handle high-speed impacts, and gave the rear suspension coilovers and a solid axle with a Watt’s-link system.

In Asia, the Ford Ranger Raptor sources its power from a new 2.0-liter bi-turbo diesel engine that produces 211 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque, mated to the same 10-speed automatic transmission found in the F-150 Raptor.

No word yet on whether it will be sold in North America and other world markets, so make sure to stay tuned to FbaPPs for future updates.

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Watch The Ford Ranger Raptor In Action [Video]

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New Ford Ranger Raptor Engine Off-Roading

With the Ford F-150 Raptor turning out as well as it did, car enthusiasts are very excited to see what Ford has in store for the first-ever Ranger Raptor.

An all-new Ford Ranger made its North American debut at the 2018 North American International Auto Show, and it is a very promising mid-size pickup truck that’s light years better than its antiquated predecessor and should give the Toyota Tacoma, Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon a run for their money.

The performance-tuned Raptor was teased in a video posted by Ford Thailand (see below) showing it tackle off-road trails in Southern California’s Anza-Borrego Desert. Reports claim it will be powered by Ford’s 2.7-liter EcoBoost V6 mated to a 10-speed automatic transmission, possibly delivering as much as 400 horsepower.

A detuned version of the turbocharged 3.5L V6 under the hood of the F-150 Raptor has been rumored but seems like a less likely possibility, while a twin-turbo 2.0-liter Diesel might be offered in some markets.

Buyers across the Asia Pacific region will be the first to buy the Ford Ranger Raptor in the second half of 2018, with a North American launch expected sometime later. What do you hope to see?

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Ford Will Release 40 Plugin Hybrid And Electric Vehicles By 2022

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Like crosstown rival General Motors, Ford Motor Co has an onslaught of hybrid and electric cars on the way, having confirmed plans to release 40 plug-in hybrid and electric vehicles by 2022.

This includes electrified versions of the popular F-150 pickup and Mustang sports cars and a fully-electric performance SUV (possible called ‘Mach 1’) that offers at least a 300-mile range and goes on sale by 2020. In fact, 16 of the 40 models will be fully-electric.

To make this happen, Ford will invest more than $11 billion by 2022 and has formed ‘Team Edison’ to “own the strategy, own the planning, and interface into the trend” of EV development and production.

The Ford Escape and Expedition, as well as the Lincoln MKC and Navigator, are expected to get plug-in hybrid versions soon. Speaking of Lincoln, the brand is expected to offer a hybrid version of each of its models.

Ford is clearly sinking its feet into the inevitable electric future.

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