AutoGuide News Blog
The AutoGuide News Blog is your source for breaking stories from the auto industry. Delivering news immediately, the AutoGuide Blog is constantly updated with the latest information, photos and video from manufacturers, auto shows, the aftermarket and professional racing.
It was a sunny afternoon early in the fall when a mechanical howl rang through an almost empty parking lot as Ken Block bounced his engine off the rev limiter. A small crowd watched from behind a concrete barrier as he, the car and a queasy-looking passenger charged through a closed course.
With over 40-million Corollas sold worldwide since 1966, it’s not a surprise that this week’s most watched car video on AutoGuide‘s YouTube channel is our review on the all-new 2014 Toyota Corolla.
Meanwhile, readers also took a closer look at the 2014 Ford Fiesta ST and the 2014 Acura RDX.
Ken Block has it pretty good. He gets paid to spend time hooning cars around the world while everyone watches.
Visit the LA Auto Show without leaving your seat. We’ve compiled a first look video on 14 of the biggest debuts at this year’s event.
2014 Porsche Cayman S
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2013 Mercedes SLS AMG Black Series
2014 Ford Fiesta ST
2013 Toyota RAV4
2014 Acura RLX
2014 Mazda6 Diesel
Mercedes Ener-G-Force Concept
2014 Jaguar XFR-S
Lamborghini Aventador Roadster
2014 Subaru Forester
Fiat 500C Abarth
2014 Kia Forte
BMW i3 Coupe Concept
Audi Expands Diesel Lineup
It was a busy weekend in the auto industry this weekend, from the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, to discussion of bankruptcy with General Motors. Find out all the news in one minute or less with the AutoGuide weekend news Qwiki.
In Frankfurt last year, Ford teased us with a new Fiesta ST concept. Shown initially in three-door form we were initially worried we wouldn’t get this spiced-up version so you can perhaps imagine our delight when a five-door concept materialized a couple months later at the LA Auto Show.
Now, at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show, Ford has announced a production version of the car. Considering that many enthusiasts in Europe have been waiting with baited breath since the last Fiesta ST went away in 2008, there’s clearly a great deal riding on this new one.
Although information is still somewhat scant, Ford says this new Fiesta ST will sport an EcoBoost, 1.6-liter turbocharged four under the hood, rated at 180 metric horsepower and some 240 NM (177 lb-ft) of torque. Lowered (by some 15 mm/ 0.6 inches) and sporting stiffened suspension, plus one of the first applications of Ford’s SYNC voice command software in Europe (the Fiesta derived B-Max is the other), the peppy new Ford promises to be quite the little performance pill. Also included in this package are enhanced Torque Vectoring and three different Stability Control modes.
On the outside, aggressive aero extensions, including a more pronounced front air dam and signature rear spoiler add to the car’s boy racer persona and although the ST was developed by Ford’s RS performance division in Europe, drawing on much WRC and rally cross experience, standard MyKey technology will help ensure that younger drivers don’t get into trouble.
Revealed in three-door form in Geneva, the new Fiesta ST is clearly aimed at the European market, at least for the timing being, though Ford says “it remains open to introducing [the high performance small car] to other regions.” And if you’ve been paying any attention to Ford and its “One Ford” plan of global products, expect to see a 5-door Fiesta ST grace a North American auto show soon.
GALLERY: 2013 Ford Fiesta ST
If you’re a lover of hot-hatches then there’s a lot going on at Ford these days that will interest you. For starters there’s the new Focus ST, a high-performance version of the new compact hatch that’s set to take on cars like the Mazdaspeed3 and Civic Si. It makes 247-hp from a turbocharged direct-injection EcoBoost 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine and thanks to a long list of upgrades an an innovative torque distribution system, looks to be plenty fun, and plenty capable.
Sized-down from the Focus ST is a new Fiesta ST, with the same sort of upgrades, but sporting an EcoBoost 1.6-liter engine making 180-hp. It’s technically a concept, but Ford is serious about bringing this car to market – and we can’t wait.
GALLERY: Ford Focus ST
GALLERY: Ford Fiesta ST Concept
Watch the video below for a look at both cars from the floor of the LA Auto Show:
After debuting a 3-door Fiesta ST Concept at the Frankfurt Motor Show, Ford has revealed a new 5-door version in Los Angeles today. Ford has made it clear that it will offer its vehicles globally, and so while the 3-door version will presumably be offered in Europe, this 5-door is all-but confirmed to be U.S.-bound.
Hot hatches have always been a popular segment amongst the tuner crowd, but only in the compact class – at least in North America. Now Ford is hinting it will bring the power level down a segment, with a 180-hp version of the Fiesta. That power comes from the brand’s new 1.6-liter EcoBoost turbocharged 4-cylinder with 177 lb-ft of torque.
Styling is inspired by the Fiesta WRC rally cars with an aggressive front end, aero kit and 17-inch wheels.
So will ford offer a 180-hp Fiesta in North America. We’d bet on it.
GALLERY: Ford Fiesta ST Concept 5-Door
Ford will show a concept version of their l0ng-awaited Fiesta ST hot hatch at the 2011 Frankfurt Auto Show. An ST version of the Focus hatchback has long been confirmed, and many correctly suspected that a hotter version of the smaller Fiesta would follow.
With the Focus making 250 horsepower from a 2.0L Ecoboost 4-cylinder engine, the next logical step down is Ford’s 1.6L Ecoboost, with an output of around 180 horsepower. Stay tuned to AutoGuide for more info as coverage begins on Tuesday, September 13th.
Ford‘s new Focus ST is set to get a little brother. Planned to launch in 2012, the Fiesta ST will deliver hot hatch thrills in an even smaller package, with the B-Class car getting a 180-hp version of Ford’s 1.6-liter turbocharged EcoBoost engine.
What isn’t clear is if the Fiesta ST will make its way to North America. The market for sub-compacts on this side of the Atlantic is already small and there’s no competition to speak of. In Europe, however, B-Class cars make up a significant portion of the cars on the road, and the Fiesta ST already has rivals like the Renaultsport Clio 200 and Seat Ibiza Cupra, not to mention the Polo GTI.
In addition, an ST model makes sense, helping to draw a correlation between the Fiesta WRC rally program and the brand’s street cars.
While unlikely, Ford is making a habit of bringing their European models to North America. We just hope this is one of them.
The Blue Oval’s ‘One Ford‘ global platform strategy will have huge costs savings advantages for the automaker, but it’s also set to be a boon for performance enthusiasts.
The first such high point for handling and horsepower junkies will be the Focus ST, which launches next year as Ford’s first global performance vehicle based on its first global platform, making 247-hp from a turbocharged EcoBoost 2.0-liter 4-cylinder.
But there will be more, hints Ford marketing boss Jim Farley. Speaking with AutoGuide during a preview of the Blue Oval’s Detroit Auto Show products, Farley said that the new global approach to vehicles will allow for high performance versions of otherwise mainstream models, like those offered in Europe and Australia in the past.
As a result, we could very likely see high-performance version of cars like the Fusion and Fiesta. A Fiesta ST has long been rumored, with a 1.6-liter EcoBoost 4-cylinder making roughly 170-hp and 177 ft-lbs of torque.
There’s also the possibility of a Fusion ST (or SHO) model. After all, if the Fiesta gets a performance version, then the Fusion will be the only passenger car in the lineup without an option for enthusiasts. In the past Ford has offered a high-performance version of the Mondeo overseas and with the next generation Mondeo and Fusion set to be meshed together into a global product, a global performance model seems like a certainty.
As we’ve seen with the Focus ST, these will be performance (and not high-performance) models, with vehicles the level of the Focus RS unlikely – at least in North America.
That being said, Farley did comment that not all performance vehicles will be global, with special models reserved for certain markets. Here at home, over the past two years Ford has already introduced the Boss 302 Mustang as well as the F-150 SVT Raptor, and Farley hinted that more special home-market models are on their way.
Ford‘s Fiesta is a pretty good hot hatch, but it good be better; turbocharging, Recaro bucket seats and a performance tuned chassis would be just the ticket, and such a vehicle has recently been spied in Europe.
The front mounted intercooler and big mufflers are dead giveaways as to the forced induction, but it’s unlikely that the Focus ST’s big 2.0L Ecoboost will be shoehorned under the hood. Expect a 1.4L or 1.6L Ecoboost instead.
Most enticing are the huge Recaro bucket seats with harness slots, perhaps the biggest clue that this car is capable of serious performance driving.
Ford has reportedly given the green light to a hot-hatch version of the new Fiesta sub-compact, which will be called the ST. According to a report by AutoExpress, the Fiesta ST will get a version of the 1.6-liter EcoBoost 4-cylinder used in the C-Max MPV. It is expected to make around 180-hp and deliver a 0-60 mph time in the six to seven second range. The car will remain front-drive and will come with Ford’s six-speed PowerShift dual-clutch automatic transmission. Other highlights are likely to include a stiffer suspension, aerodynamic upgrades and larger wheels and tires.
The car is made possible by Ford’s new OneFord approach, using economies of scale for the EcoBoost 1.6-liter to serve both a functional and fuel efficient purpose in the C-Max, as well as a performance purpose in the Fiesta. Ford has denied any such vehicle is in its products plans, but recent spy photos in Detroit have shown a test vehicle sporting an intercooler – suggesting the car may also be slated for sale in the U.S.
If it does arrive at U.S. dealerships, its not likely to be until 2011, with an expected debut at the Geneva Auto Show.