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St: Sunday-Tastic!!


The Dark Knight
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A glorious day was in full swing so I took the ST for a proper drive on the country roads towards Matlock. WOW!! Fling this baby into a bend and the grip and precision is superb! The body control magnificent. But what about performance?

Well, I encountered a Sunday driver in an S-Class Merc and as soon as the road opened up, I let fly with 3rd gear! The turbo came in and the blue touch paper was well and truly lit. It absolutely catapulted forwards in such a way that made me suddenly remember the old ST as a shopping car for the elderly!

The compact size of the Fiesta adds to the sensation. Yes there are some big bruiser cars that would power away from the ST on a straight but on those roads the ST is in its element. I flicked it through a chicane near South Wingfield and powered away whilst catching a glimpse of a Jag S-Type wallowing about behind me.

Finally, on the big hill up to my house, I came up behind a slow moving Clio 172 with after market twin tailpipes. Upon seeing me now close behind, he floored it and this was his moment to show the ultimate power of his modded Clio. Nobody could hope to compete with his car and we were still well within the speed limit so here he goes....

Oh wait, he's still there. Speed has certainly increased and I'm deploying about 80% of 4th gear potential but he wasn't pulling away. I braked sharply to drop my speed down to 30 as we arrived in the built up area and 30 zone but he didn't bother and charged off into the 30 zone doing 70+ presumably. I can only conclude his humble pie was on the table going cold.

All in all, the Fiesta ST is a masterpiece that will sit proudly in the upper echelons of the hot hatch hall of fame.

P.S, when I filled up (£60) early last week, it claimed 288 miles until empty. I've now done 115 miles since then and it now claims 220 until empty. So a theoretical total of 335 after some seriously spirited driving and low 30's mpg. I used to get 350-360 miles approx from a full tank in the ZS driven mostly with a lead foot. Remarkable.

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Your sunday afternoon sounds similar to mine, took the scenic route home after to taking the wife out for her dinner just so I could enjoy the county roads, sunshine and national speed limits =)

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Twin tail pipes are 182s same speeds as the ST so be careful a lot out there are modded now, and my old one beat an ST on the traffic light GP lol 1060kgs with 180bhp standard isn't to be messed with. Epic little cars shame mine ended up in a flaming wreck.

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Twin tail pipes are 182s same speeds as the ST so be careful a lot out there are modded now, and my old one beat an ST on the traffic light GP lol 1060kgs with 180bhp standard isn't to be messed with. Epic little cars shame mine ended up in a flaming wreck.

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This was a 172 with twin tailpipes on the same side as the Fiesta. After market modded pipes. I am familiar with a 182 and you make a valid point but the ST could have mountune kit or some other kind and be faster still. Stock vs stock up a hill, a 182 which is NA, or a 172 with mods isn't going to pull away thanks to the extra torque of the ST. No call for heading into a built up area at excess speed though so I let him go.

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Actually a 172 at the right rev range would a more the adequate match for an st.

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Take them both to a track, stock vs stock and the 172 would be destroyed. The 182 would be a better bet.

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You will enjoy it. I was actually laughing and grinning once I had blasted past the Sunday driver and drove through some tight turns. That's how much fun the car is! I enjoyed how the ZS went through a turn with it's sports suspension but the ST is on another level and those Recaro seats make sure you don't budge.

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I also made the most of the weather by cleaning the car then going for a blast on the roads near where I live. Here is the route I took with a friend in his new polo R line. Even though the car is only a Zetec S it was still rather fun and handles far better than the citroen ds3 I had before.drive.jpg

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Nothing 'only' about the ZS, it's a great car. I was only able to afford the ST thanks to a great offer and slight pay rise. I still think the ZS is the best all rounder. Relatively cheap to buy, dirt cheap insurance, free road tax, low 40's MPG when hammering it, plenty quick enough for real world progress and suitably sporty for those country roads. On top of all that, it is well equiped and handles bumps and potholes better than the ST. The ST is an immersive hot hatch experience and as hot hatches go, it is superb value for money. One Fiesta but two different models offering different things.

Nice route there by the way. On a nice summers day this year, I plan to drive through Matlock and on to Bakewell before heading to Buxton and over the Cat and Fiddle. I might stop at that pub but defo taking my camera!

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Nothing 'only' about the ZS, it's a great car. I was only able to afford the ST thanks to a great offer and slight pay rise. I still think the ZS is the best all rounder. Relatively cheap to buy, dirt cheap insurance, free road tax, low 40's MPG when hammering it, plenty quick enough for real world progress and suitably sporty for those country roads. On top of all that, it is well equiped and handles bumps and potholes better than the ST. The ST is an immersive hot hatch experience and as hot hatches go, it is superb value for money. One Fiesta but two different models offering different things.

Nice route there by the way. On a nice summers day this year, I plan to drive through Matlock and on to Bakewell before heading to Buxton and over the Cat and Fiddle. I might stop at that pub but defo taking my camera!

I wasn't bashing the Zetec S it's an epic car and as a first car (the ds3 was as a named driver) it is amazing. Really looking forward to summer and having a few trips around where I live and maybe a trip to wales or two also defo going to take the camera.

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Take them both to a track, stock vs stock and the 172 would be destroyed. The 182 would be a better bet.

Wouldn't be so sure, the clio is a firm favorite among track day lads, the 172cup is the best one for tracking and among the most common in the clios very hard to spot in fact. I actually think the clio would have the fiesta on track just in cornering ability.

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Wouldn't be so sure, the clio is a firm favorite among track day lads, the 172cup is the best one for tracking and among the most common in the clios very hard to spot in fact. I actually think the clio would have the fiesta on track just in cornering ability.

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No chance. The critics have all said that the ST has set new standards for cornering and handling and they were actually pondering whether the new Clio would be good enough to take the title back for Renault.

The 172 with its 172bhp and 148lb ft of torque is slaughtered by 180bhp/200bhp and 215lb ft of torque. I know only too well from the old ST that it is hard work trying to reach claimed figures with an NA engine but not so with a turbo. I test drove a 172 once and it didn't accelerate anything like the new ST. As seen on Top Gear, the new Clio wins in a straight line but the ST handles better plus no stupid flappy paddle gearbox.

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I'm speaking from experience dude, I used to own a 182 and it's track ability isn't bettered by any any hatchback that costs under 30k, you need an Impreza or 135M to beat them on a circuit, Cornering and braking ability is more key than you'd think on a track, I Love my ST it's just a better car all round don't get me wrong, but I wouldn't race one on a track with complete confidence that i'll win, I do not rate the brakes on the ST at all, the Clios have pretty good ones tbh and it really can take anything you chuck it round, the Clios also weigh nearly 500KG's less! that's a huge amount of weight saved, Power to Weight Ratio is everything is motorsport.

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Only the lightened cup or trophy versions weigh that much less which would be akin to Ford releasing a Fiesta RS.

The standard car is only around 100kg less I think. The 182 has more power which helps but the 172 doesn't have enough power in stock form to be able to win. I rate the brakes on the ST.

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I wish the st had a an option for flappy panel along with manual. Flappy panel is so much fun in a straight line accelerating and then switch to manual when you feel like it . Owe well its still a great car :P

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I think we need to agree to disagree on this one as I also think you are underestimating how good the renaultsport clio's actually are.

Whilst I agree the fiesta st is a fine machine, I personally don't see how it compares to the renaultsport clio's

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It compares with the stock versions, because Ford made it so good and it just bagged Top Gear's car of the year winning serious praise for handling. I understand the 182's argument but the 172 in stock form, i.e. not the lightened cup versions is too down on power. That was proved in my original post.

I dare say that if Ford made a FIesta RS, that would blow even the 182 versions away. Rumour has it that an RS version is very much on the cards.

I wish the st had a an option for flappy panel along with manual. Flappy panel is so much fun in a straight line accelerating and then switch to manual when you feel like it . Owe well its still a great car :P

I have to support what Richard Hammond said about the Fiesta ST. The manual gearbox is superb and changing gear in a hot hatch is a vital form of self expression. Renault denied it's customers that by going all out with flappy paddles. A proper drive down some country roads when you get your ST and you will see how fine it is. I thought it was good on the test drive but once on familiar roads that I know, it was better still.

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Sorry but I simply do not agree with you.

Driving on a public road when the person in front if you has no prior knowledge of a performance test taking place is not a valid argument.

I'm not trying to fall out or make an enemy here so please don't take this personally.

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172 CUP is the best one for track, No ABS and the lightest, no mod cons at all, just a bog standard car with no AC or other luxuries that the others came with it's the quickest one out of the lot of them, the reason they changed them was too many people stacked them in wet due to no ABS, the 182's have around 7BHP more but the twin exhaust system weighs around 30KG's ( I kid you not it's very !Removed! heavy ) and all extra power is lot, the Trophy is probably the heaviest one due to having big lumpy recaros and adjustable sachs dampners ( that need refurbing every now and then ) bigger spoiler so more drag etc etc, good ride quality though.

Not a keen person myself on a paddle box though, pain in the !Removed! when in traffic, I did test the Clio 200T out before getting the ST but just couldn't get on with it ( abiet only tried for about 20 mins )

With the above said though, I doubt many people could spot the difference in a Cup and Non Cup 172 performance on the road, Cup / non cup 182's there is no difference other than looks and slightly lower.

I feel a track day meeting coming on though, I'll have to see if anyone can bring a Clio along for comparison, plus I don't rate hammond as a Driver, if you watch the videos on his timing tests his lines are all over the place and performance as a driver is all over the place, much like old Tiff, Good one to watch is the Corsa VXR VS Clio 197, The Corsa would have one if he had the right lines.

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Sorry but I simply do not agree with you.

Driving on a public road when the person in front if you has no prior knowledge of a performance test taking place is not a valid argument.

I'm not trying to fall out or make an enemy here so please don't take this personally.

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Not taking it personally, no problem and yes I understand what you are saying about public roads and no prior knowledge. If the road in question (bearing in mind it was uphill) was closed for the purpose of a quick race though, a stock (non lightened version) of the 172 would not pull away from the ST. The figures clearly speak for themselves in that regard.

NA vs turbo

172bhp vs 180/200bhp

148lb ft vs 215lb ft

Clio only 100kg lighter approx

The cup versions were more track focused which is what Ford would pursue if they made a Fiesta RS. That would be a different ball game altogether and I dare say the RS would be a bit on the grim side for town driving but would be monstrous on country roads or the track. Only time will tell...

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my local dealer told me the fiesta rs will not go into production, and will only be a concept car. He said that is the official word from Ford for them. May be a load of bull but I hope they do make a RS Fiesta

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Don't we all, I'd buy one straight away, be depreciation proof minus inflation much like the Focus RS MK2, won't happen though as it'll kill Focus ST sales which is a much higher margin car for Ford.

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I went to look at a clio RS 200 edc this weekend. Wasn't at dealers so looked at ST instead. Gonna blag a drive in both before deciding.

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Don't forget the overlooked 208 GTI, quicker than the Fiesta and handles just as well, it'll depreciate a lot more and costs more but all down to looks etc, cabin feels nice but a bit techno.

Don't forget with the Clio you can make it sound like a Nissan GTR and others, for the lulz.

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