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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883


MotorSpaceNW crashes Ford Fiesta launch, San Francisco (Fin)


For some reason the sun was painfully bright for certain members of the press the morning after the Ford Fiesta Gymkhana reveal. The Pirate stood outside the Hotel and sucked down a cigarette like it was breathing life back into him. 

Shortly thereafter our caravan of Fiestas departed and meandered its way out to Candlestick Park for the mysterious “Autocross” and “Competitive Activities.” We arrived to find the entire parking lot taken over by Ford.

A sea of mini orange cones dotted the pavement to form a makeshift single lane racecourse of sorts. To the right of the lot, a long line of cones formed a lane change maneuver, jutting inward abruptly after a long straightway and then back to the original course just as quickly. 

To magnify the Fiesta’s ultra-grippy technology there were also a half dozen or so Toyota Yaris’ and Honda Fits in attendance; nice little cars from two of the most respected names in the biz. Using my fox-like intellect, I speculated the point of the set up, beyond the pure fun of throwing little cars around a test track, was to illustrate that the Fiesta was an “economy” car that could still hit the track like a performance car, whereas the:

TOYOTA YARIS felt like a… Toyota. Nice, but obviously not suited for aggressive driving. 

HONDA FIT… We weren’t allowed to take the Honda on the lane change maneuver unless one of Ford’s drivers was behind the wheel; it took a professional to keep it in a semi-straight line. 

FIESTA handled the road course and lane change like it was made for the track, making it even more impressive when I hit the lane change at 55mph instead of 45mph and managed to completely destroy the lane change portion. 

Yes, my speculation seemed to be correct, but for the economy portion of the comparison here’s a Press Release: 


“DEARBORN, Mich., May 17, 2010 – Ford’s all-new 2011 Fiesta – an Internet star even before it goes on sale this summer – will now stand out on the highway with an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) certified 40 mpg rating, making it the most fuel efficient car in its class. 

The Ford Fiesta 40 mpg (29 mpg city), achieved with Ford’s new six-speed PowerShift automatic transmission is 5 mpg better than the Honda Fit and 4 mpg better than the Toyota Yaris.” (1) 

In a final buttering of good press we were given a sack lunch, coffee and cookies before boarding the shuttle back to the airport. I had to ditch the chips and cookies before the security gate. My carryon was already struggling to accommodate the entire contents of the mini bar. 

Thanks for reading. 

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