Ford’s Big and Little Brother of Speed
The recently redesigned Mustang GT and the feisty Fiesta ST prove the Ford family is serious about performance.
Ford’s performance division has been taking great strides over the last few years to improve its position against the competition. Between the huge improvements of its compact hatches with the Focus and Fiesta ST, and the recent redesign of the iconic Ford Mustang, the brand is in a better position than ever to take over a significant chunk of market share. I’m the first to admit I’ve never been a huge domestic car fan, but after spending a reasonable amount of seat time with both the Mustang and the Fiesta ST, I’m convinced that Ford has the chops to keep up with the pack.
2015 Ford Mustang GT
The Mustang GT has been one of the best budget performance coupes on the market for quite some time, however, with recent changes to its chassis, the Mustang is now more potent a performer than ever. With a price of entry starting at just over $33,000, and available limited-slip differential, Recaro seats and 6-piston brakes, the new Mustang ticks all the performance boxes. The new Mustang’s sport-styling cues are reminiscent of the classic Mustang from 1965 to 1969, but don’t let its looks fool you. This 435-horsepower pony car isn’t just a straight-line quarter-mile racer, either. Ford spent a great deal of time working on the new Mustang chassis, most notably (and finally) updating the rear suspension to a fully independent setup. The previous generation wasn’t half bad when tossed around the bends but these latest changes, coupled with tight and responsive steering, make the new Mustang an absolute riot to drive enthusiastically. Whether you’re in the mood for carving down your favourite winding road or just going out and being a tire-smoking hooligan, the new Mustang will happily oblige.
Though the Mustang is a high-power machine, it’s still quite well equipped to handle the daily commute. The well-tuned 5-Litre V-8 engine will manage a respectable rating of 9.3-L/100 km on the highway and 15.2-L/100 km in the city. It can also be loaded up with plenty of creature comforts, including the latest version of Ford’s Sync touchscreen infotainment, push-button start, keyless entry and adaptive cruise control, to name a few.
2015 Ford Fiesta ST
If big, bad muscle cars aren’t exactly your cup of tea, Ford has a few more tricks up its sleeve. It’s been quite some time since Ford in North America has dabbled in the hot-hatch game, yet both the Focus and smaller Fiesta ST have been winning over more compact performance enthusiasts since hitting the market just a couple of short years ago. The wee Fiesta may only put out a modest 197-hp and 202 lb-ft of torque, but with a curb weight of a little over 2,700 pounds, the ST is plenty quick off the line. Unlike much of its competition, the Fiesta ST comes with all the performance goodies straight out of the gate, including an awesome set of seats, a short-shifting 6-speed manual gearbox, and an excellent and balanced sport suspension setup.
When it comes to hot hatches, looking fast is always part of the equation. Rather than going the ultra-understated route we’ve seen from the Volkswagen GTI as of late, the Fiesta ST looks plenty loud and fast. Its bold front fascia, pronounced rear wing and slick 17-inch alloy wheels leave no question that the Fiesta ST means business. On the inside, this go-fast esthetic continues with its slick and heavily bolstered two-tone Recaro seats. If your goal is to go fast and look great doing it, the Fiesta ST is worth the look.