« Back Ford Fiesta ST-2 + BMW e46 M3
FORD FIESTA ST-2
The hot hatchback – a mainstay of the performance car market since the mid-80’s – and one of the first was the Ford Fiesta XR2. The name may have changed from XR to RS to ST, but the hot Fiesta has always provided the sweetest handling for the money in the market.
The previous Fiesta ST200 was widely heralded as the best handling car in the class, so Ford has stuck to what it knows with this new Fiesta ST model. Based on an all-new platform, the new Fiesta is slightly bigger, but a touch lighter too, and this new ST has the same 197bhp as the outgoing model.
But where the difference comes in is how that power is produced – in this instance by a new 1.5-litre turbocharged 3-cylinder engine. Yes, you read that correctly – a 3-cylinder 1.5 producing just shy of 200bhp! This is, of course, the current trend for downsizing kicking in, and means that the new ST produces the same power, but emits less CO2 and drinks less fuel, all with the same performance.
One extra benefit of this new powerplant is the noise – three-cylinder engines have a distinct thrum and burble to them, like half of a Porsche 911 engine and when combined with some fruity exhaust tuning and intake/turbo noise you can expect the new ST to be huge fun to throw around you favourite country roads.
BMW e46 M3
There are few cars loved by enthusiasts as much as the BMW M3.
The early e36 models have a keen following, but they're somewhat fragile now - so the clever money is now in that car’s successor: the e46 M3. Using a 3.2-litre straight-six engine with a lightweight crankshaft and graphite coated aluminium pistons, it revved to 8000rpm and put out 338bhp. Performance was brisk thanks to the 1450kg kerb weight, with 0-62mph taking just 5.1 seconds.
But the raw numbers only tell part of the story with the e46 M3 – the engine sings and screams its way through the rev range, there’s a delicious howl from the exhausts and the steering and handling are just sublime. Add in the fact that there are four very usable seats, a big boot and (relatively) understated looks and you can see why the e46 M3 has such a huge following…
The winner can choose an E46 M3 up to the value of £20,000. Win this modern classic with BOTB - it could be yours!