« Back Double Up: Fiesta ST-2 + Mustang GT
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.
FORD MUSTANG GT
How do you replace an icon? That’s the challenge that faces Ford every time they need to design a new Mustang. The most popular performance car in the history of the automobile, the Mustang has always been cool, fast and a little bit brash.
For 2015 the Mustang got a lot of firsts – the first independent rear suspension in place of the rear axle, and the first RHD models to be sold in the UK. You can get a new 2.3 litre turbo Ecoboost engine, but in our eyes a Mustang must have a V8.
This facelifted GT model has a 444bhp 5.0 litre V8 lump, with scintillating performance and a soundtrack to match. But thanks to the new specification, it also rides well, handles fantastically and even has an interior you can enjoy sitting in for hours.
The Mustang has finally gone global, and the established European players should be very afraid…
Cash alternative for this prize is £53,000