15 years ago, Honda released the 99 Civic Si, and it instantly became a staple for the import culture. And whether you personally love or hate the Honda brand, you’ve gotta admit as a car enthusiast, the car had the right ingredients for a lot of people. It was light, it was fun, it had a strong, small displacement motor, it took well to aftermarket parts, and if you knew how to drive it – you could run down cars that should’ve been faster on paper. And the clincher – it was affordable.
15 years later (today-ish), in an era of fat cars filled with complicated gadgets, Ford releases a Fiesta ST that also has a 1.6-liter. Only the Ford’s 1.6 is turbocharged. And it makes about 125 more ft/lbs torque at the wheels than the ’99 Si did. It has 2 more doors than the old Si, plus a hatch. And yet – the new Fiesta ST weighs within 100-pounds of the 15-year-prior Si. In a world where cars are getting bigger, heavier, and filled with more & more complicated gadgets – the Fiesta ST is damn near a miracle… like when gas dips under $2.00 per gallon, and you look up at the sign and say, “Well I’ll be damned it actually happened.” Oh – and you can get it new for just a hair over 20-grand.
There’s a difference between Dodge trying to go after the import demo with the Neon SRT4, or Chevy doing it with the Cobalt SS. Versus Ford literally redefining the market with the ST line. If you took the Fiesta ST & a new Civic Si, debadged them both, went back to 1999, and asked import guys to ‘pick the import of the future’. They would see the hatch, they would see the turbo, the would see the swift/ clean body lines, the ‘chromelessness’, and 100% of them would pick the ST as the import.
And they wouldn’t be wrong. Look at the world we live in today, and how connected & intertwined it’s gotten. You’re literally arguing about ‘Fords’ from a smartphone touch screen, in real time on social media, with a person on the other side of the country/globe. But you still can’t wrap your head around the act that Ford is truly a global company?? The Fiesta ST was designed in Europe, and built in Mexico for the North American market… just like our MK7 GTI.
Yet I still see import car guys that can’t get past the Ford emblem. Still tirelessly humping tired & stale JDM trends. Ok – you go build that JDM 130hp hybrid CRZ and pretend it’s a CRX. Seriously – what is Honda doing to shake things up today… that doesn’t involve an ‘eco’ button… or social media hype on a car that’s not here yet. Pay attention to the TV commercials: Honda is using a Del Sol and an S2000 to sell the HRV. Honda also used their dirt bike to try and sell a Civic. Toyota used the AE86 to sell the new Corolla. C’mon already. A lot of today’s Japanese cars are living off yesterday’s legacy. And waging their bets that your import-brand loyalty will outweigh your good judgement. The pretty obvious fact is: Ford is taking a lot of the once-dominant import brands, and rubbing their dicks in the dirt.
Gene’s Tjin’s Fiesta ST has the newest, 3rd version of Cobb Tuning’s Accessport. Cobb Accessport gives you the ability to use ‘off the shelf’ tuning maps when using supporting Cobb bolt-ons. It also gives you the ability to customize your own pro map. But for most people, the ‘off the shelf’ maps are set up for everything you’re going to want/need… and it’s designed to be simple & reliable without hiccups.
For the Fiesta ST, your stock wheel horsepower and torque are going to be around 190hp & 230tq. A Stage-1 map on 93 Octane with no other mods (in other words, straight off the dealership floor), will give you a 5% horsepower increase, and a impressive 26% torque increase. That’s your starting point, and it’s a good one – especially when you’re looking at those torque gains.
Add a Cobb intake & front mount intercooler, and you can move to Stage-2… giving you a 14% horsepower increase, and a 29% torque increase. Fiesta STs suffer from heat soak issues, so these mods fix the problem and open up the gate to more power.
From there – add Cobb’s turbo-back exhaust, and you’re ready for Stage-3 – with a 23% horsepower increase, and a wicked 41% torque bump. Make sure to also get Cobb’s rear motor mount, as the factory mount can’t handle the added torque, and will allow the motor to flex too much & bump the firewall under heavy launch & hard-shifting. Matter fact – go to thesmokingtire.com and enter ‘project fiesta’ in the search bar. They ran through essentially all the same engine & software mods that this car has, made 217hp and 287tq on Stage-3 with crappy 91-octane Cali gas. Plus – Matt Farah really gives you a feel for the ST’s real world fun- factor… beyond the dyno charts.
Cobb Tuning Ford Accessport V3, Cobb Tuning air intake, Cobb Tuning intercooler, Cobb Tuning turbo- back exhaust, Cobb Tuning rear engine mount
Triple R Composites front spoiler, 3D Carbon rear spoiler, Bojix side skirts, LightWurkz One-off projector headlights, Coplus LED fog light / daytime running lights
WHEELS / BRAKES / SUSPENSION
One-off Air Lift air suspension, US Mags Big Slow 18×8, Falken FK-453 tires – 215/35/18, Baer Brakes 6P brake caliper / rotor upgrade, Eibach anti-roll bar front and rear