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The New Fiesta ST!

Interesting thread.

My father in law has just recently retired from being a development engineer for Mahle, which used to be known as Cosworth Technology until Audi (yes you read that right) sold it to Mahle approx 3years back.

The Scorpio engine had Cosworth designed heads, Cosworth Technology like Racing are both situated in Northampton, and they have their own foundry out at Kettering iirc where they can make engine blocks and heads.

He had a hand in designing/developing the 4.2V8 AUDI RS4 engine, 5.2V10 AUDI RS6 engine, MINI/Peugoet 1.6 Turbo engine and the Nissan GTR engine. All of the 3engines he got through long term durability made 550bhp with ease, so was a surprise to us when it was launched with only 476bhp. Many engine from the VAG group were deigned here in the along with many other manufacturers. The last biggish project he did was for Maclaren for the MC12 whatever its called, though thatwent sour and engine went to Ricardo I believe.

Further to this when he was at Tickford (now known as Prodrive and no longerat the old Milton Keynes site), he was on the development team for the PumaRacing, which as with lots of Ford projects are under funded. The final engineoutput was lower than Tickford wanted and expected to achieve, but Ford wouldpay for no more, and the assembly plant Tickford built at Daventry for the Fordprojected 5000cars ended up costing Tickford money as it under sold as was tooexpensive.

Ford themselves said they would never again build cars like the FRP and MK1Focus RS as they effectively cherry picked the best products they could, i.e. Alcon calipers, Sparco seats etc paid for the best external engineers to work theirmagic on them and lost loads but did as they set out, to create halo models.

Much is made of Ford chassis engineers, but most of the true brains behind it left to go to the VAG group to help design the MK5 Golf as VAG knew that te MK4 was poor and pretty much needed to address this, and how better than to take the knowledge from the then bench mark, Ford have never been quiet the same since, but you don't forget what went before, it's just harder to move on.

Ford also paid Tickford hundred of thousands of pounds when developing theST170 Focus engine by benchmarking the 2L units from Peugeot and Renault; I believe the GTi6 & early Clio172. Ford were gobsmacked by the engineering integrity employed by the French manufacturers and decided they couldn't build an engineto a similar degree on the budget they had.

Ford are known within the industry of being very budget driven, maybe even more so than others, everything is built down to a price, but given the global position they have, can often get a good end result.

Although on the surface the latest RS has been promoted to be a success, infact it sold slower than Ford anticipated, with hundreds of unsold examplessitting at Bruntingthorpe (along with thousands of BMW's incidentally), many Ford dealers reluctant to take one into stock for fear of not selling. To shift the unsold stock they tweaked them, went on the PR offensive, called themRS500's and just about managed to shift the last of the stock. The least saidabout the fated attempt to set the fastest ring lap time the better. Overheatingthe front tyres blighted its challenge, lots of torque and lots of weight eventually takes its toll on a powerful FWD car.

I've always had a soft spot for Ford's from my MK1 Fiesta XR2 days whichitself was a costly product for Ford being in production for 18months and designed by SVO along with the Escort MK3 RS1600i, before being softened and slickly marketed as the MK2 XR2 and XR3i models which sold by the tens of thousands.

Sadly lots cars will go for turbo boosted downsized engines now as in terms of CO2 emissions & mpg these low boost applications offer much better and cheaper alternatives to not only produce, but in taxation to the purchaser thanhigh revving N/A engines. It's the future; the new M5 bears this to be true, thenext Clio RS will be 1.6L turbo as well.

I wonder what Honda will do, that could be interesting as they have always championed the purity of N/A engines, but they didn’t do too badly in the F1 turbo era.

I'm sure the Fiesta will be great, modern cars are built so good these days you really don't get the duffers you used to many years ago.


Formerly Mashed up egg in a cup
ClioSport Club Member
Really good read mate. Could you ask him if he know's anymore info on the Frp. Has an amazing story behind it.

I own No.467/500. I'm not sure the Frs 500 thing is true as they were painted panther black at the factory so I doubt they were painted shells before then. May be wrong though. :)
I should have clarified, the unsold cars at that point were not made into RS500's but sold on the back off the publicity the RS500 made as in the UK alone I think there was about 10% of the allocated cars I.e. 400 unsold when the RS 500 was announced. Understandably every car mag ran big reviews on the 500 & most people realised that with some minor modifications to a standard RS a 500 equivalent car could be had.

It's a risky strategy, but eventually worked, though discounts were offered on the RS to sell them. I like them, though have to admit I'd rather have the potential Polestar Volvo C30 with 4wd & 400bhp given the choice, but only 30 of those may come to the UK if given the go ahead and at an even more ridiculous price than a Golf R.

I'll ask about the FRP when I get the chance, though have to admit the stories of being workshop manager for Nissan Team Europe during the Violet & the 280RS group B days more entertaining.

Interestingly, Renaultsport have never lost on anycar they have made including the slow selling R26.R demand for which in other markets outstripped demand, so rather than discount to shift slow UK stock reallocated it back. It also helps they make the worlds best selobg single seat race car making it very profitable.