Everyone with a modified Fiesta wishes they had untold wealth and limitless funds to pour though an extravagant gold-plated funnel direct into their car. Sadly most of our income is required for the more mundane aspects of life, but imagine if your financial position was no restriction, and that everything that you wanted for your car you could have. What would such a car be like?
For one man this question has been answered. Most of you reading will have seen his exploits but if you've been under a rock for the past few years, meet Ken.
Ken is the world's most successful shoe salesman. He started DC Shoes in 1993 with Damon Way and the pair sold the company to Quicksilver in 2004 for $87 million. Now half of $87 million is a fair stack of cash, even enough to buy a pair of mk3 RS Accessory rear lights and still have a bit left for some chips on the way home. Ken ostensibly decided against investing in overpriced new-old-stock parts and instead used his coin to build a series of moderately insane rally cars, beginning with a Subaru WRX STi and continuing with that marque until 2010 when he became perhaps the richest person ever to drive a Fiesta.
Before continuing you should have seen Ken's latest Gymkana 4 Video. If you've already viewed it please continue reading but if not then stop right now and check it out - you need to see the car in action before we continue.
Now, to deviate away slightly and give a bit of background information on why this car is here. It's not a mk3, no and I haven't seen the car either and photographed it with my own lenses and grilled the driver. This breaks with tradition somewhat but the car is simply to awesome to ignore. It is after all a Fiesta Turbo and this is fiestaturbo.com. Plenty of sites have blogged about it or linked to the vid but ft like to go above and beyond so I have spent a good few hours in detective mode, going through the videos frame by frame and collating as much information about the car as possible so that I can list the most complete spec available and also hopefully provide some knowledge that you can't get elsewhere. Unfortunately tech info on this new car is still sparse. I was able to find plenty on the previous Duratec car from Gymkana 3, but this new EcoBoost powered one is still fairly unknown.
Previously Block had been using three different Fiestas for the different disciplines he competed in - Gymkana, Rallycross and Stage Rallying, but found this to be difficult to manage and unnecessarily expensive, so sought a solution in the form of a "Hybrid" car which he calls the Hybrid Function Hoon Vehicle, or HFHV. Hybrid in this case referring to its capabilities rather than any form of electric engine. The car is built in such a way that parts can be quickly changed for the different events - wheels are obviously a simple swap and springs too, even swapping gear ratios and brake discs is fairly normal rally tweaking, but Block's wrenches even go so far as to move the radiator between the front and back of the car and alternate between real headlights and dummy items.
Essentially the new car is based on the M-Sport Fiesta WRC so shares the same shell, suspension and interior but with the M-Sport X-Trac transmission replaced with Sadev items and the 1.6 swapped out for the 2.0 version of the same EcoBoost engine. This new powerplant was built by PIPO Moteurs, a French outfit who have been constructing Ford's WRC engines for M-Sport since 2005, and prior to that the 306, 206 and 307 WRC engines for Peugeot. The TR30R Turbo is a very interesting item, aside from having a titanium compressor wheel, it is only available to race teams as it is not burst tested. This is a safety test to ensure that when a turbo explodes due to huge centrifugal force it should contain all its rotating components (likely bits of the compressor wheel) within the housing and not fire them off in all directions. The TR30R does not pass this test due to the use of a lightweight housing, and as a result is not sold to OEMs or public customers. Even with a 45mm restrictor on the turbo it produces 600bhp and 665 ft-lbs of torque. The restrictor changes from 45mm to 34mm to be legal for US rally events, but the engine is 400cc too large to make it WRC eligible. Once the whole car was assembled by M-Sport it was shipped over to the states for testing and setup - quite an involving task for the bods with laptops.
As with any modern car, electronics reign supreme, and this car is brimming with gadgets that make it go faster. The ECU is Cosworth's Pectel MQ12, a top of the line unit that retails for around the price of a base model new Mk7 Fiesta. This is connected to a Hyllus power control module - an electronic box that replaces the normal power junction box of relays and circuit breakers. It is completely software controlled so there are no hardware switches and everything it does can be logged and monitored. Clearly visible inside the car in the video is the Cosworth multi function display unit, showing brake and accelerator pedal travel and RPM amongst other things. Finally there is a Pi data logger, again from Cosworth which logs activity to Compact Flash cards for subsequent review.
While you'd expect the ICE box in the spec table to be empty for a car like this, amazingly Ken actually does have a head unit and speakers. This provides Bluetooth hands free, sat nav and internet access - handy when the car is in street legal mode.
It's over 8 years since we last featured a car on ft, back in 2003 Ford's WRC car was the Mk1 Focus and serious Cosworths were putting out around 600bhp by means of giant laggy turbos. Fast forward back to 2011 and we now have a Fiesta that is restricted to 600bhp (it's capable of over 800bhp) that will do 0-60 in 2 seconds. Serious stuff. Presumably the restrictor can be left off entirely (as with the previous car) to unleash the full 800 horses - maybe for a top speed run? Slot some longer cogs in there and head for the salt flats. If a mk3 with 450bhp can hit just under 190mph, the more aerodynamic Mk7 with almost double the power should be good for a fair way north of 200. Hopefully Ford's usage of the Fiesta for WRC will trickle down some technology and see us with a 1.6 EcoBoost Turbo powered Fiesta, maybe even with an RS badge on the back. Here's hoping...