Sorry, but Top Gear managed just that. Beat a VTS and a Corsa SRi around Mallory Park (I think) despite being 15 bhp down.
Won the test convincingly too.
The test was at Curbra I think he says (like a Kart track)
Steve berry said "The Saxo VTS is Britains best selling hot hatch, next to the Zetec-S its hard to see why". Although the presenter stated the obvious that the Vts is faster in a straight line, the mechanics, handling, looks and ride, were superior on the fiesta.
Performance isn't just a straight line.
I've been reading through the comments on these pages and I have to say it's a laugh a minute!
Granted that paper figures give little indication of ability, and shouldn't be trusted, but just because someone on TopGear beat someone else doesn't mean anything either.
I'll also agree that Citroen's are tin boxes, they seem to avoid any use of screws if they can, but there is no way in my experience that any Fiesta would be able to keep up, around a bend or straight, with a VTS! Ignore the VTR, they really are crap!
That's the best comparison I've read - whoever says a Zetec-S will beat a VTS in standard form is trippin.
My mate owns a Saxo VTR and I personally own a 1.6 Zetec-s.
Both are not modded up in any way, and we have both been driving for about a year now, as we are both 18 years old.
The zetec-s got away very fast compared to the VTR in first and second gear, when it came into third gear, the VTR started to catch up a little, but the distance between both our cars was significant. The fiesta won in a straight line race. We also both admitted that the fiesta handles much better. I personally prefer the looks of the citron. In the end it was obvious which one was better.
I own a 89 1.1 fiesta (A real shame I know!). But working in a few places that I have and growing up in motor sport I have picked up on a few things.
I can see the fun in racing round town centers in tarted up motors, but there are a few things about the Zetec s ford missed out!
Piper (piper exhausts etc) do a cam set for that engine with cam's, cam followers, springs etc. It will set you back a cool £550 but the shape of the cam's really makes a difference. Take this further by doing an engine remapping and you could be seeing up to an increase of 13-14bhp!!
This will give the mid range and top end the Zetec s always lacked, giving VT'S drivers a run for their money.
It really does work, my colleague races them!
Had a Zetec-S for a while, loved it. Remember, it was never sold as a hot hatch, was never claimed to be the fastest thing on earth and would be positively crapped over by most proper hot hatches.
What it did have was handling to die for (Ford know their stuff here), good build quality and total reliability. The latter two are something you will never get on a French car, and particularly a cheap one like a Saxo or Clio. It's horses for courses.
I now drive an E46 BMW 330Ci which would obviously take the Fiesta apart in any scenario, but even in this context, I still remember the Z-S fondly. It was just a fun, affordable, insurable little car that took as much abuse as I could give it, never broke down, and handled well enough to make me take the twisty routes wherever possible. Why can't owners just leave it at that instead of waving their willies in the air?