I have to disagree that the Zetec S takes the skill out of driving fast, although I can see why you would suggest it. Yes, in the twisties where the XR2i is getting "interesting", the Zetec-S is simply covering ground without any fuss or drama, but that's simply because its handling abilities are on a different plane altogether. Push it harder and you can play with it to your heart's content. Understeer, lairy oversteer, four wheel drifts - all are there to be exploited when you get to know the car. I've had mine for 6 months and I'm still not at the stage where I feel I can get 100% out of it. Every drive gets quicker and quicker, albeit often lairier, but that's all part of the fun. Dynamically, this is one of the finest small hatches since the 205 GTi in my opinion, and offers similar rewards to those prepared to really grab it by the balls and give it a pasting.
I do however, take your point about the lack of power, but as the previous commenter mentioned, this was never Ford's goal. How else could they get it into insurance group 8, and have it return a steady 35 mpg? The engine might be 20 brake down on what would be ideal, but it is sweet, free revving and a joy to work hard, which are qualities you could never associate with the old CVH engine in the XR2i.
How anyone can call the Zetec-S a fast car I don't know? A good car yes, but not fast. It does not even qualify as a hot hatch don't make it out to be something its not.
So the 103BHP Zetec-s would slaughter all previous fiesta's Including the 133BHP RS Turbo model. What a load of rubbish and that's a FACT!
Drive a mk2 Astra GTE 16v that is a fast "hot hatch" it has crap handling yes, but in a strait line it would beat all the "old school" hot hatches. Modify the handling and it is the don!!! Saxo VTR's are not in my class a Hot Hatch they are a "warm" unreliable french disaster!
The GTE 16v is a seriously quick car I agree. A mate of mine had one, complete with a Jamex adjustable suspension kit and it was very capable. However, my old 1.6 205 GTi would regularly make it look stupid on twisty roads, and I suspect the Zetec-S would do the same, having similar power and similar handling characteristics.
The GTE is a great car, but as you say, in straight lines only. Modded suspension helps, but you can only do so much with bolt on mods.
You think your MK2 16v Astra would beat all the "old school" hot hatches, I don't think so. I own a Fiesta RS Turbo with a documented 384BHP at 6250RPM it has a 2.0i ZVH engine with a big turbo and 6 injectors. 0-60 in just over 5 seconds and a top speed of around 155mph.
It was featured in performance Ford a while back. Yes the MK3 Fiesta does have crap handling and yes it takes a firm grip of the wheel when you lay down 384BHP, but who cares? How many MK2 Astra's have 384BHP?
All this straight line stuff is good pub boasting material, but the twisting country lanes are when the real fun (and driving skill) is at. No Plod, no Gatsos, no need for 300+ bhp.
To be fair just managing to keep 300+bhp under control in the mk3 Fiesta chassis would be a challenge. It must torque steer like mad.
384 BHP? in a Fiesta?
Have you kept the FWD set up?
Who did the conversion?
Are you the guy who wrote the 1988 Carlton 1.8 L report?
384 BHP in a Fiesta, you must be the guy who wrote the 1988 Carlton 1.8i review!
I hear Jackanory needs a new presenter, why not apply, tell them about your qualfie diff!!!
I remember seeing this Fiesta in the October 2001 issue of performance Ford. It is a superb car and I offer you my respect 384hp well done mate.
Why the hell would anyone want a 384bhp Fiesta??? I have a Zetec S (which I wanna sell If anyone is interested) and would like a more powerful car, so I'll go buy one, which is probably cheaper than modding a pile of rust.
How come a 384bhp Fiesta is that slow, I would expect faster 0-60 than over 5 seconds, bearing in mind an R34 does it in less. Okay, it is 4WD, but the Fiesta allegedly produces more power (a lot) and weighs a fair bit less...
To all those commenting the Zetec S needs 15bhp more. Well it has. The figure of 103bhp was published by Ford and was never verified by anyone else other than Ford engineers.
It's widely accepted that Ford understated the bhp to keep the insurance group down as they launched the car aiming at the younger market who can afford the ever increasing premiums.
Tests by the Car Press and other individuals after launch have shown power output of 113 to 115 bhp on a regular basis and a top end speed of 120mph.
I've personally had mine up to 115 at 5,100 rpm. The rev limiter is at 5,370 mph so it seems the argument can be settled once and for all!!!
Take your Zetec-s to a rolling road and you will find the power at the flywheel will be no more than 105bhp. I tried by Zetec-s (which has an induction kit) on two rolling roads and the power at the flywheel was 105.3bhp on the first and 105.6bhp on the second.
My God, you're all REALLY boring, aren't you?
I come to find out about a car and you're all just flirting with each other and your undoubtedly "I've just driven through Halfords with my awful car covered in superglue" cars. Stop wasting money on making crap old cars look even worse, and buy something decent.
I have to agree with the last comment. Fiestas are boring. They are on every street corner. Why don't you Fiesta drivers use your imagination and drive something different?
Um, isn't this spot for the car at the top of the page? So why are you wasting your comments here rather than under your various car's proper spots? It'd make MUCH more sense than going off on tangents that have NOTHING to do with this one other than to slag the original reviewer. GROW UP!!! Den.