Sewaren, New Jersey, United States
Formula One World Champions Nelson Piquet and Nigel Mansell haven't been on good terms since the 1986 season, when Piquet joined Mansell at the Williams team and Piquet spent the year privately fuming about not being granted the status of number one driver. Things only got worse from there - even though Piquet won the title the following year with Williams, still partnered with Mansell, the fuming was a lot less private.
They're back together after a 25-year silence, in the city of Porto Alegre, Brazil to drive the new Ford Fusion. Called "Fusion Grand Prix," both men get the new Ford sedan, prepped to their liking - but still street legal, we assume - for a race to decide... well, who is faster behind the wheel of a Fusion.
There will be four episodes, with the first two having already aired. The third episode comes on January 29 and the race happens February 5. You'll find two video episodes and a press release below, but note - because it's a campaign for Ford Brazil, Piquet's dialogue in the vids isn't translated, so hit the Closed Captioning button to hear his side of the smack talking.
The 2014 model year brings a whole host of changes to Ford's Fiesta B-Segment fighter, the most important of which (to our enthusiast eyes, anyway) is the addition of a potent new ST model. The US-spec hot hatch was first shown at the 2012 Los Angeles Auto Show last November, and thanks to Ford's build-and-price site, we've now learned that the Fiesta ST will slide in at $21,400 when it goes on sale later this year (*not including $795 for destination).
Under the hood of the ST is a turbocharged 1.6-liter EcoBoost inline-four good for 197 horsepower and 214 pound-feet of torque, mated solely to a six-speed manual transmission. Ford hasn't released performance data on its pint-sized puncher just yet, but know that these numbers make the Fiesta ST ever-so-slightly more powerful than the larger Volkswagen GTI while returning an estimated 34 miles per gallon on the highway.
Elsewhere in the lineup, the standard Fiesta also gets a smattering of improvements for the 2014 model year, including a new 1.0-liter three-cylinder turbocharged engine and revised exterior styling. Pricing for the 2014 Fiesta sedan starts at $14,000, with the five-door model adding $600 to that number (again excluding the $795 destination fee).
Ford's 1.0-liter EcoBoost three-cylinder engine hasn't been around that long, but it sounds like the engine is getting to be fairly popular in the automaker's global car lineup. The Detroit News is reporting that Ford has add a second shift that will allow its German engine plant to double daily output from 500 engines to 1,000.
The increased capacity is part of a plan to sell more than 300,000 vehicles a year with this engine in Europe by 2015. Europe is currently the only market where the smallest of the EcoBoost engines is offered (including in the Focus pictured above), but US-spec Fiesta models will be getting this mill for 2014.
Three-cylinder engines are expected to continue to grow in popularity in coming years with the report indicating that global production of these engines will double by 2018 to 9.8 million units. General Motors, BMW and Mitsubishi are all expected to introduce three-cylinder engines in the near term, as well.