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Vale, North Carolina, United States
We at Autoblog love the new little Ford Fiesta ST, and apparently, folks in Europe are pretty impressed with it, as well. According to Ford, the automaker's European arm has already logged 3,000 orders for the new hot hatch since it hit dealerships this March. The US-spec car, which will only be available as a five-door, will go on sale in the United States this summer.
What's perhaps most interesting about the Fiesta ST ordering is that the majority of customers appear to be ordering high-spec cars. According to Ford data, 60 percent of customers have opted for the leather interior with Recaro buckets, and 90 percent have selected the upgraded 17-inch wheels (seen on our test car, above). Spirit Blue has been the most popular color, commanding 27 percent of all orders. As for the technology upgrades, 19 percent of customers have ponied up for the Sony stereo with navigation.
To recap, the Fiesta ST is offered with Ford's 1.6-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder engine, putting out 179 horsepower and 177 pound-feet of torque, mated exclusively to a six-speed manual transmission. We had an absolute blast flinging the hot Fiesta through the French Alps, and we can't wait for this sharp little hatch to make its way over to the States.
The sixth-generation NASCAR Sprint Cup racecar, which will make its competition debut at the 2013 Daytona 500 this weekend, marks the closest thing to a "stock car" that the sport has seen in more than 20 years. No longer using just stickers to distinguish the different brands, the image above shows the lengths NASCAR and automakers went in order to create a racecar design that more closely resembles the individual cars they represent.
Ford, one of the more open and vocal OEMs regarding the Gen6 car's development, is giving us a closer look at its racing version of the Fusion with a pretty revealing side-by-side comparison with last years' racer (click above for an expanded view). Aside from the more realistic front end and production-like body lines, the overall shape, dimensions and proportions have also been designed to give the racecar a more stock appearance. Most of the new racer was designed by the Ford Design Center, which the automaker says was the first time it has been so involved in the design process since the 1960s. Of course, one area the Sprint Cup Fusion really differs from the production Fusion is its Ford Racing 5.8-liter V8 producing around 850 hp. Can you say Fusion SVT?
Scroll down for a quick video from Ford Racing showing a production Fusion morph into a Cup car.
When Ford made the decision to end production of the Falcon sedan and Territory CUV in Australia, it wasn't a popular move Down Under. The large, four-door Falcon had been in production for 50 years, and while Ford has reaffirmed its commitment to the Australian market, it's understandable that some people still aren't all that crazy about the Blue Oval's decision.
Speaking to CEO Alan Mulally after Ford's Go Further event in Sydney, Australian site Go Auto reports that the decision was not one made lightly, and that the automaker is doing everything possible to respect the Falcon and Territory's "stakeholders." It's an interesting piece that shows a softer side of a corporation, while demonstrating that Ford is doing everything in its power to make the end of production as smooth as possible for all parties.
Head over to Go Auto for the full series of remarks from Mulally, and then let us know what you think of Ford's handling of the Falcon and Territory discontinuations, in Comments.