Drive Type: RWD
Exterior Color: Red
Trim: 2 DOOR
Interior Color: Red
Riverhead, New York, United States
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The V8 grunt of the Mustang has defined Ford performance cars in the US for the last 50 years, but in Europe, the Blue Oval has nearly as a long history of building some of the best hot hatches on the market with the Fiesta, Escort and later the Focus. The latest Fiesta ST has just hit the roads on both sides of the pond and has been enthusiastically received thanks to its combination of a peppy, turbocharged engine and hatchback utility.
However, Europe is getting a bumper crop of hot hatches at the moment, including the forthcoming, third-generation Mini Cooper S. Should Ford have waited to launch the ST until it knew how the competition performed? That's the answer that Xcar is after in its latest video, and it took the Fiesta to the track and some very misty, Welsh roads to find out. Scroll down to find out whether the ST stacks up.
It comes as no surprise when Ford says that 32-percent of Focus ST buyers are under 35, but we weren't expecting this: the average annual salary of Focus ST buyers is $127,000. Twenty-two percent of non-ST Focus buyers are under 35, while their average annual salary is $67,000.
We like the Focus ST because it has 252 horsepower, is genuinely fun to drive and offers great value for performance-minded car enthusiasts; facts that are not lost on customers, it seems. Ford says that the Focus ST has the highest percentage of conquest sales for a non-hybrid model it sells, and that the top-four trade-ins are from Honda, Chevrolet, Mazda and Toyota. Demand for the hot Focus is strongest in Los Angeles, Detroit, Houston and Orlando.
"[The Focus ST is] having this kind of halo effect for other vehicles we'd hoped for when we invested in the ST brand," says John Felice, vice president of US marketing, sales and service, because it's helping to boost sales of other Ford vehicles.
Just a couple days after announcing the resurrection of its Rent-A-Racer program, Hertz has revealed a new car being added to its Adrenalin Collection of rental cars. To signify its new partnership with Penske Racing in NASCAR, Hertz introduced a limited-edition version of the Ford Mustang GT, officially called the Hertz Penske GT, at last weekend's NASCAR races in Daytona. If you're like us, the rental specials remind with the original 1966 Shelby GT350-H and its later homage, the 2006 Shelby GT-H.
Visually, the Hertz Penske GT starts out with a black and yellow paint and graphics scheme as well as identifying badges, and Hertz has raided the Mustang parts bin for bits and bobs like a Boss 302 front splitter and Shelby GT500 rear valence to give the coupe its own unique look. The model has also receives performance improvements including upgraded suspension and exhaust, Brembo brakes, a retuned ECU and Recaro bucket seats. As a bonus, Penske Racing's Nationwide Series No. 22 Ford Mustang has been painted to match the new Hertz Penske GT. Other cars in the Hertz Adrenaline Collection include the standard version of the Ford Mustang GT, Chevrolet Camaro SS, Chevrolet Corvette convertible and Dodge Challenger R/T. Scroll down for the official press release for the Hertz Penske GT, or you can always head to your local Hertz airport location to see if they have one on the lot.