Reasons to be cheerful: Ford Fiesta ST vs XR2
30 years later, Ford proves that it's still got the magic hot-hatch touch
Posted: 24 Jan 2014
They were the work of Ford's Special Vehicle Engineering department, a sort of skunkworks formed in early Eighties Essex and tasked with beefing up everyday saloons and hatches. The ‘X', by the way, takes its name from the ‘X Pack' - bodykits, performance bits - sold by Ford dealerships back in the day. ‘R' is for racing.
The red car you can see here is a spotless 60,000-miler. Like the ST, it has a 1.6-litre petrol engine. It weighs only 840kg. It feels honest and mechanical, and acceleration is instant and perky. There's a rightness to its proportions, helped by black cladding for a little extra attitude. Inside, it's simple and airy, and the pillars are so thin that all-round visibility could only be improved if you were an owl.