Here’s an interesting, hypothetical match-up: a professional driver in a Ford Fiesta ST hot-hatch is given a 100-yard head start, and must keep ahead of an ordinary Joe in a Chevrolet Corvette C7 on a road course. Can he do it?
Power Automedia decided to answer that question the only way they knew how: with a real-world race at Willow Springs International Motorsports Park. They put Formula Drift driver Conrad Grunewald in a Ford Fiesta ST, and an average motorist in a Corvette Stingray, sending both out for two complete laps of Willow Springs Raceway. The battle that ensued is a testament to the hatchback underdog’s supreme handling and road-holding.
Let’s talk about the power gap, shall we? The Ford Fiesta ST – propelled by a turbocharged, 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine – produces a max of 197 horsepower on overboost. The Chevrolet Corvette, meanwhile, uses a normally-aspirated, 6.2-liter pushrod V8 to pump out 460 horsepower. That’s greater than 130% more power output, with no chance of turbo lag.
Obviously, the Ford Fiesta ST’s 100-yard head start was warranted. Otherwise, the Corvette would easily outgun the hot-hatch on the main straight, and likely stay there.
Even with the handicap, was Conrad Grunewald able to keep the Ford Fiesta ST ahead of the much-more-powerful Corvette C7 Stingray? Watch the video to find out.