Fiesta STreets: Updates and More Updates
It’s been a while since we’ve updated this build (or any PST builds), so we figure it’s time for catching up on Project Fiesta STreets, as well as some info regarding what lies ahead for Project-ST in general.
In the last STreets update we mentioned that the car was headed east for a while, and that’s exactly what happened. We won’t bore you with a 2600-mile CA-to-FL play-by-play (picture diary is at the bottom of this article), but it is worth noting just how good the car behaved as a long road-trip companion. With a specific deadline in place for reaching FL, we chose to drive straight through, stopping only for fuel, food, and bathroom breaks. We did use a rest stop for actual rest at one point – for a total of four hours – but the rest of the 44 total hours were spent driving.
The long drive was a testament to just how good KW’s new ST-XTA coilovers are for this application. Not only is the ride quality every bit as good as OE, but we’d go so far as to say it’s actually better, since the high-speed damping is controlled so much better and even at ultra-legal speeds there is no float. Overall the trip was uneventful (the way we like it) and STreets never missed a beat, averaging over 32mpg (and 72mph).
The Recaro seats that some claim are too restrictive were one of the best aspects of the car (hint: the seats take a little time to ‘break-in”). One other feature we need to point out is the aspherical section of the driver’s side-view mirror. We’re big believers in learning how to set your side and rear-view mirrors to eliminate blind spots, but even so these trick little aspherical things do a great job of eliminating blind spots completely, and we’re baffled now that all cars don’t come with them.
Back east in FL, STreets has taken on the task of daily-driver duties and it’s done it amazingly well. It’s awesome that the car handles trips to the beach, the school-bus stop, the dog park, the grocery store, to Home Depot (15 bags of mulch doesn’t phase this thing) and even airport runs, but how the Fiesta ST makes such mundane tasks something to look forward to is truly remarkable. There’s just something about the way the the car’s important attributes all work in harmony that makes the car such a joy to drive in any situation. Simply put, Ford just nailed it with this car and we couldn’t be happier as a result. No matter how hard we drive the thing, and even with the AC on 90% of the time, we’re still averaging 28mpg. And that’s with an almost 100% city driving environment. Amazing.
As great a daily-driver as the ST is, its existence at Project ST is that of a project car, and of course that means it’s now modification time. We’re not going too crazy with Project STreets, but the list of mods will still be rather extensive.
One shortcoming we did notice on our cross-country drive was that the headlights could certainly be improved. Some late-night desolate, deer-infested stretches of Texas highway made us yearn for the HID vision that all three PST Focuses have spoiled us with. As you likely know there is no factory HID option for the US-spec Fiesta, so we decided to take care of the conversion via a combination of OE Ford and aftermarket suppliers. We do not endorse using HID bulbs in halogen reflector-style housings, so our first task was sourcing a set of Euro-spec Fiesta lights with projector housings. Luckily for us we know some low people in low places within the Ford group (just kidding), so snagging a set of Euro lights was no problem. As soon as we received the lights we headed over to our official PST east coast performance shop, Panzer Performance of Bradenton, FL.
Installation was plug-and-play (minus the LED strips – more on that in a minute) and even with the standard non-HID bulbs, the projector-style Euro lighting is vastly superior to the US lights, with a sharper cut-off and much better forward reach. As hinted already, the US headlight harness does not have an option to receive the LED plug that comes with the Euro lights. It’s an easy mod to adapt the extra plug to the US harness, but for now we’ve elected to run the lights without them, as they do not affect the actual operation of the headlights. When it’s time to convert to HID we’ll wire in the LEDs. Speaking of HID conversions, for this job we’re once again contacting our friends at The Retrofit Source. For this job it’s just a matter of sourcing bulbs and ballasts, but the guys at TRS know all the best options. We’ll address the HID and LED part of this upgrade in the next STreets update.
We’ve got some other mods already planned out and in fact, some of the parts are already here. It’ll be no surprise that we’ve once again dipped into the Mountune parts catalog, ordering up their intercooler, airbox, and short-shift upgrades, and our friends at Ford Racing have also chipped in with a cat-back exhaust. The next STreets update will cover the installation of these parts as well as our impressions of the results.
We’ll also hopefully get STreets to the track and take some time to mess around a bit with the ST XTA coilover’s adjustable damping options. Finally, you’ll notice that STreets is still wearing is OE wheels, and of course with fifteen52 behind this project that’s just not acceptable. Expect some attention to this company oops very soon.
On a related subject, Project STreets is about to share the PST spotlight with a far more radical Fiesta ST build. And the car is already built. We’ve hinted at this project already, but very shortly we’ll release full details of the KW x KB x 52 collab. We’ll take a moment to add here that the car was the platform for the new production Mk7 Fiesta ST parts we’re about to release…
In addition to the above special build, Project ST is headed for some truly special things. The release of the new Focus RS info has not gone unnoticed by us (or our partner Ken Block) and even though this website doesn’t have the letters RS in its title, well, don’t be surprised if we eventually sort through that little barrier.
Until next time, we’ll continue to enjoy the crap out of Project STreets and we can’t wait for the serious modding to begin!