It’s a tiny hatchback drag race when a Ford Fiesta ST takes on a Mini Cooper S.
Here in the United States, small, economical hatchbacks have largely been replaced by compact crossovers, which are like small hatchbacks only bigger. They also have larger tires and somewhat beefier suspension as they’re usually based on SUVs, although not always--some newer-gen crossovers are essentially just hatchbacks with higher rooflines.
Regardless of how you feel about crossovers, there’s no denying that they’re selling better than hatchbacks. Ford has decided to kill the class of car entirely thanks to booming SUV sales and declining car sales, and you’d be hard pressed to find a North American carmaker that takes any degree of pride in their economical hatchback.
But there’s one place that hasn’t given up on hatchbacks, and that’s Europe. Europeans still love their hatchbacks, and there’s nothing better than a hot hatchback, which is like a regular hatchback only with enough power to be something other than a boring bubble car with a door on the back.
On the left, we have the Ford Fiesta ST. Ford might not make Fiestas in North America anymore, but in Europe, they continue to dominate the hatchback market. Under the hood is a 1.3-L turbocharged EcoBoost 3-cylinder engine with a surprising 197 hp and 210 lb-ft of torque. Zero to sixty is done in 6.4 seconds with power routed to the front wheels through a 6-speed manual.
On the right is the Mini Cooper S. What used to be considered the hottest of hatchbacks has dulled somewhat over the years, now only producing 189 hp from a 2.0-L 4-cylinder. Top speed is 146 mph with zero to sixty takes 6.7 seconds. It can come in either 6-speed manual or 8-speed automatic, but either way it will still weigh in about 100 lbs heavier than the Fiesta.
So the Fiesta is lighter, more powerful, and can accelerate quicker than the Mini Cooper. You can probably guess how this drag race is going to end.
Unsurprisingly, the Mini Cooper S is crushed behind the power of the Ford Fiesta ST. The Mini never really had a chance.
And yet you can still buy Minis here in North America, but not a Fiesta. Weird.