Posted by: Rahul Ramesh | August 25, 2008

Wow, He finally got it!!!

Has EVERYONE seen Jaane tu..??

Do ALL the boys in Bandra have hot girlfriends?

Can anyone afford to buy a house in Bombay now?

These are the humdrum rantings that race through my head as I write these jealous words.

Yes, Jealous

Extremely

It seems my sozzled soiree has had a most (un)desirable effect, it convinced my dear ex-best friend (you’ll see why ex best) to buy THE Ford Fiesta (now you see the cause de flare up!!) because as he calls it ‘it sounded like a boy’s ride’. And not just that the evil knievel actually gets a swank free watch FREE with it!!

Since someone somewhere is taking me seriously lemme take this opportunity to record his experience as briefly as possible (coz it hurts) since I’m getting nowhere near a new car given my current bank unbalance, so here goes –

Moolah/ Dosh / greens – it seems the Ford Fiesta costs 848,629/- and Sammy (that’s Sameer Valechha, VP, Swincap Securities to you) simply walked in to the showroom, met this suave cool folks who seem to have charmed him (he gave me a BIIIG lowdown on intelligent well-informed customer interaction being the future of retail or some such) and decided he wanted to get one of the feisty babies right THERE!!!

LOAN – HA HA HA – this part I really like – turns out Sammy the Moneybag needs a loan to buy a new car! So he plonks his salary slip, PAN card AND credit card to get a loan!! And here’s the best part, its gonna take 1 week for his car to arrive (although I must admit, it’s a bit better than the wait on some other wheels in town right now).

For the financially uninitiated reader here’s a checklist of d and documents before you lose your heart to a four wheeled beauty –

a) ID Proof (typically a copy of the PAN card/Driver’s License / Valid Photo ID)

b) Salary slip / IT returns

But honestly if you are in Delhi or Bombay, Please, Please, Puhleeease… spend some time getting to know your new car. Be familiar with the handling and capabilities of your car. Nothing irritates me more than to see a driver choking traffic because s/he doesn’t know the turning radius of the car!!!!!

So, my soliloquy ends here. Sammy is over the moon pretty much like the proverbial cow and I will soon have access to the jizzin Ford Fiesta 1.6S, after all what else are friends for (wink wink)

Posted by: Rahul Ramesh | August 22, 2008

I find myself in a thoughtful mood today

I find myself in a thoughtful mood today. Something of a rarity I must admit. So, this is a more inward looking, contemplative. I was invited to a rather wonderful preview of a Bollywood film yesterday. The film show extended into a party right there in the cinema and suddenly I was in a group of strangers with a keen sense that I’d known them all along! So, the long and short of it was that yours truly needed a ride back home when the melee go over and was promptly offered one by a stylish and smartly dressed (though not very bright as you’ll see) couple in their Maruti Suzuki SX 4.

Now, my kaboozers were still singeing from burning the rubber in the Ford Fiesta 1.6S so I couldn’t resist asking them for some real time feedback and I think I did sing a little while describing my TD. This didn’t go down very well with my host (and driver) and I was deposited by the sidewalk, he’d mistaken my glad rantings for the Fiesta as against his ride (well, not so bright, you see). Make n mistake, the SX4 is not to be dismissed lightly but I find myself partial to the Fiesta. So there, the contemplation (partly for having shot my mouth off with a little help from some roset` wine) and thought has now convinced me that I should get to the end of it. So expect more on this!!

Posted by: Rahul Ramesh | July 31, 2008

I’m back

Last time folks I gave you a blow-by-blow account of the test drive …Shiver me timbers, it felt good… After that I sat down in the office and all the drive was in my head throughout, a maddening urge to steal the Fiesta 1.6S and zip through traffic did grip me… Ofcourse the local Ford dealers weren’t that naïve and let me be a nuisance on the road… This time I decided to let you all have a look at the car with the pictures on this post. Without further adieu, let the pictures tell you what I went through (ofcourse the colourful expletives uttered throughout the ride when dodging jaywalkers and morose drivers has not been showcased)

So Saturday after a loooooong wait the car arrives finally at 12.20pm. Its a Morello colour 1.6S Duratec, fully loaded, with skirts on all four sides. The Headlights were slightly changed from the previous versions, maybe inspired by the Civic Headlamps

New Ford Fiesta 1.6S Duratec

Side Skirts + the ground clearance is also very high

15” Alloy wheels with 195/55/R15 tyres

The front somehow reminds me of the new EVO
The interiors of the car are just fab. Seems this time ford has taken time and worked on this one, I’ll let the pics do the talking.

The seats are very comfortable but I do wish they’d used leather instead of the fabric

Neat Door trim and design, Ample storage space and a bottle holder included.

Corporate panel MP3 Headunit, looks neat though

Front door Speakers

Tweeters in the tweeter pods, just check out the OVRM adjustable knob

6 x 9″ coax. in the rear, Yea yeah, they produce good BASS..!!!
I feel the ICE in this car is better sounding than any of its competitors

This car has a 1.6L Duratec 4 Cyl, in-line, 16-V DOHC engine at 101BHP. On enquiring about the Fuel Efficiency, I was told it shells out 9.5-11kmpl in city and 14.5-16kmpl on highways. The gear shifting of the car is very smooth and short shifting. Overall acceleration and pickup is very quick. The car is very stable on the road, comfortable and smooth to drive without any hassles. It also has ABS and Airbags

Smooth Gear Shift

engine bay

Dials

DTE feature: Man, it shows you how many kms you can drive with the fuel in the tank, I wish this feature was standard in all cars

Cigarette lighter and Auxiliary-in for music device.

Sporty Pedals, WOW! Now thats grippy and the feel is great.

Ample luggage space

After going through each and every detail in the TD, I strongly feel this car is worth buying and total VFM. I am personally looking forward for another TD of this car and maybe replace my 2001 Esteem sooner. My overall experience was awesome!! I could touch 130kmph on the western highway and am sure the car has potential to do lots more. Overall it was a great experience in reviewing. A good car, always a pleasure.

Posted by: Rahul Ramesh | July 28, 2008

Back to Business and the Fiesta TD

Hello Guys, been really busy and so no time to post. But I’m back and boy am I back. Getting back to the TD, I had the car for more than 3hrs with me and so I got a chance to do a detailed photo shoot. As the car arrived at my office I took it for a small spin.

Driving Pleasure:

Ok, I cranked the engine and the car started with almost no noise. Now, I got a little mischievous and tried revving it. And after 4k rpm there was a swrill sound and absolutely no vibration inside. I took out the car on the road, and started driving at a decent speed. WOW was the first impression. Great driving pleasure and seating position. The steering-wheel was so comfy to hold. I enquired with the sales guy whether the steering was adjustable (we like to push the envelope you see). Sniggering, he assisted me and suddenly I had this gorgeous cockpit like view in front of me with the dials right where I want them.

From what I noticed the car is very torquey and responsive. The gear shift is butter smooth and has a short shift feel. When you change the gear, you can feel it getting locked in the position, and there’s zero vibration in the gear. This appeals to my gentle sensibilities and the torque takes care of the beast in me!! (Wonder why they don’t call it the beautiful beast?!)

Its a great feeling to drive the car with absolute and clear visibility of the roads. The interior is lavish full black and grey (somehow I didn’t like the beige interior, too much Ralph Lauren in my wardrobe I think!!). After sometime we landed (yes, that’s the word dear reader, it feels like flying an airplane so far!) at the Bandra reclamation, the mecca of sweet clean stretches of road and I wanted to feel the full extent of the car’s power, basically get my speed fix. I stopped the car to a side, shifted to 1st gear and floored it. It went “Wooosh” (or something similar) and let me describe the rest as it happened –

- the car revved happily till the 6k rpm mark

- I released the clutch. The car screeched a little and sped ahead

- I could still feel the pull, the sheer rush coursing through my veins

- All I remember after that is somewhere, in a matter of nanoseconds, I shifted to 2nd at 50kph, 3rd in 80kph and 4th somewhere around 120ish…..ohhhh sweet heaven

- Mercy, mercy, I hugged the ends of the road and then slowed down at the dead-end to take a U-turn, and wow, in no time the car touched 0-100!!

All this while I was testing out the speeds and rpm to rpm gear shifts which was no-doubt positive (seems i was drag racing with myself, hehehehe). The car holds up the road at high speeds and you can hear the zig-zig-zig-zig gripping sound from the tyres. Thanks to the 15inchers, cornering and traction has been improved than the previous Fiesta. And yes, the suspensions are stiffer. Even at a slight turn on good speeds the car does not drag from the rear.

I was happily enjoying the drive and going through my mental checklist wondering if I’d missed anything critical and then…suddenly I realized, what about the braking?? If this thing can fly beautifully, its gotta land safely too!! I tried braking at about 60km (knowing there’s no-one in the back seat waiting to launch themselves through the windshield), the car just slowed without any skid or slide, thanks to the ABS. Man this thing is intelligent! if I’d braked that hard on my Maruti Esteem it would have slid right outta my control.

I reached the main-road and simply zipped through the regular traffic. The car handles very well and is easy to control while zipping through traffic, something that I really appreciate since I’m somehow always behind time on those urgent meetings that keep popping up, not to mention the dates I’ve been late for! Well this baby is gonna floor them (the gals) and get you there on time for the movie!

All this while I was thinking if the car has so much power and quick response and so much torque the Fuel Efficiency would be disappointing. So dreading the outcome i looked at the ODO, now I had already driven the car more than 14km with high rev’s, traffic and even floored it twice, still the fuel indicator moved just a bit. I’m told the FE would be somewhere in 9.5-11kmpl in the city, now this sounds great power with durability with style with…well you get it.

Over-all my opinion is that the car is speedy and fast, the more important factor is the FEEL you get while driving. I can vouch for the fact that the Ford Fiesta 1.6S is designed & engineered for sheer driving pleasure, though the A –pillar obstruction was an issue here too.

I’d suggest you go take a test drive, it’s a better way of getting high on a weekend J

The upholstery and plastics are of very good quality, the dash-board feel is soft and the material used is very nice, over-all fit and finish is A+, not like the ikon which had full molded plastically interiors. The 1.6S standard comes with 15inch alloys and 195/55/R15 GoodYear Tubeless tyres, there is a lot of cup-holders for keeping glass/bottles. The Programmable key-less entry can be programmed into opening only the driver’s side door/ passenger doors/ all 4 doors, as you wish.

Also the feature is on the key itself cutting out the extra remote control dangling along with the key (and becoming unwieldy in your jacket pocket). The steering height is adjustable, all four side power-windows, knob controlled OVRM mirror’s. The FE has a petrol cap release button, unlike the ikon’s which were always open. The bonnet opener is on the passenger side left-bottom.

In short, the car is power-packed with good features. This was the overall experience with the car. Anything else I remember will be posted in the thread (when the blood hopefully returns to my head!) I hope this solves many of the queries posted. If I had the money I would definitely own this car. It’s sporty, sexy and fast, and the colors options are nice, but then if wishes were horses….or should I say if wishes were the New Ford FE 1.6S…

Posted by: Rahul Ramesh | July 11, 2008

UNDER THE HOOD OF THE FIESTA

As my nasty friend, the COLD, is retreating from my body, my head is clearing a bit allowing me to observe more details such as the Jack and the Beanstalk story to which I put my kid to sleep… Kids these days just snooze off before the end of the story leaving an irritated father who wants them to be awake till the end… The Ford Fiesta 1.6S.. Let’s get down to business and leave Jack in his own world..(kid hasn’t seen the Ferrari.. chuckle chuckle)

1.6L, 100BHP(101 PS).. a bit of a disappointment really from Ford.. some more BHP could have really provided that extra grunt(I love the engine response when the Fiesta is floored and it takes off..) and consider the fuel hike… fuel efficiency is another issue which Ford says it has resolved with the new ECU revamped to give the same figures as the discontinued 1.4L petrol variant.. Currently available petrol options include the SXI,ZXI and EXI.. Displacement of about 1600cc with a maximum of nearly 150nm at 3400 rpm.. quite normal and obviously conforming to emission standards.. The 4 cylinder 16 V DOHC(Double Overhead Camshaft… ) with the SEFI (sequential electronic fuel injection) has disappointed auto enthusiasts purely because this was a golden opportunity to take out the competition with more brute power and a better mileage provision could have helped.. What Ford have done though is extensive work on the suspension. By the way, this car does 0-100 in under 12 seconds(wow… I want to see this for myself… raised eyebrows from the competition as their headlamps raise their levels an inch.. )

Very good handling, absolute treat to drive are normal opinions about any Fiesta.. well a reworking of the suspension with better springs(stiffer than previous versions) and work on the suspension setup will give drivers better feedback and control on the roads(absolutely needed considering the increasing jaywalker population..)Now the interesting thing I heard was the valve tuning in the new dampers design with the new jounce bumper design.. smoother ride on the bumps or unexpected cracks in the earth.. this lends better stability and control due to the extra damping provided…(hmm a test drive is in order for observing this..) The gearbox has not been changed and I am itching to take the car for a spin to get a feel of the car as well as test the steering … and yes try a drift as well(Tokyo Drift here I come… but I don’t think Ford dealers wont like taking back a pretty bashed up brand new S variant).. and the standard 5 speed manual transmission(no AT option yet… ouch…)

Safety features include the ABS (Dual Airbags reqd) and EBD (Electronic Brake Distribution) as well as the provision of dual airbags ( a norm these days..)which I will look at once I get to glance at the car and get free from work(hope I get a lucky break from the boss in the days to come) The interiors are really what I am excited about… Colours like Jasper Blue and Aquarius Blue struck my fancy and a discussion on the interiors as well as the new safety features of the 1.6S(needed for the crazed nuts who drive without sense… ) is on the cards.. So till next time, drive safe, watch for the unruly people who walk like they own the road and of course public transportation… don’t race them whatever you do(doing that in a 1.6S maybe possible… driver discretion is advised)

Catch you later readers

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