Ford Fiesta ST Drag Races MINI Cooper S, Destruction Is Absolute

Ford Fiesta ST Drag Races MINI Cooper S, Destruction Is Absolute 3 photos
Photo: YouTube screenshot/Top Gear
Ford Fiesta ST Drag Races MINI Cooper S, Destruction Is AbsoluteFord Fiesta ST Drag Races MINI Cooper S, Destruction Is Absolute
Many car segments have stagnated, but not hot hatchbacks, especially the smaller ones. For example, BMW's technology in the MINI Cooper S was top-notch about four years ago when the new generation came out. But now...
Top Gear organized a drag race between the recently updated MINI Cooper S and the Ford Fiesta ST. I know that some of you will argue against the Cooper S being a hot hatch, that it's more like a sporty "girl's car." But this 192 horsepower model has a giant 2.0-liter turbo engine, and it doesn't get much hotter than that. Sure, there's also the JCW, but it costs as much as a Golf GTI or something else from the segment above.

And when it came out, the Cooper S was faster than most of its segment rivals due to it having a much larger engine with more torque. But even though Ford downsized the Fiesta ST a bit, it somehow also made the car a little faster. The 1.5L turbo 3-cylinder makes 18 HP more than the previous 1.6 and 8 HP more than the Cooper S.

However, the real reasons we have a Ford-badged winner are the superior launching characteristics and a better gearbox for the job. Sorry MINI, but flag-themed taillights don't make cars faster. We'd also give the little Fiesta ST points for not trying to look like a 60's car and being significantly cheaper, but that has nothing to do with drag racing.

Speaking of the JCW, back in July of 2018, Carwow did a five-car race featuring it, the hot Polo, Fiesta and Yaris GRMN. The MINI was indeed faster but still lost to a Toyota, while the ST performed admirably.

We're really not trying to put the Cooper S down, but maybe BMW should have added a bit more power during the recent facelift.

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About the author: Mihnea Radu
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Mihnea's favorite cars have already been built, the so-called modern classics from the '80s and '90s. He also loves local car culture from all over the world, so don't be surprised to see him getting excited about weird Japanese imports, low-rider VWs out of Germany, replicas from Russia or LS swaps down in Florida.
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