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800-hp Ford Fiesta digs up Pikes Peak

Posted by Bill Griffith  August 6, 2009 09:55 AM

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You know the drill. Someone sends you a link to a YouTube video in an email with the words "You've got to see this."

OK. Here's the link:

Yes, you've got to see it. "It" is "Peak Performance," a 9-minute, 4-second film of Marcus Grönholm's second-place finish in this year's 12.42-mile race up Pikes Peak - the second-oldest (to the Indianapolis 500) motor event in the United States.

Its makers - Australians Tim Vincent and Scott Richardson - use modern technology in this work that was inspired by Jean-Louis Mowrey's award-winning 1990 Pikes Peak film "Climb Dance."

The makers used helicopter shots, cameras buried in the road surface, fixed cameras and an array of in-car (dash, rollcage) cameras

The new film also is a promotion for Ford's coming introduction of the Fiesta, though the street version will be a bit different from the 800-horsepower rallycross prepped vehicle that Grönholm and navigator Timo Alanne were driving.

Every viewer will take some favorite shots from the film. Mine include the ballet of Grönholm's feet across the pedals from an in-car camera.

Even environmentalists who deplore the once-a-year invasion of sound and speed on the pristine mountain will admire the scenic shots and marriage of technology and nature.

Happy viewing.

This blog is not written or edited by or the Boston Globe.
The author is solely responsible for the content.

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22 comments so far...
  1. It's a pity Ford won't use any of this in their marketing. Bring out a replica Fiesta and TV spots using the rally footage - sell cars, and show that Ford doesn't only race stock cars.

    Posted by Chris August 6, 09 10:41 AM
  1. I saw a Green Apple new Ford Fiesta at a stop light near the Prudential Center mall. It was very cool looking. It was one of the 100 selected vehicles released by Ford to be driven around by an 'agent' that will monitor and record the reaction by the public.

    I would have loved to have one of these as a first car. Very sharp. This new model comes as a sedan too. This could be a serious compeditor to the Toyota Yaris.

    Check out the BBC's Top Gear on YouTube for interesting Ford Fiesta footage.

    Posted by Andy August 6, 09 11:07 AM
  1. cool fords are only available in europe.

    Posted by m' August 6, 09 01:26 PM
  1. Wonder if my 170 hp Subaru could make it up Pike's Peak...I'm a good off-road driver! Its got a 5-speed!

    Posted by Mark D. August 6, 09 02:44 PM
  1. Rally drivers are the best.

    Posted by K August 6, 09 06:02 PM
  1. A Prius made it up the hill. All onboard subsequently died of boredom.

    Posted by Sensiblen August 6, 09 06:52 PM
  1. It's clear the rally car has some kind of automatic tranny - so what's with the three pedals?

    Posted by Dave in Altmar August 6, 09 08:39 PM
  1. That was great! What is that "chirpy" sound you can hear, quite a bit when they are entering turns, not hre turbos spooling, but something else.

    Posted by Zippy Car August 6, 09 09:19 PM
  1. How 'bout my 86 Corvette? 43K on the clock, makes more noise than that little ford, and it's only got two pedals. I'll bet that the Vette and I could dance up that road at the same avg speed these guys got (approx 75 mph).

    Posted by Nick English August 6, 09 11:56 PM
  1. It has a manual transmission, it's designed to be clutchless.

    You "can" technically do the same thing with a regular manual transmission, but you have to be *really* good at matching up the RPMs.

    Posted by Stephen August 7, 09 07:14 AM
  1. cool vid bill. ty for posting it.

    Posted by g30rg3 August 7, 09 05:27 PM
  1. Ok, "automatic" might have been perjorative. I meant the same type of design that Audi pioneered with its DSG - which BMW is now copying.

    But if it's a clutchless manual, why three pedals?

    Posted by Dave in Altmar August 7, 09 06:03 PM
  1. @Zippy: That noise is the popoff valve on the turbo opening.

    Posted by Metrowest August 7, 09 08:46 PM
  1. Nick English, I realize your challenge is tounge in check....but if you ever get the opportunity to drive up pikes peak (I recommend going w/o the 86 vette first), you'll gain a sense of admiration for how fast these people drive up this mountain. 14+k feet......the air gets thin, the head gets light, vegetation stops growing and the drop offs get steeper with every hair pin turn switch back as you drive past sites understandably named 'Devils Playground'. On the way down, they have check points to test the temp of your brakes to make sure they don't over heat. Beautiful view at the top - regardless of your mode of transportation.

    Posted by deeznutzz August 7, 09 08:47 PM
  1. The third petal is for the separate rear brakes. My guess ithe the chirping noise is the pop-off valve on the turbo charger. Ford doesn't race stock cars. They financially support the teams in Sprint racing (NASCAR) that use the "Cars of Tomorrow (COT)" running specially made engines from various sources. There haven't been any thing resembling "Stock" cars running on tracks for many, many years. The same applies to GM, Chrysler and Toyota.

    Posted by Ken August 8, 09 01:27 AM
  1. Not 100% sure why 3 possibility... its not clutchless and shifting are fingertip paddles ? I defer to someone who knows rally driving and its rules better than I....

    Posted by Science August 8, 09 08:40 AM
  1. The popping sound is the anti-lag system on the turbo. It's designed to keep the turbo spooled up so it's response is instant when the driver presses the accelerator. Usually a turbo takes time to build power. I don't know the particular specs for this car, but if it's like most rally cars, the third pedal is a clutch. The transmission is usually shifted by the paddles by the steering wheel, but if something goes wrong, they can shift like a normal road car. Incredible hardware!!

    Posted by RallyFan August 9, 09 12:36 AM
  1. sorry i dont think a vette would make it. usually AWD, 4 wh D and older VW beetles that are suped up make it up... no mustangs, camaros, etc.. and yah i cant stand american cars; for years and years they built better, faster, sportier version for europe but not for us.. the fiesta even has ahd awd for years in europe,

    Posted by beenhereawhile August 9, 09 09:00 AM
  1. "How 'bout my 86 Corvette? 43K on the clock, makes more noise than that little ford, and it's only got two pedals. I'll bet that the Vette and I could dance up that road at the same avg speed these guys got (approx 75 mph)."

    LOL. You gave me my chuckle for the day. There is no way a production Corvette from any year is going to remotely keep up with an custom built 800 HP Ford rally car.

    Posted by CarveMaster August 9, 09 02:04 PM
  1. "The third petal is for the separate rear brakes."

    That's what I was thinking - it makes a lot more sense than any other possibility. After all, this isn't an enduro race - running the course is a matter of minutes, not hours. If something breaks, you're done, one way or the other...


    Posted by Dave in Altmar August 9, 09 08:09 PM
  1. Thank GOD we have ANOTHER great American Piece of autodom...... Ya one more NAIL in our cofffin the great NEW AMERICAN NON SELLING TURD. We can't come up with an electric auto a two seater easy on gas ....... NO NO NO We gotta sell 12 seater gas hogs that NOBODY NEEDS Ya shov em down the throats off everybody......... Henry Ford 2 seater model t --------largest seller in history ------ no no no big big big ya trail around 1800 lbs of steel for nothing but a bigger payday for the auto co's AND THE REAL REASON OIL OIL OIL You gotta fill in for the BUSHES the only one holding hands with a Saudi after THEY ran a couple of aircraft into our twin towers was young Georgie ----- After he OPEN THE AIRSPACE over USA for NOBODY But Saudies running away

    Posted by Rod Mac Donald August 10, 09 10:51 AM
  1. The third pedal is a clutch pedal. The chirping is the turbo Anti-Lag system.
    That trans shifts via air over hydrolic pressure from the paddle shifts. However, just like a normal car, you have to use the clutch for grabbing reverse, or starting from a stop. Once your moving then the sequential mechanism can take over.

    Posted by Dave Richard August 12, 09 08:54 AM

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