Much has been said about the new Fiesta that will soon anchor Ford's line up in the U.S. For all of the praise that its driving dynamics and killer sense of style have earned, we still don't know how safe it is in an accident. That's an important consideration for cars this small that may meet the business end of a Hummer grille one day. Well, one person knows how safe they are: AutoWeek Road Test Editor Natalie Neff (no relation, seriously, just a coinkydink).
Her metallic green Fiesta media vehicle was recently attacked by a tire that had removed itself from an Oldsmobile Cutlass in oncoming traffic. As the story goes, the rampaging radial crossed the highway median and bounced up 20 feet in the air before it landed on Neff's windshield as she emerged from an overpass going 75 mph. Thankfully she's okay, or rather, thanks to the Fiesta, she's okay.
The tire left a skid mark on the Fiesta's hood and proceeded to transfer its kinetic energy to the windshield and roof of the car. Much destruction resulted and Neff says that she's still flossing bits of tempered glass from her teeth, but the use of ultra-high-strength boron steel in the Fiesta withstood a safety test that goes far beyond what NHTSA and IIHS has in store for the European import.