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Sure enough, the upcoming Sprint Cup Carfax 400 will be paced by none other than the Blue Oval's tiny 2011 Fiesta Sedan. With less than a third of the displacement of the tube-frame beasts lapping Michigan International Speedway, we wouldn't quite expect lightning-quick pace laps, but hey – safety first. While pace cars are typically some sort of performance product, manufacturers aren't past parading less than muscular new hardware in front of the captive audiences of the raceway.
If Ford was looking for a way to bring its marketing for the Fiesta out of the social media realm and into a more mainstream American venue, they could have hardly done better than the Sprint Cup. On average, the series races net 7.9 million viewers. On Sunday, August 15, each and every one of those souls will get to watch a maroon four door fiesta lead the pack, complete with a massive Blue Oval decal down the side. Talk about cheap advertising. Check out the gallery for a few shots from the car's unveiling.

[Source: Ford Racing via Facebook]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 4 Years Ago

      Getting tired of the Focus SVT wheels. They look dated by now.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Hm, I still think they look nice. They have gotten fairly common, but a nice set of wheels is still a nice set of wheels. It's not like they're an outrageous bizzare design that gets old in a year.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Couldn't agree more. At least those ones in particular. There were two other versions that are more rare (the six-spoke one being my favorite of the two).
        • 4 Years Ago
        basically looks like a TSW Imola to me.
      • 4 Years Ago
      So F1 gets a Mercedes SLS and NASCAR gets a Ford Fiesta. Kinda says it all doesn't it.
        • 4 Years Ago
        What does it say?
      • 4 Years Ago
      Too bad it's not the hatch.
        • 4 Years Ago
        That was my first thought too! I would've loved to see the hatch. You see, the trend is already being re-perpetuated. It's popular consesus that Americans don't like hatchbacks/wagons. It's my contention that, that's not 100% accurate. I simply think that the few hatchbacks/wagon we have, aren't marketed nearly as much as the sedan stablemates (with the exception of the Mazda 3). Coupes, sedans, and SUVs/CUVs are marketed the most, therefore they sell the most. Referring back to the Mazda 3, I think the wagon is marketed as much, if not more, than the sedan...hence, on average I see as much, if not more, Mazda 3 wagons on the road than I do sedans.

        Ford, this was a GREAT opportunity to market the Fiesta Hatch, and increase popularity in this market, and once again the ball was dropped.
        • 4 Years Ago
        My first thought too. Would have been cool to see a Euro-flavor'd small car pace the carb'd pack.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Wasn't there an article here yesterday about fans abandoning NASCAR. So why spend money on this Carfax 400?????????
        • 4 Years Ago
        It wasn't about fans abandoning the sport despite what you read in the comments. Of course, over the time I've seen you comment on here, it seems your comments are influenced by others'.

        It was about it not being a rookie competitive sport like it used to be.
        • 4 Years Ago
        The title was "Report: NASCAR Sprint Cup goes rookie-less as drivers age, fans leave".

        So I think it is fair to say that more than the comments were about fans abandoning the sport.

      • 4 Years Ago
      Man, they're really pushing the Fiesta aren't they. It's like American car companies are getting serious about small cars now.

      I like it.
        • 4 Years Ago
        As unfitting as it may be, it's sure to get noticed. Bonus checks out to all the marketing folks on this one, Ford. Good Job!
      • 4 Years Ago
      It's too bad that the Fiesta is assembled in Mexico with few USA made parts. They should have it paced by a real, Michigan and UAW worker made and assembled car, like a Mustang.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Okay, I just looked up local Fiestas. Good news, they actually exist now!

      But there are Fiestas coming up for $20,670. And not just one, a lot!

      I thought this thing maxed out at $19K?

      Other problem:
      Very few of the cars of the 40mpg rating. There is a special SFE package to reach 40mpg and none of the cars seem to have it. I don't recall Ford advertising this!

      SFE package includes lower grille blockout, 15" 195/60 rims (T-rated tires).

      I found at one vehicle (out of about 60 nearby, I had to view 20 window stickers to find one since you can't filter by the package) with the package. It's $18K (ouch), but it is a hatch and it's the green color. The dealer is putting $400 "tattoo" accessories on nearly all the Fiestas on the list. Yuck.
        • 4 Years Ago
        It was never supposed to max out at $19k. Don't know where you got that idea.

        And the advertising all said "40mpg highway for SE with SFE package. SES shown, 38mpg highway." They didn't scream about it, but it was always there.

        Any dealer that puts tattoo graphics on all of them is a moron. I know it's a cheap way to make a few extra hundred bucks, but there will be dealers willing to sell the car without it...which will steal their sale on price every single time.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Even though I think hard-core race fans will chuckle at an eco car such as the Fiesta being the pace car. It'll certainly get a buzz going and do what the it's supposed to do for a marketing effort; in my opinion...

      I looked at the Fiesta the other night at a dealership and I've got to say that I'm very impressed with the build quality. The first thing I noticed that shocked me was the solid feel to the door handle. It was actually stronger feeling than my Charger or actually any car that I've opened a door to. I was like "huh?"... lol Maybe not something you'd usually write about but it opened easy, closed solid and was a solid feel so when I think of something as small as a door handle being very good, I think it's safe to say they paid attention to everything else too!

      Nice job...
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