The Viper is an iconic 600-horsepower American sports car built for speed and to satisfy man’s urge to harness pure power while impressing his friends. The Fiesta is a 119-horsepower Euro hit built for fuel economy and tight parking spots, a symbol of the kind of car Americans have lusted for since the reality of $4 gas hit.
The final current-generation Viper is still stunning, and Dodge is treating its farewell edition right. Only 500 versions of the 2010 model year will be produced, and with 7,600 possible appearance combinations, it’s entirely possible (and even likely) that new Viper owners will have a car unlike any other on the planet. Benchmark performance numbers include a 0-60 time of less than 4 seconds, a quarter-mile run in the mid-11-second range, and 0-100-0 mph in 11 seconds flat. Factor in a top speed of 202 mph, and you’ve got a street-legal racer that’ll surely impress your friends.
Unless your friends would rather hug a tree than the pavement. In that case, you’re better off bringing home a brand-new 2011 Ford Fiesta. I, for one, am seriously excited for this little beauty to finally come to the U.S. after so many years of watching Europeans adore it. Thankfully the Blue Oval kept the Fiesta’s European flair instead of giving us some Americanized ugliness.
One thing I’m not sure about are those chrome inlets where the fog lights should be. What’s up with that, Ford? Is there no fog where you live in Michigan?
That aside, the new Fiesta could be a real game-changer for Ford. By providing options and quality usually seen only on much more expensive (and larger) vehicles, Ford could usher in a U.S. era of luxury and convenience in a smaller package. Want Lincoln-like leather seats? Ford’s SYNC system? Powered and heated seats and mirrors? A moonroof? Bluetooth connectivity? Auto climate control? All that and the added benefit of 40 mpg on the highway could add up to one heck of a value and a much-needed grand slam for Ford.
Pricing on the Viper hasn’t been officially released yet, but the Fiesta starts at $13,320 for the sedan and $15,120 for the hatchback. Check all the option boxes, and a fully loaded hatch can be had for around $21K.
Even though the days of Viper-like sports cars may be numbered, I’d still park one next to my new Fiesta. Would you?