Ford Fiesta Automatic 2012 On Formula 1 BIC Track Drive Review, Pictures And Video

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Ford India has launched the Ford Fiesta Automatic 2012 with PowerShift dual clutch automatic transmission in India at an introductory price of Rs. 8.99 Lakhs ex-showroom Delhi on 28th Feb 2012. It is nearly an unbelievable pricing for a car as wonderful as Fiesta with a dual clutch transmission which is one of its kind in this segment. The unique thing about this transmission is that it is much better than the conventional automatic which use torque converter both in terms of performance as well as fuel economy! This kind of transmission (dual clutch automatic) is only found in much expansive cars like Skoda Laura, Volkswagen Passat  with DGS gearbox. On 3rd of March 2012 at Ford Fiesta Hot Wheels Drive (#FiestaHotWheels), we drove the Fiesta Automatic 2012 PowerShift on the one and only Formula One track in India at the Buddh International Circuit. In this article, we share with you our experience behind the wheels of Ford Fiesta PowerShift Dual Clutch Automatic In India. We bring you exclusive video review, pictures and details of the features of Ford Fiesta which we experienced in the thrilling laps of BIC on a Fiesta 2011 Automatic.

Also Read : Ford Fiesta Manual Petrol And Diesel Test Drive Review

Ford Fiesta 2012 PowerShift Automatic Track Test Drive Review

image – Ford Fiesta 2012 PowerShift Automatic Track Test Drive Review

Ford Fiesta 2012 PowerShift Automatic Track Test Drive Video

video – Ford Fiesta PowerShift 2012 Automatic Test Drive At BIC

Ford Fiesta 2012 PowerShift Automatic Track Test Drive Course

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image – Formula 1 Circuit at BIC India

We did follow the same circuit which the Indian Grand Prix drivers followed on their track race. The Circuit of BIC was slightly modified by putting cones in some parts of the track to create an obstacle course for testing city driving simulation. Giving you a quick brief, there was start from the pit-lane to the main track immediately followed by a mile and wide turn one which is about 90 degrees right turn. A small curve on the track and then an incline into blind turn 3 which is quite steep, close to 360 degrees and wide enough to try some drifts. Then there was a an almost straight line curve of 1.2 Km between turn 3 and 4 which had some slope, we went full throttle here and hit a speed of 150 KMPH with ease. We could not go higher as we had to follow the Pilot car ahead of us and were not allowed to overtake it. Turn 4 followed the straight line which was almost 90 degrees right turn and quite wide and we did some drifts there in first lap. After that we experienced an obstacle track which was created using large cones on the road to demonstrate maneuvering capabilities of Fiesta in tight spaces. After which there were some more tricky corners at small distances and then we headed to the Helipad area for hill incline and gradient feature testing.

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image – Ford Fiesta 2012 PowerShift Automatic Track Test Drive Review

Ford Fiesta 2012 PowerShift Automatic Track Test Drive Impressions

As we headed off to the track from the pit lane, were were quite excited about it. The first thing we noticed was missing manual control or any kind of triptronic or paddle shift mechanism, but as we hit off the track, we realized that we were does just fine without any manual intervention. The reason for the same is that Fiesta PowerShift, unlike the conventional automatic with torque converters, is a positive drive which uses dry clutch which us used in most manual cars, so the punch was quite sufficient in itself with almost no loss of power. The gear change timings did depend on the throttle input and we experienced gear changes being delayed when we revved hard. This is because PowerShift is an intelligent microprocessor controlled transmission system, its like having a robot which understands your inputs and then changes gears intelligently rather than changing them at fixed or pre-defined speeds.

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image – Ford Fiesta 2012 PowerShift Automatic Track Test Drive Review

We went slow on the turn 1 which was just ahead of the pit lane and then we went hard on the accelerator and the engine revved higher with an instant pick, we could feel the gear shifts by engine sound and tachometer readings, but there was no jerks or power losses in between, the gear shifts were pretty quick, which is a really good thing in a dual clutch gearbox. We didn’t slow down much on the turn three which was an almost blind turn with some upward incline, the Fiesta followed the steering inputs very diligently and did maintain very controlled direction with good steering feedback at the same time. turning at speeds close to 80 KMPH on a sharp close to 360 degrees, we did manage to drift a little, but the car did not give much of a body roll which is a characteristic of well tuned suspension. Immediately after turn 3, 23 went hard on throttle and we could feel the gear shifts being delayed and acceleration being high. We did hit about 150 KMPH in just D Mode (L or Low mode makes it even quicker by holding the gears even at higher RPM levels).

Ford Fiesta 2012 PoweShift Automatic Track Test Drive (2)

image – Ford Fiesta 2012 PowerShift Automatic Track Test Drive Review

Then came the 90 degrees right turn number 4 followed by obstacle course with cones where we maneuvered in tight spaces and experienced stop and go situations at two points where the creep function and braking system’s effectiveness was quite evident. After this we did some tricky turns close to 100 KMPH and the handling of the car was very impressive as these corners. The track was super smooth tarmac so we did not feel any bumps anywhere. The car was very well planted all the while and inspired confidence to go even faster.

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image – Ford Fiesta 2012 PowerShift Automatic Track Test Drive Review

After these turns, we headed to the Helipad for Incline testing where a wooden track, almost 30 to 35 degrees steep and 5 feet high was set up to demonstrate the hill hold and gradient assist functions. Hill hold is very useful on hilly roads or flyovers in city areas. When the car is going up an incline and it has to stop for whatever reason, if the brake is fully pressed and the car is fully stopped going up an incline, the car senses the same. After this, when you release the brakes to accelerate, the car is held from rolling back for 2 seconds giving driver some buffer to reach out to accelerator and accelerate without rolling backward which is a great safety feature. Imagine without this features, if the car rolls back, it can result in serious consequences on a hilly terrain.

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image – Ford Fiesta 2012 PowerShift Automatic Track Test Drive Review

The gradient assist is another feature which has been put to help while going downhill. When you drive Fiesta Automatic in a straight line and you release the accelerator, the car usually goes into coasting mode (clutch is not engaged) to save fuel, but this can be dangerous going downhill as the car may accelerate to dangerous levels and may go out of control when going downhill if the clutch is disengaged. To keep the car from going out of control, the driver may have to keep the car under control using brake which will provide an uncomfortable and jerky drive. To avoid this problem, Fiesta comes with gradient assist feature with a small button on the right side of the gear knob which when engaged, does not allow the clutch to be disengaged. So when going downhill, just use this Gradient assist feature and when driver puts his foot off the accelerator, the car will remain in controlled speed using engine braking.

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image – Ford Fiesta 2012 PowerShift Automatic Track Test Drive Review

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image – Ford Fiesta 2012 PowerShift Automatic Track Test Drive Review

Conclusion :  For the price segment (under Rs. 10 Lakh), Ford Fiesta Automatic is so far the best handling and most superior technology automatic cars with great performance. High fuel efficiency of 16.97 KMPL (ARAI Data) is like an icing on the cake. Go and test drive one to experience it for yourself.

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image – Ford Fiesta 2012 PowerShift Automatic Track Test Drive Review

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image – Ford Fiesta 2012 PowerShift Automatic Track Test Drive Review

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image – Ford Fiesta 2012 PowerShift Automatic Track Test Drive Review

What We Like About Ford Fiesta Automatic 2012?

  • Great transmission
  • Sporty Looks
  • Precise handling
  • Great steering feedback
  • Quiet Cabin
  • Well planted on high speeds
  • Great Braking (very important for safety)

What Can Be Better About Ford Fiesta Automatic 2012?

  • Paddle Shifts could make it almost perfect
  • Rear Seat Space could have been better
  • Printing of gear Labels (P, D, L, N etc.) on left side, makes it difficult for driver to read sometimes

Ford Fiesta 2012 PowerShift Automatic Track Test Drive Exclusive Pictures

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