I’ve owned the little Fiesta for a few months now, and I have it still impresses me every time I drive it! And with so many performance parts and styling upgrades available for the car I think it’s going to keep impressing me as I bolt more and more bits to it!
Take the exhaust for example. The standard system is perfectly adequate for the vast majority of ‘normal’ people, but for car enthusiasts who like to hear a bit more of a roar when they put their foot down it can be a tad quite. In fact, let’s be brutally honest – it’s ridiculously quiet!
Now I’m not one for 4in straight-through systems that make your ears bleed on the shortest of journeys (remember the wife has to drive this car, and the exhaust wouldn’t be the only thing causing me earache if I fitted such a system!) but I do like to hear a sporty little rumble when I put my foot down. The audible experience can really enhance the way a car makes you feel, not to mention pave the way for future performance upgrades too.
So, with that in mind I spoke to the guys at Cobra Sport to see what they could offer for the 1.0-litre Fiesta. I explained my situation and the criteria the exhaust needed to meet – sound better than stock, offer performance benefits, and not be too loud or boomy for everyday use – and the helpful guys at Cobra Sport suggested their resonated cat-back system. This is said to offer improved performance, better sound, and because it retains the first silencer/resonator it’s said to keep the overall down when just pottering around. Just the ticket, I’ll have one of those then!
When the system arrived I wasted no time in getting the car booked in have it all fitted. Once again Tarnock Garage were spanner-wielders of choice.
Fitting the system was fairly straightforward; it’s just held on by two bolts at the downpipe and a few rubber hangers. However, as the stock system wraps itself around the rear subframe (like so many modern Fords) the easiest way to remove it did involve firing up the air saw to slice it in half!
With that all out of the way the new system could be bolted up. The shiny stainless steel tubing not only looks the part, but it’s also been designed to slot together rather neatly in three pieces.
The Cobra Sport system even adds tailpipes to the back of the ZS too. As standard the exhaust ends behind the rear valance so you can’t see anything, but the Cobra system has specifically shaped tails that kick out to sit neatly under the valance adding a bit of a styling cue at the same time.
When we first fired it up the car did sound a bit too loud for my liking. After driving it for a few miles my suspicions were confirmed, so I spoke to the guys at Cobra Sport to see if there was anything we could do. It’s situations like this where you find out a company’s true colours; they could have easily told me to get lost and not to buy a performance exhaust if I didn’t want a loud car. But they didn’t. What they did was arrange Fed Ex to pick up the system the very next day and ship it back to their Sheffield HQ, where their technicians pulled the system apart and revised the design of the rear silencer slightly to suit my personal tastes! And after our feedback, Cobra have now included these revisions in their 1.0-litre system, so all customers will benefit from the revised design too.
A couple of days later and everything was back in place. Did it work? You bet it did! Now it just purrs nicely on idle, but out on the road and you really notice the difference. It sings as you rise through the rev range, offering a pleasing, almost addictive tone. It makes you want to drive everywhere with the window down just so you can soak up the newfound growl. Especially when you keep your foot it and pull round to the naughty side of 6,000rpm!
I’ve already done a few miles with the new exhaust fitted and I can already report that it’s done exactly what I wanted it to. It’s livened up the driving experience (it may not be any faster yet, but it definitely sounds more exciting!) but hasn’t affected the day-to-day usability of the car. Perfect!
Next up will be new wheels and tyres; the Fifteen 52 Turbomacs are on order, along with a couple of cans of Gloss Black spray film and a new set of Falken tyres! More on that next month…
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