Originally Posted by swansong
^^ Those are my thoughts exactly.
AWD can be great in the correct application. But it needs higher power levels than what the Fiesta ST is providing to be worth the added expenses.
IIRC the 1/4 mile times for a stock first gen DSM (Talon TSi, Eclipse GSX, Laser RS) are nearly identical for the FWD and AWD verisons. AWD gets off the line fast, but FWD catches it by the end. Not sure how the two versions perform on autocross tracks, but I wouldn't be surprised to see the FWD being quicker.
Those cars have similar power levels to the Fiesta ST btw, but are a tad heavier (AWD is even heavier, obviously).
Yes,I forget the starting point with only 197hp would be sucked up by AWD but my Eclipse was stock with 195hp in a 3170lb package and it ran high 14s (sea level times) off the showroom floor and adding more power (very easy back then) just made things better. I still think an AWD variant with maybe 225hp would be a viable option.
I spent 8 years in the DSM community drag,autoxing and a little ice racing and with stock AWD vs stock FWD the AWD usually was a tad quicker (better 60's) but that gap stretched alot once you added alot of HP to each. On the autox circuit it was still really the driver and not so much the car.
Nothing like an AWD launch tho' with 400hp.