Ford FF1 EcoBoost (2014) review

Published:28 January 2014

Ford FF1 EcoBoost (2014) review
  • At a glance
  • 5 out of 5
  • 5 out of 5
  • 3 out of 5
  • 5 out of 5
  • 5 out of 5

What would you think if you saw this thing, the Ford FF1 Ecoboost, driving down your street? I feel like a kid driving his pretend-racecar bed – but I’m not. I’m in a near-pukka Formula Ford, the result of when someone takes the cliché ‘racecar for the road’ too literally. And I’m what we Aussies call sh*t-scared.

The FF1 takes a Formula Ford chassis, a turbocharged 1.0-litre three-pot with 202bhp – 13 more than a Fiesta ST, but carrying just 495kg – that’s somehow been road-registered. Ford says it’ll hit 62mph in less than four seconds, and has whupped a Ferrari Enzo at the Nürburgring.

It’s my scalp I’m worried about now. In the fixed, low driving position I can feel the chassis against my back as I face the stark, purposeful dash. Now, it’s game on. I manage to (just) reach the clutch and fire the three-pot up for a humble idle. Maybe it’s not so brutal?

Yes it is. I douse the throttle, brace myself and the whole thing explodes. It’s like being struck by lightning: my head’s pinned back, the nose up in the air, shaking violently while I slide down the seat, gripping the steering wheel like a safety buoy. Scrambling for another gear, the pace never lets up, daring you to push on.

Next: a corner. The weighty, hard-wired steering is super responsive and instead of driver aids, there’s abundant mechanical grip. Get into a slide – which takes serious effort – and the FF1 is controllable and progressive. Trouble is, the brakes are so effective it’s easy to mess up a corner approach: downshift or brake?

The FF is addictive, amazing and absurd. You have to work with it. Get it right, and it’ll leave you tingling. Whoever signed this off is a part-genius, part-mad, and we love it.

Specs

Price when new: £100,000
On sale in the UK: Soon, if Ford decides to build it...
Engine: 999cc 12v in-line three-cyl, turbocharged, 202bhp, 177lb ft
Transmission: Six-speed sequential, rear-wheel drive
Performance: 4.0sec 0-62mph, 158mh, 118mpg, n/a CO2
Weight / material: 495kg/steel, carbonfibre
Dimensions (length/width/height in mm):

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  • Ford FF1 EcoBoost (2014) review
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  • Ford FF1 EcoBoost (2014) review
  • Ford FF1 EcoBoost (2014) review
  • Ford FF1 EcoBoost (2014) review
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