05 August 2011
The face of the Sport Compact scene has evolved over the years. From the Honda Civic and the Chevy Cavalier, through the Mazda 3 and the Ford Focus. As fuel costs continue to rise, automakers are shifting considerable effort and focus into enhancing their small car offerings, and the 2011 Ford Fiesta represents awesome value and style for the money. The marketing team at Kicker in Stillwater, OK saw the potential of the Fiesta and teamed up with Ford to transform one into the rolling product showcase you see here.
As a recognized force in the construction of awesome demo vehicles, Kicker was able to take advantage of the Dollar Car program, securing this 2011 Fiesta for the price of a can of pop. But the expense and effort involved in bringing it completion is certainly not for the meek.
The Kicker Installation Team, comprised of manager Sean Murphy, David Adams, Randy Botts, Josh Fletcher and Tim Smith set to work on a massive audio system designed to loosen fillings and make eyes water. The build started with the disassembly of the vehicle in order to run Kicker wiring and interconnects. They also made a home for four Kinetik HC800 power cells in the rear of the vehicle, as well as a Kinetik HC1200 up under the hood. While apart, the body panels were treated to several layers of Dynamat sound deadening to ensure a quiet and vibration free platform for the audio build.
As you can see, the top of the dash was modified to make room a set of Kicker QS60 component speakers at the far ends. The panel was wrapped in tan Novasuede for a custom look. The tweeters were moulded into the A-pillar to help establish a solid soundstage. The team then set to work on the door panels, modifying them to accept another set of QS60 components, before being treated to a wild paint job by Sean Murphy. House of Kolor Black Diamond paint really makes the door panels stand out. The rear doors were given the same treatment, but included a backlit piece of plexiglass with the Kicker K logo engraved in to add some flair.
With the rear seats gone, the subwoofer enclosure was next to take shape. Designed to house four 15-inch Kicker CVX subwoofers, the enclosure was constructed with curves and angles to minimize internal standing waves and resonance and to give it an organic feel. More edge-lit plexi adorns the center of the sealed enclosure and the edges, as well as some of the dashboard trim panels are also wearing House of Kolor Black Diamond paint. Finally, black Novasuede inserts finish things off.
In the hatch, you can see a third pair of QS60 components in the C-pillars and the collection of Kicker IX series amplifiers that power the system. A pair of four-channel IX500.4 amps feed the four sets of components while four IX1000.1 amps each feed one of the subwoofers. The mantra of ‘working the speakers, not the amps’ was played out perfectly in this system, ensuring rock solid dynamics and the utmost of control.
The mods to the Fiesta extend well beyond the audio build. David Adams fabricated the harness bar that sits behind the front seats, giving the car a decidedly tuner-focussed look. A set of Sparco seats recovered in black leather replace the stock units. Dakota Digital gauges mounted at the bottom of the center console help keeps tabs on system vital signs.
Outside, the car was sanded down and treated to a modified Kicker K paint job by Charles Degand from CD Designs, with the assistance of his wife Amanda and co-worker Opie. Under the silver and black paint is a 3D Carbon body kit that gives the car an aggressive stance. Adding to the feel of the exterior are 17- x 7-inch Konig Lace wheels wrapped in General Tire rubber.
Show cars are built to impress people, and with this project being started in August 2010, the target was to debut the car at the SEMA show in Las Vegas. With 8 weeks of intense work complete, the Fiesta rolled on to the show floor and made its presence felt immediately. The efforts of the Kicker Installation team and their project partners were acknowledged immediately by Ford with the presentation of the prestigious Ford Product Excellence Award.
As the PASMAG team toured the SEMA show floor, our acknowledgment of the efforts were similar, and it was then that we began our quest to feature the Fiesta in our pages.
Industry legend Kicker has a long-standing history of constructing awesome and memorable demo vehicles such as their 1960 Metropolitan, Chrysler Crossfire SRT6 and their awesome Warhorse equipped GMC Savana 3500. This Fiesta continues that trend of jaw-dropped builds. If you run across the Fiesta at an event, be sure and ask for a listen – it’s a ride you won’t soon forget!
ESSENTIALS // Owner kicker USA • Location Stillwater, OK • Vehicle 2011 ford Fiesta
AUDIO // Kicker IX1000.1 • Kicker IX500.4 • 15” Kicker CVX Subwoofer • Kicker QS60 Component set QTY. 3 pr • Kicker QS60 Component set QTY. 1 p • Kinetik HC1200 • 4 Kinetik HC800 in the rear • Kicker Front fuse • Kicker 0 Gauge • Kicker Distribution Blocks
INTERIOR // QS60 Component mids & matching tweeters in the A-pillar • Sparco race buckets seats • Sparco 4-point Harnesses • Harness bar designed and built in house by David Adams • Aluminum Gauge Trim
WHEELS, BRAKES & SUSPENSION // 17” x 7” Konig Lace • 195/65R15 Z-speed General Tire • Eibach Springs