Watch Jay Leno Drive Ford's Sleeper Supercar, the Festiva Shogun
The words “Ford Festiva” and “supercar” rarely cross paths. The former is a subcompact economy car that was designed by Mazda. The later is a type of automobile that bends time and space. But sometimes, true monsters are created by combining such distant automotive worlds, and a monster is precisely what this car is, a 1989 Ford Festiva Shogun. As Jay Leno describes in his latest installment of Jay Leno’s Garage, the “Shogun” was the brainchild of engineering mad men Chuck Beck and Nick Titus, who decided to take the rev-happy V6 out of the '89 Ford Taurus SHO sedan and plop it in the rear of a Festiva subcompact. The end result was a hatchback supercar that weighed just 2,190 pounds, boasted 220 horsepower, and could sprint to 60 mph in under five seconds. Um, yikes. RELATED: Meet the Jet-Powered Supercar that Jay Leno Built
Impressively, despite the big flared wheel arches and boy racer looks, the Yamaha 3.0-liter V6 tucked in the Shogun’s boot remains virtually unchanged from its guise underneath the Taurus SHO’s hood. In fact, it still bolts up to the same five-speed manual gearbox. Renault tried the same trick in the early 2000s with the bonkers Clio V6.
According to period literature, that recipe of Yamaha V6 plus five-speed and lightweight body allowed the Shogun to dash the quarter mile in just 13.62 seconds and on to a top speed of 145 mph. Not bad for an ‘80s hatchback!
Admittedly, they were a bit pricy when new in 1989—about $42,000—but even so, the fad never caught on. No more than 250 were planned to be built, however a scant seven were actually constructed, and Jay Leno has owned his silver Ford Festiva Shogun since new, a full 27 years.
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