When A V8 Swap Is Actually Okay
A Coyote In Sheep’s Clothing

If I’ve learned anything over the years at Gatebil, it’s that everything deserves a second look. It just so happens that a WRC-style Fiesta parked in the paddock was always going to get a second look anyways, but that mantra still holds a lot of truth.

What first attracted me to this car was its clean presentation and lack of livery – you could almost call it a WRC-inspired street car.

2016 Gatebil Spotlight V8 Fiesta by Paddy McGrath-1

My basic understanding of UK number plates told me that this was a late-2008 or early-2009 registered Fiesta. The Fiesta RS WRC debuted in 2011, so I knew that despite appearances, it wasn’t an ex-works car. If anything, this fact only piqued my interest further.

2016 Gatebil Spotlight V8 Fiesta by Paddy McGrath-9

Getting in for a closer look – you have to keep in mind that I was just strolling around the Gatebil paddock at this point – things started getting a little, um, unusual. The fit and finish of the car was akin to that of a WRC machine – think cage, seats, harnesses, a clean painted interior, flocked dash etc. Two things really stood out though, the first being a large hydraulic handbrake lever in the cabin, and the second was what appeared to be a longitudinal mounted engine, just about visible from the outside.

2016 Gatebil Spotlight V8 Fiesta by Paddy McGrath-2

At this point I was greeted by the friendly Scottish accent of the car’s owner, Tom Blackwood. Tom was quite enthusiastic and didn’t waste much time in revealing the Fiesta’s new heart: a 700hp supercharged Coyote V8. Well that was unexpected…

2016 Gatebil Spotlight V8 Fiesta by Paddy McGrath-18

Before the moaners appear in the comments section, let me explain why I feel this is a good swap and not your typical V8 conversion. The car was built in, and I’m guessing still lives in, Scotland, where any sort of V8 is a rarity; and it’s a modern Ford chassis that’s not a Mustang, making it even rarer again. It is a Ford engine too, so it keeps everything within the family. That last point doesn’t particularly bother me, but I appreciate that it means a lot to some.

2016 Gatebil Spotlight V8 Fiesta by Paddy McGrath-15

It’s a lot of horsepower too, which is being produced in a relatively reliable state. If you were to try to build a 700hp Cosworth YB equivalent, not only would it be an incredibly expensive endeavour, but reliability is going to be considerably weakened as well. I’m not saying YBs are bad engines or anything, but their small capacity and four cylinder layout will always struggle to compete against a Coyote for big, reliable horsepower.

2016 Gatebil Spotlight V8 Fiesta by Paddy McGrath-17

The finish on the exterior reflects the quality of the build throughout the car, and the choice of parts used. A Quaife 69G sequential transmission sends power only to the rear wheels through a Group A specification Escort Cosworth rear end.

2016 Gatebil Spotlight V8 Fiesta by Paddy McGrath-21

The Fiesta sits aggressively on Compomotive wheels, with large AP Racing brakes lurking behind the spokes. It’s the complete package and one which was completed in around one year by Andrew Gallagher Motorsport in Scotland, itself famous for some legendary fast Ford builds in the UK.

A rear-wheel drive, 700hp, supercharged V8-powered Fiesta that looks like a WRC car? I’m 100 per cent on board with this sort of thing.

Paddy McGrath
Instagram: pmcgphotos
Twitter: pmcgphotos

Cutting Room Floor
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What a neat build. Needs the door window frame painted black though :D


I bet that's an interesting drive.... :O


re UK numberplate, correct that 'AO58' means Sept 2008 to March 2009, also note that it could be a private UK number plate. The car could be a 2011 machine as the law allows you to fit an older plate than the car's actual registration age, but not a plate that is newer than the car's registration age.


I can understand the apologetic title and why some resent v8's being in everything.

I'm not one of those people though, V8's are loud, nasty and awesome. Great build.




Thank God it's not a LS


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rally2727 Why ?


TheDigitalV3 rally2727 I agree with the Rally2727, my reasoning is that LS engines have been put into every single vehicle larger then a Honda Beat at this point and it is the obvious choice (for very good financial reasons) thus they are starting to become painfully predictable and rather dull IMO


Wirenfeldt Jr TheDigitalV3 rally2727  That Honda Beat sounds sweet.


Now that you see hundreds of builds online every day, it's nice that things like this still stick out as a properly built car. Fair play to the bloke, awesome work :)


Wish we got the 3 door here..


But we'd all still prefer a YB though Paddy U0001f61c there's a fiesta with a wrc kit and a 4G63 mounted inside it here in the UK too


This is AWESOME!
I was scared it was going to have an LS, which would have still been impressive, but since its a coyote it makes it 10x better! Well done!
Really wish we had 3 door versions over here, Europe gets all the cool Ford compacts/hatches.


JimWalker7 Its an early2009 body originally in black


would love to see this thing in real life. love huge nasty engines in small cars like this and the wrc body + comps tops it off


Wow, what an incredible build! Hope he went with a an Aluminator long block, as the bone stock Coyotes don't have forged internals. My only gripe is the massive fender gap. If this is a street car, I think the gap needs to be closed with some taller rubber and another 10-15 offset on the wheels would look nice.



Way too sick


this really makes me want to engine swap my fiesta but seeing as its my daily that's a bad idea.


370 Hemi  the 2015-16 coyotes do come with forged internals. Its quite remarkable actually what they can do to these new motors. To build a super snake they literally just bolt on parts to a stock gt and there you go an 850 hp monster.


rally2727 I agree, LS engines are put into everything and for good reason. However, an LS always makes more sense to swap than a Coyote. Dollar for dollar, an LS will make more power. Equal mods, LS makes more power as well. Also it's far easier to swap an LS into anything with the cam in block as opposed to the DOHC of the Coyote. I'm surprised the Coyote even fit in this car.


Colby O 370 Hemi The 2011 - 2014s don't have forged internals, and I would think he would go with one of those for cost reasons but, that is my assumption LOL. Besides that, the 2015+ Coyotes have a forged crank but, not forged rods or forged pistons. In the event of a bad tune or whatever, the pistons and rods will be destroyed long before the crank.


This. right here. is the first, and frankly, sensible step to bringing back Group B.

The second step, of course, is to equip the first car pictured below with a modified Giulia V6.

The third step is... well, the third step requires Mitsubishi, but they're in a coma.

Anyway, there. Reasonably big engine in any car that won't go past the M4 GTS's tier (so nope, no supercars, at least not yet). That's your formula. Either RWD or 4WD, but engine has to be in front, and said engine has to come from the same manufacturer, preferably from supercar brethren (135i with the M6's V8, for example). Now have at it.


LukeEVOVIII AG Motorsports built that one aswell....


370 Hemi Colby O


Dang Gina!


Paddy, any sound clips or links to the car? I bet this thing sounds wicked


MagicDoritoEngine Ah, thanks for that clarification. It took some research but, I found that as well. No one would know that the rods went through a powder metallurgy process. Especially since Ford doesn't explain that the rods are forged but, they will explain that the crank is forged. When I had my 2012 GT, any aftermarket support for supercharging always supported adding forged rods and pistons but, not necessary on the crank since it's the same as the crank of the Boss 302 with a different balance. Learn something new everyday.


Wirenfeldt Jr TheDigitalV3 rally2727 Depends on the engine itself. If you're talking about a bone-stock crate motor or a twin-turbo drift engine, that's one thing - they're all over the place. Now if you're looking at crazy 450ci+ stroker setups or screaming destroked LS3 or LS7 engines built for road racing, that's a different thing entirely. And the thing is - they just keep. getting. better. Obviously there are diminishing returns, but the sustained surge of aftermarket parts and upgrades for the LS series, to this day, is unparalleled in history.


Not gonna lie; I was hoping to see a built LS in there. Also just looked
up the Quaife 69G on Race.Fi
(http://www.race.fi/en/product/41580a/quaife-transmission-69g) Price (incl.vat)
0.00 - 15099.00€ (!!!!!). Fifteen thousand Euros! Good grief.




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TheDigitalV3 rally2727 there tractor sound is not pleasing to me


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Private plate... Mr AO58ZDK, of course!


wow - that windshield sits on the motor - you actually see how the seal is deformed from, what I'll guess is, the heat of the motor

with such a short wheelbase - how interesting is this thing to drive?

and how long before the motor cracks the windshield?

**tipping my cap nonetheless**


When is a V8 swap okay?
Whenever you want a compact, high power engine that's reliable and cheap.


There needs to be 100% more RWD hatchbacks.


Thank Goodness! it's not a LS swap haha


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UWerqxTeam_MJ Group B is never coming back in any form. It happened in unique space of time and it wont happen again. Besides if you look at the current WRC cars, they aren't far off the group B cars.


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