BRENTWOOD, England – Ford is hailing the Fiesta ST as its smallest and fastest production car. Not only is it practical and economical but it's also a real pocket rocket that will give some of the bigger hot hatches a good run for their money.
Baby ST: It'll taunt the heavies
You know there’s some power-punching going on when Ford’s Team RS is at a party. Thanks to the company’s global performance group, the car’s 1.6 EcoBoost engine, mated to a six-speed manual gearbox, pushes out 132kW/240Nm. It sprints to 100km/h in 6.9sec and will reach 220km/h.
Thanks to the team, there’s a tuned powertrain, suspension, steering and brakes; as well as enhanced torque vectoring control (eTVC) and a three-mode electronic stability control (ESC) and rear disc brakes.
Even though it’s been tweaked for 20% more power, it also emits 20% less carbon than the previous model. Fuel efficiency is at a claimed 4.9 litres/100km and 138g/km CO2.
With styling cues from its big brother the Focus ST, it also features a similar trapezoidal honeycomb grille and a beefy rear diffuser. The sleek shell harbours Recaro seats and a sound symposer that makes the engine drone inside the car too. The cabin also features carbon-fibre facia inserts, alloy pedals and gear shifter, and an ST steering-wheel.
The headlights have LED day-time running technology, there’s a full ST body kit and new paint options. Ford’s new technology SYNC and MyKey included.
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Chief Fiesta ST programme engineer Juergen Gagstatter said: “The new Fiesta ST delivers remarkable levels of performance, design and quality to offer an unsurpassed driving experience. Ford’s European customers are connoisseurs of the hot hatchback and the new Fiesta ST speaks directly to that passion for performance driving.”
According to Ford, eTVC applies brakes to the inside front wheel when cornering to improve road-holding and reduce understeer without affecting speed. New software controls the car’s balance in response to steering inputs under acceleration and braking – and ESC offers full system intervention; wide-slip mode with limited intervention; and full ESC de-activation.
Also new are the rear disc brakes and a larger tandem brake master cylinder for better braking performance.
Ford Team RS engineering manager Tyrone Johnson said: “This car can put a smile on your face corner-after-corner and deliver absolute precision in power delivery and handling. Many hot-hatch fans will want to give the Fiesta ST a chance to shine on the track so we've made sure the Fiesta ST’s engine, transmission, chassis and body can handle the extreme use that its performance invites."
Because of the lightt EcoBoost engine, there’s improved handling and it brings technologies including turbocharging, high-pressure direct fuel-injection and twin independent variable cam timing.
Engine dynamics were refined at the Nürburgring Nordschleife over the equivalent of more than 100 laps of the 21km circuit.
Ford subjected the Fiesta to 850 000km of durability testing which included a flat-out torture test in 40C weather.
Ford SA says the Fiesta ST will reach local shores during the second quarter of 2013.