First shown at the 2004 Auto Africa Motor Show, the Ford Fiesta ST has arrived in South Africa!
With cheeky styling, smart safety technology, goodspace and value for money, it also boasts a new 2-litre motor and driving quality that would not be out of place on a race track.
The Fiesta ST completes Ford's ST product offering alongside the Mondeo ST220 and the Focus ST170. As is the case with other Fiestas, the ST is produced in Cologne, Germany - hence its attractive European styling.
Neale Hill, Ford Marketing Manager, explains that Sports Technologies (or ST as it's commonly known) is Ford?s performance offering for the discerning buyer.
Motor sport heritage
"Importantly, the ST badge doesn't imply a noisy exhaust and a pair of fat tackies. ST cars are born out of Ford?s extensive motor sport heritage and are expertly designed, carefully executed and highly fine-tuned over many hours in Ford's development centres and test tracks."
As a result, Hill says that ST-badged Fords are vehicles that are in balance and harmony.
"Everything 'feels' right for the driver.
"These cars offer the optimal balance between under steer and oversteer, between input efforts required on steering and gear change, between the input efforts required on the different pedals, between suspension travel/stiffness and grip from the tyres, between engine power and usable/tractable power (torque), and between performance (power and speed) and performance feel (level of exhaust noise).
"It is this fastidious attention to balance and harmony that removes all the distractions and enables the driver to focus purely on the driving experience," he says.
The heart of the new product is the new 2-litre Duratec HE engine (similar to the unit installed in the Mondeo).
It is a very driveable unit that features abundant low rev torque as well as power all the way to the red line. This advanced new motor, with its sequential fuel injection with electronic throttle control, churns out 110 kW of power at 6 000 r/min and maximum torque of 190 Nm at 4 500 r/min.
It accelerates from 0-100 km/h in just 8.3 seconds, from 80 - 120 km/h in 10.6 seconds, it boasts a top speed of 208 km/h and the fuel consumption (combined cycle) is just 7.8 litres/100 km, low for a high-performance vehicle.
Some of the technical features of the engine are its all-aluminium engine (which translates into less weight), sequential fuel injection and its camshaft chain (which means a longer life and less maintenance).
The engine's electronic throttle control permits quicker throttle response and less NVH intrusion to pedals, its knock sensor controls pre-detonation for longer engine life and its unique performance exhaust system offers more power plus a better sound.
The Fiesta ST uses a revised iB5 gearbox with a unique short ratio gearset and short shift gear mechanism.
This five-speed gearbox has been strengthened in a number of ways to withstand the increased power output.
Firstly, the first, second and third gears have been shot blasted. Secondly, the complete differential is made from forged components. Finally, the half-shafts have been reinforced.
Changes to the ST over the standard Fiesta are numerous.
For instance, it has a stiffened front and rear anti-roll bar and stiffer rear twist beam for sportier handling and better control. It boasts revised damper speed ratings front and rear to ensure ride comfort is retained.
The ST's enhanced, faster steering ratio allows for more direct and accurate driving, while braking is enhanced thanks to larger front callipers and pads (from the Focus ST170) and the addition of 253 mm rear disc brakes.
ABS with EBD is standard. Furthermore, it features 17 inch light alloy wheels with low profile Pirelli tyres.
The styling of the Fiesta ST is aggressive and immediately recognisable.
Especially noticeable is the new, hard-hitting front and rear bumper treatment with projector style fog lights.
In addition, the ST has a new honeycomb mesh grille and surround; larger body colour side protection mouldings; body-colour door handles, door mirrors, rear tailgate release and rocker panel; clear side repeater lamps; an aerodynamic, body-coloured rear spoiler; the aforementioned striking 11-spoke 17 inch alloy wheels and low profile Pirelli tyres; a large oval chrome exhaust tailpipe finisher; plus a new ST badge on its tailgate.
A full size spare wheel (14 inch steel) is standard.
The interior is equally sporty and is dominated by beautifully crafted and deep bolstered sports seats.
These part leather/part cloth sports seats feature an embroidered ST logo on the backrest.
It also has an ST branded three-spoke steering wheel with leather rim, drilled metal sports pedals, a sports short shift gear lever with aluminium insert and aluminium effect interior trim cues.
Other standard interior features include driver's seat height adjustment, remote central locking (doors and tailgate), theatre dimming, interior remote tailgate release, headlight remote height adjuster, luggage compartment light, power heated mirrors, front power windows, air conditioning, driver's and passenger's seat map pocket, sun visors with mirrors for both driver and front passenger and a 60/40 rear seat back split (cushion 1 piece fold up).
The 6 CD/radio has speed sensing volume control, four speakers and remote steering controls.
Safety and security features include driver's and passenger's side airbags with dual stage activation, anti-submarining front seats, anti-burst door locks, front passenger seatbelt height adjustment, three 3-point rear seatbelts, three rear headrests, ABS braking with EBD, a PATS immobiliser, a perimeter alarm with volume sensing, visible VIN number, remote central locking with double locking and a battery saver.
Service intervals are 20 000 km, the warranty is applicable for 3 years/100 000 km, while the corrosion warranty is in place for five years/unlimited km.
A 3-year/unlimited km roadside assistance plan is standard while a maintenance or service plan is optional.
Ford Fiesta 2.0iST R169 500