This is the brand new Ford Fiesta ST. Yes, it all looks a bit familiar to the outgoing model with the hunkered up styling, dig a little deeper and you will find a dramatic shift from the outgoing model.
The outgoing model is a scream; I drove an ST200 at Goodwood and cried when the nice Ford people wouldn’t let me take it home with me. Its greatness lies within its simple formula, compact dimensions to keep the weight down, sorted chassis and a good chunk of turbocharged power at the front equals greatness.
This replacement has decided to mix it up a bit by being bestowed with a 1.5-litre three-cylinder turbo petrol with 197bhp and 214lb ft.
Now you get a matching power output equal to the ST200, the 0-62 time of 6.7 seconds also matches the outgoing swansong model as well. Given that this little rocket has now lost a cylinder, the way it delivers its power could be quite different.
This all new 1.5-litre three-pot motor is clever too, driving slowly around town and it can run on two cylinders. When you want all of the power though, simply mash the throttle and all three kick back into life. The idea behind this fuel-saving system is that the shutdown of a cylinder will not affect the performance aspect.
Ford has been busy filling this motor with its latest tech, you get direct fuel injection and twin-independent variable cam timing to help make the engine more efficient. This shows in the CO2 rating which is a low 114g/km.
The new ST also features for the first time on a Fiesta a drive select system that allows you to select one of three driving modes from Normal, Sport and Track modes. These different modes will change the engine, steering, traction control and the engine noise via what Ford call ‘Electronic Sound Enhancement’ which is fitted as standard to all trim levels of the new ST.
What remains the same as the outgoing model is that the power will go to the front wheels via a manual gearbox so the purists will hopefully be at one with this despite the major wholesale changes.
Ford have also finally given buyers more ability to make their ST a bit more personal (the only critique of the old model being, they all look identical). Now you can have your ST in ‘Liquid Blue’ which looks fantastic, you still get the excellent Recaro seats, and you can also choose a rather spiffing touchscreen incorporating the excellent Sync-3 system. If you feel really rich you can also spec a B&O soundsystem which is another first in a humble Fiesta.
All of these additions and the class-leading tech should keep the Fiesta ST as a top seller for Ford while creating another great version of an already great car.
The new ST will be available in three and five-door versions when released and will be unveiled officially at the 2017 Geneva Motor Show.