After the preview pictures, a demo video and spy snaps of testing at the Nurburgring Nordschleife, we finally get to see the production version of the Ford Fiesta ST.
It seems to have been an age in arriving. The current Ford Fiesta has been with is since 2008 and the hottest version we have had up to now has been the 132bhp Fiesta Metal, a limited edition with a specially tuned version of the 1.6-litre Ti-VCT engine usually found in the Zetec-S.
The Fiesta ST uses one of Ford’s new EcoBoost engines. With 1.6-litres and a turbocharger the ST is endowed with 180PS (or 178 ponies) and 177 lb/ft of torque, allowing it to dive straight into the fight with the rest of the performance superminis. Ford are being coy about performance figures, even at this late stage, but the 60mph sprint is said to take ‘under seven seconds’ and the top speed is ‘136mph plus’. Surely Ford knows how quick it is after all of those laps of the Nordschleife?
Ford’s Team RS will have to be on top form if the Fiesta is to have any chance in such a crowded market. With a host of superminis to choose from, all offering close to or more than 178bhp, the ST is going to have to be pretty special to draw punters into the showrooms. Fortunately the basic Fiesta starts life with a lively chassis and excellent steering and Ford have tuned the ST to have even better handling. With an electronic Torque Vector Control system and three settings for the Electronic Stability Control system, the Fiesta ST promises to let you enjoy its playful side.
Recaro seats are standard in the front of the ST’s cabin, a mix of leather and bright red cloth as part of the high-contrast colour scheme. The ST also comes with MyKey, a new system that allows owners to limit performance and ensure activation of safety features if less-experienced drivers are borrowing the Fiesta. Also standard is SYNC, Ford’s voice-activated in-car multimedia and Bluetooth telephone system.
There’s clearly more information to come from Ford about their new junior hot hatch. Prices are unknown (expect it to be around £18k) as are those finalised performance figures, but with the car not due to go on sale until next year we’ve got plenty of time to wait.