Hot hatches are nothing new from the blue oval motor company, the latest Focus ST will thrill any motoring enthusiast and really puts in a credible challenge to the Volkswagen Golf GTI. Now Ford’s engineers have breathed their expertise on the Focus’s smaller sibling the Fiesta, to produce the Fiesta ST.
Ford offers the new Fiesta ST in two variants, ST1 and ST2. The Fiesta ST1 is available from €25,760, the standard level of equipment is liberal with 17” alloys, ST design body styling kit, Recaro sport seats, sports tuned suspension, Ford SYNC, MyKey technology and ESP all included. The ST2 (€27,260) benefits from some additional kit, this includes LED daytime running lights, Recaro front sports seats with partial leather trim, Sony CD+ Ford Sync, air conditioning, privacy glass and that all-important push button start.
The Fiesta ST is powered by a 1.6-litre EcoBoost petrol engine that’s eager to deliver, with a power output of 182hp and 240Nm of torque. This power is transferred to the front wheels through a six-speed manual transmission. The gear change is short and precise, and gives the driver involvement that the new Renaultsport Clio lacks, as a result of replacing its trusted manual transmission with a twin-clutch automatic transmission. Another close competitor for the Fiesta ST is Peugeot’s 208 GTI which we found to offer a more comfortable ride. Although the ST’s sports tuned suspension can be somewhat harsh on uneven road surfaces, it comes into its own when you take to the track. There’s excellent feedback through the steering with accurate feeling too. The sound produced from the EcoBoost engine is pretty addictive and enjoyable as the revs climb, the sound symposer justly works in channelling the engine noise into the cabin.
The interior is sporty yet functional, the Recaro sports front seats offer support and hold you firmly when cornering. The push button start gives a racy feel to the ST on every start-up, there’s a quality, solid feel to all the switch gear, it’s a car that’s well put together. Whether you take the Fiesta ST for a short spin or a long drive, you’ll be rewarded with a thrilling drive, it’s small, fun and practical, and economical too. Ford has demonstrated again that it’s serious at producing proper hot hatches.
Justin Delaney also drove the Fiesta ST2 recently and had a few words to say:
I enjoyed my time with the Ford Fiesta ST earlier this year. With the Irish Festival of Speed taking place in Limerick, I thought it would make for the perfect opportunity to stretch the little Ford’s legs and gauge public reaction at this unique event. From the moment I laid eyes on the Molten orange paintwork I had a smile on my face. Cars like this are meant to be loud and as it’s a busy sector right now with the Clio RS200 and Peugeot 208 GTI it’s nice to be noticed. Opening the door to reveal the butt-hugging Recaros leaves you under no illusion that you are entering hot hatch territory. The variant we had on test was the ST2 with push button start and when engaged the 4 cylinder 1.6 barks into life. Once out of the city and on route to Limerick I opened the taps a little to feel that surge of power.
The ST makes 240Nm of torque for as low down as 1,600rpm and backed up by a turbo it head-butts 100km/h in just 6.9 seconds. The cabin becomes a theater of noise with every gear change pushing a meaty roar through your soul but at no point is it overbearing. Simply upshift and lay off the loud pedal for a placid cruiser that can still return up to 47mpg. On the B roads of Limerick and some of Irelands classic rally roads the ST once again comes alive. The chassis is taught and the enhanced torque vectoring control or (eTVC) it fills you with confidence by applying the power to the wheel with the most traction through a corner. It really is phenomenal to drive. Once I got to the show site, the Fiesta ST was parked in a display directly opposite the Porsche Owners Club. Within minutes the bright hatch had drew admirers from all over at which point I became chief brand ambassador for Ford. It’s not a difficult car to talk about right now; I have driven some of its competitors and to be honest, this is the hot hatch to have!
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