A good few years down the line and Ford is at it again with its new incarnation of the Fiesta ST nameplate.
Developed by Ford Team RS, the European arm of Ford Motor Company’s Global Performance Vehicle group, the new Fiesta ST is Ford’s fastest and most dynamic small production performance car ever.
There’s been a lot of hysteria around this small three-door hatch, and rightfully so. The stripped-down, no-nonsense design will resonate with many. It’s impossible not to fall in love with the large trapezoidal grille with its unique honeycomb construction and dramatic rear diffuser element, while its stubby stance gives the car plenty of attitude.
When the new Fiesta was launched a few months back with its revolutionary 1.0-litre EcoBoost motor, there was a lot to rave about surrounding that car’s performance. However, the more potent Fiesta ST is equipped with a 1.6-litre EcoBoost powertrain mated to a six-speed manual gearbox.
Its performance figures are eye-catching! The 0-100km/h sprint takes just 6.9 seconds with a top speed of 220km/h, which means this little hatch can get scuttling rather briskly and indeed it does.
We were been given some track time behind the wheel of this American hatch as well as the opportunity to explore the 134kW of power and the 240Nm of torque its offers. The power delivery is robust rather than monstrous and its an easy car to live with. The punch for the 1 596cc engine comes on low down and builds quickly, while the majority of the power can be utilised just north of 5 500rpm.
Despite being a performance-driven hatch, the Fiesta ST still boasts respectable economy figures of 5.9 litres/100km, with a corresponding Co2 emissions rating of 138g/km, some 20% lower than the previous-generation model.
Sporty inside and out, Ford’s packed this car with a high level of spec and a refinedinterior. It comes equipped with Recaro seats, as well as SYNC and MyKey technology, which is also available on some other models in the Fiesta line-up. But something that cannot be ignored is the addition of the new sound symposer that channels the engine note to the cabin to ensure the distinctive engine roar becomes an integral part of the driving experience.
Other niceties fitted to the ST include LED daytime running lamp technology and a full ST body kit. New paint options include Race Red, Molten Orange and Spirit Blue, alloy metal pedals and gear shifter and an ST steering wheel.
It’s a fiery little car and the chassis complements it perfectly.
In a price-sensitive segment, however, is where the ST has its competitors licked. Coming in significantly cheaper than its rivals, plus boasting an impressive array of standard features, means the Fiesta should be the first on many people’s shopping lists who are in the market for this type of vehicle.
The Fiesta ST is available with a fully comprehensive 4-year/120 000km warranty and 4-year/60 000km service plan.
The Fiesta 1.6 GDTi ST three-door will retail for R254 500. Additional options like Rear Parking Sensors will cost an additional R1 710 and an alarm R1 070.