Slightly behind and attempting to get this to work for the second time, here is the information about the forthcoming new Fiesta ST, that made its debut back at the Geneva motor show.
With a video advert reminiscent of a TopGear race between a Fiat 500 and some BMX riders, Ford has announced the new Fiesta ST. Along with other manufacturers, it is being launched at the Geneva motor show next month. Of course, the unwritten rules of an ST is that whilst it has to be good, it can’t be better than its big brother the Focus ST and RS. However after much waiting an updated ST is here.
Engine and performance
Ford has been the king of making 1-litre turbocharged engines in recent years with achieving brilliant 0-60 times and high fuel economy. However being the ST model the engine is a 1.5 EcoBoost unit capable of 197.3 BHP! That is around 130BHP per litre! No wonder that 0-60 is dealt with in 6.7 seconds (estimate).
Despite the overall success of the EcoBoost system, the system has had some problems, from speaking with a Fiesta owner (EcoBoost) there is a loss of fuel economy and performance when the turbo isn’t engaged on the engine, particularly at lower speeds around town. Ford do appear to have addressed this by ensuring the engine produces more torque low down and minimising lag on a new turbo.
The engine also features cylinder deactivation technology, to improve fuel efficiency and not change performance. This type of tech usually fitted to much larger engines can shut down a cylinder when it is not needed, such as when coasting or cruising with less demand on the engine, this can be done 20 times faster than blinking (14miliseconds).
Under the bonnet
Even the normal fiesta is known for having good handling characteristics. The St’s have followed this and offer very good handling for hot hatches. To get the most out of the handling Ford is fitting it with driving modes; normal, sport and track. Normal keeps everything normal; Sport mode tunes things up offering quicker pedal responses and more feedback. Track mode all the cars dynamics are tuned for the fastest lap times, with traction control and electronic aids turned off and allowing more hard circuit driving.
While the modes offer the most from the car, the chassis will be Ford performance tuned offering torque vectoring control technology, to improve road holding reduce understeer as well as braking performance. Ford haven’t told us of any other “under the bonnet” features as yet, but this is the company that has produced the Ford GT and Focus RS as well as a whole string of successful hot hatches in recent years, we can only assume this new one will be just as good as the rest of the family.
This is an area, in which the ST has some good specs and features. First up there is the Electronic Sound enhancement (ESE). This system enhances the exhaust note with a control valve, but goes further by working in partnership with the driving modes, amplifying the natural engine noise and exhaust note though the sound system and though the engine cars mechanicals as well. This gets better with the sound system by Bang and Olufsen (B and O). Finally, Fords Sync 3 system allows for smartphone connectivity audio navigation (voice controlled Sat-Nav) on a touchscreen up to 8inches in size, yes it is compatible with Android Auto and Apple car play.
Beyond the usual good looks for the ST body kit fitted to the Fiesta, the car has a greater level of customisation than before. You will be able to choose different types of gearstick, steering wheel door handles and changes the appearance of the dashboard. Furthermore, Recaro seats and exclusive 18inch alloys finish the touches to the car.
The boring useful bits
The fiesta is still by far and away Britain’s top-selling car and this is still the case in 2017. Whilst other cars might offer adjustable boot floors, there is no getting away from the practicality and usability of a Fiesta. The St hasn’t offered any additional practicality and will probably have a sportier (harder) ride. But cylinder deactivation will offer better mpg and reduced co2 emissions. Whilst these figures are not out this will help with reducing the running costs of the ST.
The key thing for a hot hatch is to be practical and fun. This generation St offers the practicality of the Fiesta along with the performance desired in a hot hatch. There is the right amount of geek spec for a car of this type; surprisingly not much has been said about safety as yet, meaning the Fiesta will probably remain at the higher end of the insurance groups, which is a shame. What you cannot fail to notice is the staggering performance of the engine and the cars package offering driving modes and sound enhancement. Ford is responsible for some of the best hot hatches in the last 30 years and this ST looks to continue this. Realistically an RS version is unlikely but the ST is a really good benchmark for performance hatchbacks, that are not up with the civic type R and Focus RS.
The car itself won’t be available until 2018 but will be seen at Geneva this year. Whilst waiting for more details to arrive we can enjoy this video put together by Fords Marketing team.