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2017 Ford Fiesta
2018 Ford Fiesta ST. Photo: Supplied
 
 

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Alex Rae | Mar, 14 2018 | 0 Comments

Ford has detailed its Europe-bound Fiesta ST that replaces the ageing current model with new technology and a bump in performance.

Powered by a smaller 1.5-litre three-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine, output increases over the outgoing 1.6-litre four-cylinder from 134kW to 147kW at 6000rpm and 240Nm to 290Nm of torque between 1600-4000rpm. 

Available with either three or five-doors the hatch is even hotter than before and completes the 0-100km/h dash in 6.5 seconds - 0.5sec faster - on to a top speed of 231km/h. 

The blue oval is also claiming that with cylinder-deactivation the little three-pot engine is 11 per cent more efficient.

Ford has included a number of improvements to handling and dynamics and in a teaser video shows the three-door ST thrown around by British rally driver Louise Cook with one foot in the air (watch below).

Improving traction is a new, optional Quaife mechanical limited-slip differential that works with a recalibrated version of Ford’s torque vectoring control and three driving and ESC modes.

Normal, Sport and Track settings alter steering feel, throttle response, engine performance, exhaust note and traction control depending on the situation.

ESC can be set to full intervention, partial ‘wide-slip mode’ and full de-activation when hitting the track. 

Launch control also makes an appearance for consistent acceleration performance.

Steering is now the fastest of any Ford Performance model and the ratio has been reduced to 12:1 that's 14 per cent quicker than before. Larger 278mm ventilated front and 253mm solid rear disc brakes also improve stopping power.

Underneath its skin the ST has a new torsion beam rear-end that does without a Watt’s link or reinforcement but increases rigidity with Ford-patented ‘force vectoring springs’.

The special non-uniform, directionally-wound springs increase lateral forces when cornering but offer compliance at slower speeds. The ST is the first compact hot hatch to debut the system and Ford says it brings sharper turn-in that remains compatible with traditional suspension dampers. Dampening is controlled by passive Tenneco twin-tube front and mono-tube rear dampers with RC1 valves.

The rear-twist beam stiffness has also been increased to 1400Nm/deg which is the firmest of any Ford Performance model.  

“We went through three times the normal number of suspension iterations to find a set-up that delivered the exciting driving experience demanded of an ST model, but also comfort and refinement for everyday driving,” said European Ford Performance director Leo Roeks.

“The car’s sophisticated dampers self-adjust to tune out high-frequency road imperfections when there is limited demand for damping – like on the motorway, but adjust again to deliver optimised road-holding performance when driven hard.” 

Outside, the ST receives an exclusive bodykit over 17 or 18-inch alloys and is available in either white, grey, silver, blue, red or black paint.

Inside the car offers a larger 6.5 or 8.0-inch Sync3 infotainment system with optional B&O Play sound system and ST-1, ST-2 and ST-3 equipment packs for further differentiation.

Ford Performance also listened to feedback and tinkered with the Recaro driver’s seat to offer better adjustment before and given the pew more tilt and seat-back movement.

Other inclusions inside are a 4.2-inch instrument cluster, ST gearknob, flat bottom steering wheel and contrasting stitching throughout.

Safety technology includes lane keeping assist, lane departure warning, , cruise control with speed limiter, rain-sensing wipers, auto headlights, auto highbeam and traffic sign recognition.

Despite the smaller engine, Ford Performance is adamant the new car and its engine will be even more engaging than the previous model by implementing improvements from cars likes the Focus RS and Ford GT.

“Hot-hatch drivers are expecting big things from this small car. We’ve applied what we’ve learned from recent Ford Performance models including the Focus RS and Ford GT to develop an all-new Fiesta ST that sets a new standard for driving fun in its segment, with a throaty three-cylinder soundtrack that will speak to petrol-heads whatever their language,” said Roeks.

“Performance car drivers will be familiar with the dreaded ‘one-wheel peel’, where a fast corner exit is hampered by an overload of torque to the inside wheel.

“We’ve tuned the all-new Fiesta ST’s mechanical LSD option to work seamlessly with enhanced Torque Vectoring Control to deliver the best possible natural traction without ‘burning away’ excess torque with brake interventions.”

The brand's local branch is expected to confirm next month the new-generation hot hatch will come to Australia as the only Fiesta model available locally.

MORE: Ford News and Reviews

 
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