New Fiesta ST to unleash fury in SAComment on this story
Only a few weeks after the South African launch of the Ford Focus ST, the Blue Oval Boykies have confirmed that its naughty little sister (to paraphrase Sebastian Vettel) will join it here in the second quarter of 2013.
It's the hottest Fiesta yet, with a 1.6-litre Ecoboost engine delivering a quoted 132kW and 240Nm, putting it right up there with the VW Polo GTI and the Mini Cooper S, although it's still 16kW down on the current leader of the hot-hatch pack, the 148kW Renault Clio RS.
Nevertheless, Ford says it'll sprint to 100km/h in less than seven seconds and top out at 220km/h, which equates to more than adequate street cred.
SEPARATING THE REAL DRIVERS FROM THE BOY RACERS
But straight-line performance is not the reason why the hot-hatch heroes at IOL and its sister publications are salivating at the prospect of getting their hands on Ford's new giant-killer.
Given the 'ordinary' Fiesta's well-founded reputation for razor-sharp handling and the fact that the ST sits 15mm lower on a specially-tuned chassis developed by Ford Team RS, promises superb response through the twisties which, as we all know, is where the real drivers are separated from the boy racers.
STRAIGHT OUTTA THE SKUNK WORKS
The RS stable, of course, is the European arm of Ford's performance division, responsible, among others, for the Fiesta RS World Rally Championship contender, and the Fiesta Rallycross and Racing Fiesta cars.
The new Fiesta ST also comes with Ford's torque vectoring control system, as well as three electronic stability control modes, honed over more than 250 laps of the infamous Nordschleife at Germany's Nurburgring.
It takes its styling cues from the Focus ST, including a large trapezoidal grille, and the performance theme continues inside with Recaro sports seats, and lots of driver-orientated standard kit such as MyKey and Sync, Ford's voice-activated connectivity system.
Prices, as always, when they get here.