The ST version of Ford’s all-new Fiesta takes the big-power-from-little-engine theme to the extreme with a 1.5-litre three-cylinder turbopetrol that produces 147kW and 290Nm. That’s 13kW more than the 1.6-litre turbo four in the current model musters.
The stressed little engine will get the new ST from standstill to 100km/h in a mere 6.7 seconds, according to Ford, and it’s packed with fuel saving technologies for when you’re not attempting the latter. Not only does the fuel delivery system combine traditional port and direct fuel injection, but it can also deactivate one of the cylinders when the load is light.
Drivers can now choose between three drive modes that affect the engine, exhaust, steering as well as stability control, with Normal for everyday driving, Sport for fast roads and Track mode for, well you know. Traction control is disabled completely in this mode, while the electronic stability control is set to wide-slip mode, and can be switched off completely through a separate switch. A torque vectoring system that applies brake force to the inside wheel is also in place to help you slice those tight bends with minimal understeer.
The driving modes alter the sound track too, with an active noise control exhaust valve on hand to sweeten that off-beat three-cylinder squeal and liven the mood, along with those big-bolstered Recaro bucket seats and flat-bottomed ST-badged steering wheel.
The interior can be personalised through various styling packs and an array of different trim elements for the dashboard inlays, steering wheel, gear lever and door pulls. There’s only one external flavour, but the car is appropriately dressed with a mesh grille, rear spoiler as well 18-inch alloys, and buyers can opt for a new colour called Liquid Blue.
Ford’s latest Sync3 touch-screen system provides the entertainment, with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto keeping you zoned into you phone, and the options list includes a fancy B&O Play Sound System.
The ST will be sold in three- and five-door guises. We’re currently awaiting word on when the first units are expected in South Africa.