Aimee Woods finds herself totally smitten by Ford’s latest hot hatch, the Fiesta ST
What is it? The incredible 2018 Ford Fiesta ST has landed and as expected, it has stolen hearts with its hellishly good performance. The ST200 was a difficult act to follow but the Ford designers have truly excelled with this magnificent machine.
First Impressions of the Ford Fiesta ST? The ST is spectacularly sculpted and commands attention with its stark black honeycomb grille politely decorated with the ST badge. The squinted LED lights stretch back around the bonnet adding a touch of glamour and delicacy to the front. From the side, its toned body is dominated by the standard 17 inch or optional 18 inch alloy wheels. The rear has a sporty feel to it with a sweet spoiler and twin exhaust.
A range of colours are available including Performance Blue, Frozen White, Race Red and Silver Fox. On the downside, I’m not one for subtlety and was rather attached to the Storm Grey of the ST200. Although the colours are eye-catching, I was yearning for an all-new mixture that I couldn’t take my eyes off. That being said, if you plan on holding on to your ST long term, probably best to keep it relatively tame.
What about the interior? Leaps and bounds have been made in the Fiesta ST’s interior. No longer does this hot-hatch compromise your comfort, Ford made the conscious decision to improve the interior experience and boy, does it show! Although traditionally low-key with a racy and minimalist feel, the new model is home to the cosy and supportive fabric Recaro seats (part leather available in the upgrade), metal ST gear stick, thick steering wheel and centre 6.5 inch or optional 8 inch screen equipped for all audio, navigation and smart phone needs. The screen looks a little awkward at first protruding from the dashboard but it provides excellent picture and quality from the driver seat. The boot capacity is reasonable also at 311litres or 1093litres with the rear seats down.
What about the engine? The Ford Fiesta ST provides an insanely impressive drive with its 1.5 litre EcoBoost petrol engine boasting 200bhp and 290Nm of torque with just three cylinders. The debut of the three cylinder engine in a Ford performance car delivers a satisfactory 0-100km/h in just 6.5 seconds and a top speed of 232km/h with a 6-speed transmission. The new innovative technology of this engine allows for high torque at low revs and with acceleration, it just keeps climbing making for a super charged experience. If you’re concerned about fuel efficiency – no need. One of the cylinders essentially heads off for a nap when it’s not required whether in traffic, city driving or casually cruising along. This transition is unexpectedly seamless (14 milliseconds) and is just so impressive.
On the Road? We were lucky enough to experience the twists, the turns and the sweeping straights of the famous mountains in the Cote de Provence where this pocket rocket was in its element.
The previous ST200 was fast, responsive and fun and Ford have managed to make several game changing improvements. With the use of patented force vectoring springs and an optional Quaife limited-slip differential, the performance in a straight line up to the sharpest corners is truly breath-taking leaving you feeling like a professional racing driver. The first ping of excitement is the raspy growl and the popping sounds of the engine as you accelerate. Climbing through the gears is smooth as always with plenty of torque at both ends of the rev counter.
It has three driving modes – Normal, Sport and Track. Sport mode increases the normal throttle response, even more “popping” sounds from the engine and creates the perfect conditions for speed with precision. The handling in both the entry and exit of the corner is exceptionally sharp and the car grips with ease. The steering in the new ST is the 14% faster than the ST200 and the brakes are impeccable – believe me they were well used. Track mode aims to give you the fastest lap possible and traction control is disabled. In addition to its driving modes, it also has an nice launch control system for standing starts.
With all the technology covered, it is important to describe the overall experience of the Ford Fiesta ST. It really is difficult to fault their new design and they have created a genuinely fun, sporty and comfortable experience. The ST is obviously geared towards the petrol head market but with this model, it’s hard to take away from the space, comfort and practicality whatever your lifestyle (yes, your mammy will be happy to have spin). You can’t help but grin your way through the experience and always feel safe even if you do get a little carried away. The car works for you and responds to what you want.
Just to say The Fiesta ST also has auto high beam, blind spot information, driver alert, lane keeping aid, rear view camera and traffic sign recognition available.
Will it break the bank? The Fiesta ST is available in the ST2 and the ST3 from July starting at €28,120 and €30,270 respectively. You can choose between 3-door and 5-door models.
3 words to describe the Ford Fiesta ST200? Impressive, energetic and precise.
6th June, 2018