NEW FI­ESTA ST

We get a closer look at the next gen­er­a­tion Fi­esta ST.

Fast Ford - - Contents -

The cur­rent out­go­ing Mk7 Fi­esta ST is the best Fi­esta yet; a bold state­ment, but one that’s hard to dis­agree with. Which means that the next gen­er­a­tion Mk8 Fi­esta ST is go­ing to need to be some­thing very spe­cial if it’s go­ing to top its pre­de­ces­sor.

Thank­fully, from the first glimpse of the all-new Mk8 ST at the Geneva Mo­tor Show re­cently it looks like Ford have picked up where the Mk7 ST left off with the new Mk8 ver­sion, tak­ing in­spi­ra­tion from the Mk3 Fo­cus RS with the ad­di­tion of se­lectable Drive Modes and an ac­tive ex­haust sys­tem, as well as the lat­est Sync 3 and var­i­ous in-car en­ter­tain­ment goodies too.

1.5-LITRE ECOBOOST

The next gen­er­a­tion Fi­esta ST will be pow­ered by an all-new 1.5-litre three-cylin­der EcoBoost en­gine. Die-hard fans may scoff at the lack of cylin­ders, but if the per­for­mance of the 1.0-litre ver­sion in the cur­rent Fi­esta is any­thing to go by – which is eas­ily tuned to around 180bhp, and over 200bhp is pos­si­ble with the right mods – a larger ca­pac­ity vari­ant of the same ba­sic de­sign sounds like a win­ner to us!

Ford are say­ing that the new 1.5-litre en­gine will pro­duce 200PS and 290Nm torque in stock form. That’s more than the cur­rent 1.6-litre four-pot, and puts the Mk8 ST on par with the Mk7’s lim­ited-edi­tion ST200 straight out of the box!

In or­der to achieve such im­pres­sive fig­ures the 1.5-litre’s ar­chi­tec­ture is de­signed to of­fer as much torque at low en­gine rpms as pos­si­ble, and makes full use of the lat­est turbo tech to en­sure lag is min­i­mal.

The 1.5-litre unit also makes use of some­thing Ford are call­ing ‘cylin­der de­ac­ti­va­tion technology’, where the en­gine ac­tu­ally shuts down one cylin­der to be­come a two-pot un­der cer­tain con­di­tions! This sounds crazy but it saves fuel and meets the ever-tight­en­ing emis­sions laws, mean­ing that it al­lows cars like the new ST to be built in the first place! With­out in­no­va­tive ideas like this, we sim­ply wouldn’t have ex­cit­ing cars any more as they’d all be killed off for not meet­ing the lat­est ‘green’ tar­gets! But fear not, when you put your foot down all cylin­ders fire up to give you max­i­mum per­for­mance, and Ford say that the sys­tem can dis­en­gage and re-en­gage the cylin­der in 14 mil­lisec­onds – 20 times faster than a blink of the eye!

DRIVE MODES

Like the Mk3 Fo­cus RS, the Mk8 Fi­esta ST will fea­ture se­lectable Drive Modes. You’ll be able to choose from Nor­mal, Sport, or Track. Also, like the RS, the new ST will fea­ture an ac­tive ex­haust sys­tem too. The ‘Elec­tronic Sound Enhancer’ (ESE) technology works in con­junc­tion with the dif­fer­ent Drive Modes to switch be­tween com­fort­able, ev­ery­day noise lev­els and a more sat­is­fy­ing, sporty note.

In Nor­mal mode ev­ery­thing is set to the base set­ting; the en­gine map­ping, elec­tronic sta­bil­ity con­trol (ESC), elec­tronic power-as­sisted steer­ing (EPAS), and ESE valve are all set to de­liver a nat­u­ral re­spon­sive­ness for ev­ery­day use.

But flick the switch to en­gage Sport mode and ev­ery­thing gets turned up a notch. The en­gine map­ping and throt­tle re­sponse are sharper, the EPAS set­tings are turned up a bit to

pro­vide more feedback through the steer­ing wheel, and the ESE is in­ten­si­fied to pro­vide a sporty ex­haust note and en­hance the en­gine noise within the cabin. Track mode, as the name sug­gests, is for those want­ing to set the fastest pos­si­ble lap time. Ev­ery­thing gets turned up to the max­i­mum for the best pos­si­ble per­for­mance, and the trac­tion con­trol gets turned off while the ESC sys­tem is set to wide-slip mode to not in­ter­fere too much.

Talk­ing of the ESC and trac­tion con­trol, they can be ad­justed, in­de­pen­dently of the Drive mode too. You can choose from three set­tings: full in­ter­ven­tion with ev­ery­thing turned on, wide-slip mode with lim­ited in­ter­ven­tion, and full sys­tem de-ac­ti­va­tion with ev­ery­thing turned off!

WHAT ELSE IS NEW?

The next gen­er­a­tion ST is based on the new Mk8 Fi­esta plat­form, and is avail­able in both three- and five-door bodyshells. As well as the cus­tom­ary bodykit and funky new al­loys, the Mk8 ST will of­fer more per­son­al­iza­tion op­tions than ever be­fore, in­clud­ing sev­eral in­te­rior trim el­e­ments as well as dis­tinc­tive Styling Packs for own­ers to choose from.

The in­te­rior boasts Re­caro bucket seats, a flat-bot­tomed steer­ing wheel, and Ford’s lat­est Sync 3 sys­tem - with the op­tion of upto 8-inch touch­screen dis­play as well as the very lat­est Apple CarPlay and An­droid Auto con­nec­tiv­ity. The Mk8 ST also comes with a top of the range B&O PLAY sound sys­tem too! On the out­side there’s even a new Per­for­mance Blue colour op­tion to choose from too!

The Mk8 Fi­esta ST is ex­pected to go on sale in early 2018, and we can’t wait get be­hind the wheel for our­selves. Also, don’t be sur­prised to see a few ex­am­ples on show at var­i­ous big events and fes­ti­vals through­out the sum­mer months this year, as Ford will un­doubt­edly want to show­case their lat­est hot hatch ahead of the of­fi­cial launch!

At the time of go­ing to press no of­fi­cial pric­ing info has been re­leased, but we will keep you up to date with th­ese and all fur­ther de­vel­op­ments over on our web­site ( www.fast­ford­mag.co.uk).

Fol­low­ing the hugely suc­cess­ful Mk7 Fi­esta ST is not go­ing to be easy, but we reckon the Mk8 Fi­esta ST looks up to the task!

Flat-bot­tom steer­ing wheel and Re­caros join the Sync 3 sys­tem on the in­te­rior

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