Party time in Fiesta ST
Ford’s latest hottie should carry an even tastier price than its rivals
CHEAP, fast, fun . . . the hothatch party people keep coming. Now Ford is sending out the invites as the smallest Blue Oval model on Australian roads gets the ST badge.
The Fiesta joins the fast-but-friendly Focus ST on Ford Australia’s pricelist from September, copying its larger sibling’s honeycomb grille, Recaro racing buckets, rear diffuser and bodykit.
Ford is coy on the exact pricing of the European-built hot-hatch, available only as a three-door manual.
Expect it to be the $25,000 cat among the pigeons priced closer to $30,000.
Ford’s RS arm in Europe fettled the 1.6-litre EcoBoost direct-injection turbo four to produce 134kW and 240Nm— on overboost, it hits 147kW and 290Nm for 20-second squirts.
Ford Australia general marketing manager David Katic says performance buyers are looking for a car like the Fiesta ST. Ford last had a contender with the Fiesta XR4, not seen since late 2008.
Katic says the ST is a very refined car that will appeal to a broad spread of customers ... It is already a smash hit in Europe with a bank of customer orders. This car can put a smile on your face, corner after corner, and delivers absolute precision in power delivery and handling.’’
The maker claims 6.2L/100km— obviously not when exploiting overboost.
Already adept, the Fiesta has had the RS magic wand waved over the suspension and steering systems, with unique spring and damper settings front and rear, and 15mm lower centre of gravity. The RS crew has also beefed up the brakes (adding rear discs) and fitted 17-inch alloys and switchable three-mode stability control.
The ST adds a sports exhaust and engine note enhancer— Ford calls it a Sound Symposer. Its torque vectoring set-up applies a small amount of braking force to the inside front wheel when cornering to counteract understeer.
Other features include the hands-free voice-controlled Ford Sync system for phone and audio systems. The ST’s Emergency Assistance uses the driver’s mobile phone (once paired with Bluetooth) to contact emergency services in an accident, provided there’s network coverage.
The hot-hatch segment already has some popular and capable combatants: Volkswagen Polo GTI, Citroen DS3 (as with the Fiesta, sixspeed manual only), Opel Corsa OPC (ageing but still quick) and the imminent Peugeot 208 GTI.
Katic says: We’ve worked relentlessly to bring the Fiesta ST to Australia. It’s a car our hot-hatch customers have been crying out for and we’re happy to say the wait is almost over.’’