Same bang, more bucks
ONE of the most awarded hot hatches on the planet, the Ford Fiesta ST, is about to get a price hike.
The “Bang For Bucks” winner’s super sharp starting price of $25,990 plus on-road costs will be increased by $1500 to $27,490 from September 2016. The price of metallic paint has also gone up, to $450 (from $385).
Ford says the higher RRP covers the addition of built-in navigation, a rear view camera, a high resolution display screen, illuminated scuff plates in the door openings, red paint on the brake calipers and charcoal-painted wheels.
Unfortunately, there is no more power for the updated Fiesta ST’s 1.6-litre turbo four, even though a special edition with more grunt and a sharper chassis — called the ST200 — is about to go on sale in Europe.
Even though the Fiesta ST has exceeded sales expectations Down Under — more than 1200 sold since 2013, with 2015 accounting for the biggest tally — Ford Australia did not put its hand up for some of the 1600 limited edition models to be sold in Europe.
Ford also attributed some of the Fiesta ST’s price rise to currency fluctuations (the performance model is made in Germany rather than Thailand), even though the Australian exchange rate with the euro hasn’t shifted dramatically in that time.
Ford defended the price rise by pointing out the Fiesta ST’s new RRP is the same as the VW Polo (which is more powerful, faster and has more doors than the three-door Fiesta ST) and still undercuts the Peugeot 208 GTI and Renault Clio RS.
Importantly, the price rise does not apply to Ford Fiesta ST models still in dealer stock. They remain $25,990 plus onroad costs.
The price rise is a bold move for a car nearing the end of its model life. Most cars usually hit discount mode as a full model change approaches.
But Ford has been able to buck this trend because the Fiesta ST has been lauded by critics the world over for its razor sharp handling, flexible turbo power delivery and funto-drive responsiveness.
While Ford has ruled out an even hotter “RS” version of the Fiesta (the Focus RS is due in Australian showrooms mid year), Carsguide understands work has already commenced on the next generation Fiesta ST.
However, it is at least two to three years away from local showrooms — and there is likely to be a blackout on Fiesta ST availability once production of the current generation Fiesta range ends in the next 12 months or so.
The current generation Fiesta family has been in production since 2008. Given that most cars have a model life of five to six years, the Fiesta is way overdue for renewal.
The next generation car is due to be unveiled late this year or early next.
The updated end-of-the-line Fiesta ST due in September may only be in showrooms for a year or so.
Once production of the next generation car ramps up, the current Fiesta ST is expected to be discontinued.
As is the case with most performance variants, the next generation Fiesta ST will likely join the rest of the new range about two years after the showroom arrivals of the regular models, in late 2018 or early 2019.