Fun Fi­esta to serve up new thrills

NT News - Motoring - - CARS GUIDE - By STU­ART MARTIN

CHEAP, fast, fun ... the hot hatch party in­vites keep on com­ing.

This time it’s Ford send­ing out the in­vites as the small­est Blue-Oval model on Aus­tralian roads gets the ST badge.

The Fi­esta is join­ing the fast-but­friendly Fo­cus ST on Ford Aus­tralia’s pricelist from Septem­ber, the Fi­esta will get sim­i­lar aes­thetic ex­tras to its larger sib­ling — the hon­ey­comb grille, Re­caro rac­ing buck­ets, rear dif­fuser and bodykit.

Ford Aus­tralia is re­main­ing coy on ex­act pric­ing for the Euro­pean-sourced hothatch, which will be avail­able only in a three-door man­ual, but ex­pect it to be the $25,000 cat among the pi­geons priced closer to $30,000.

Urge will be de­rived from the 1.6-litre EcoBoost di­rect-in­jec­tion turbo four gen­er­at­ing 134kW and 240Nm— with over­boost kick­ing it to 147kW and 290Nm for short 20-sec­ond squirts — de­vel­oped by the Euro­pean-based Ford RS arm.

Ford Aus­tralia gen­eral mar­ket­ing man­ager David Katic said per­for­mance buy­ers were look­ing for a car like the Fi­esta ST and Ford had not had an of­fer­ing in the mar­ket like it since the Fi­esta XR4 was brought to a halt in late 2008.

‘‘The Fi­esta ST lever­ages the per­for­mance in­put of our Euro­pean team to de­liver a very re­fined car that will ap­peal to a broad spread of cus­tomers,’’ Katic said.

‘‘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,’’ Katic says.

The Blue Oval is claim­ing 6.2 litres per 100km for an of­fi­cial fuel econ­omy claim— ob­vi­ously not when mak­ing the most of over­boost.

The al­ready-adept Fi­esta has had the RS magic wand waved over the sus­pen­sion and steer­ing sys­tems, with unique front and rear spring and dam­per set­tings, a 15mm-lower cen­tre of grav­ity.

The RS crew has also beefed-up the brakes (in­clud­ing the ad­di­tion of rear discs) be­neath 17-inch al­loys and switch­able three-mode sta­bil­ity con­trol.

The ST model also gets a sports ex­haust and engine note en­hancer— Ford calls it a Sound Sym­poser — as well as the torque vec­tor­ing sys­tem that ap­plies a small amount of brak­ing force to the in­side front wheel when cor­ner­ing to coun­ter­act un­der­steer.

The fea­tures list also in­cludes the hands-free voice-con­trolled Ford Sync sys­tem for phone and au­dio sys­tems.

The ST will also get the Emer­gency As­sis­tance sys­tem that uses the driver’s own mo­bile phone (once paired to the Blue­tooth sys­tem) to con­tact emer­gency ser­vices in the event of an ac­ci­dent, pro­vided there’s net­work cov­er­age.

The Fi­esta ST is join­ing the fast-but-friendly Fo­cus ST on Ford Aus­tralia’s pricelist from Septem­ber

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