We couldn’t wait to discover how much faster the ST200 would be around Killarney
WINTER months are the best ... for track testing, that is. Almost all hot hatches and sportscars are turbocharged these days and accordingly benefit from the cold air. Looking at the 16° C indicated on the Fiesta ST200’S information screen, the odds favoured it clocking a faster time than the base model’s from four years ago.
Power delivery from the 1,6-litre Ecoboost engine has been increased from 134 to 147 kw and the torque figure has climbed from 240 to 290 N.m. The final drive ratio has also been shortened to further assist acceleration, while the suspension has been firmed up for improved handling prowess.
On track, the little Ford lived up to the hype the ST200 stopped the clock at 1:31,90; precisely 0,9 seconds faster than the standard ST.
Track tester Deon Joubert was impressed when he pulled into the pits: “It’s a great car. Initially, as you’d expect, there is some understeer as you turn into the corner, but it handles beautifully and is easy to drive fast with no surprises in terms of its handling. Like Volkswagen products, this drivetrain also protects itself when you flat shift through the gears. Take the price into account and you get a lot of car for your money.”
The ST200 is around R100 000 cheaper than the more powerful Renault Clio RS 220 Trophy we tested in July but, as expected, the Renault was also a second quicker. The more you pay, the quicker you go...