We couldn’t wait to dis­cover how much faster the ST200 would be around Kil­lar­ney

Car (South Africa) - - SPEED -

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...

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