Boy racer of Fiesta family roars into a third generation
FIESTA HAS always had a split personality: humdrum city car meets affordable sports hatch beloved by boy racers.
So while the respectable recently-launched model is garnering rave reviews which acclaim it to be possibly the best all-round hatch on the road, it is its rowdy sibling we focus on here.
ST200 is shorthand for a superquick car which is the fastest Fiesta ever and a world apart from its brutal ancestor, the rapid but basic XR2s of the 1980s.
The ST200 is quick but refined. Better in-gear performance than its predecessor, 10 per cent more power, 17in alloys, Recaro seats, torque vectoring which keeps the car under control and better braking. There is little not to like.
It is happy to pootle but it’s more than delighted to growl to 60mph in 6.7 seconds. It burbles beautifully and at £23,145, it might sound expensive but you try finding a faster new car for the money.
But wait. This model was only unleashed a few months ago but Ford has already announced a major upgrade. At the recent Geneva motor show it showed the new thirdgeneration ST200 with a few marked improvements.
Most notably, it has a threecylinder 1.5 litre engine. Many manufacturers turn out threecylinder cars but they are usually city cars. Will it clatter like three-cylinder engines of old? I don’t expect so.
It also offers drive modes – normal, sport and track – and an unusual device to set the tone of the exhaust.
Young guns may love it; more sensible types will dismiss it as a silly frivolity. Me? I’m in the frivolity camp, but it will sound good.
New ST200 also has bigger 18in alloys and comes in three and five-door form.
If you can’t wait until early 2018, the current ST200 is full of vim and vigour.
Performance figures are good with a top speed of 143mph. For such a swift car, it feels like a traditional hatchback.
Only the sexy alloy wheels, super seats and modest body trim give hints of the power at your disposal.
The new ST200 lets Fiesta shake off its everyday image with some impressive performance and plenty of power.