Ford has decided that the new Fiesta will be offered with only one variant model when arriving in Australia early next year. Fortunately, for hot hatch fans at least, the single Fiesta ST model is also the fastest and the best.
Ford’s reason for virtually ignoring the so-called lightweight car market is vague, but it may be due to a shift in buyer preferences from conventional cars to small SUVs like the EcoSport company that starts at $ 22,790.
the Fiesta ST model will have a much more focused target audience, those who are ready to pay for performance, handling and adding visual talent in a compact hatchback package.
For that, the buyer will get a Fiesta that is slightly longer and wider than the model he replaced, but becomes a sportiest model, equipped with a complete regalia of front air dams, rear spoilers and 17 or 18 inch wheels.
Power comes from a 1.5-liter three-cylinder engine and for capacity, there are quite a lot. It’s turbocharged and produces a peak of 147 kilowatts and a substantial torque output of 290 Newton meters from as low as 1,600 rpm to 4000rpm.
There is a launch control function that calls optimal spin and traction control before dumping the clutch into a six-speed manual and that, along with only 1262kg to transport (in a three-door version), is equivalent to 0-100km / h which is claimed to accelerate to 6.5 seconds .
Speaking of doors, Ford has not yet decided whether to import three or five port versions, but Australia’s historical preference for the latter will show greater likelihood.
We will get only one model specification unlike the three levels available in Europe but whether features such as larger wheels and limited slip differentials will be included as standard or optional equipment is unknown.
Definite inclusion is a light-weighted cylinder deactivation, turning the triple into two cylinders and helping to keep fuel consumption down to 6.0L / 100km, plus there is a passive rear-axle steering shape to improve cornering, even though no dampers can be adjusted as part of three adjustable drive modes (normal, sport and track).
And no, if you are given a license only to drive automatically, ST is not active even though Ford engineers hint that the dual-clutch car is on the card. Until then, drivers who were willing to use their left foot tended to have fun in extra involvement from the manual.
The new electrically assisted power steering moves very directly from outside the center and feels a little nervous before the driver becomes accustomed to using more delicacy, and then enjoys built-in feedback and involvement.
Find a path with a series of twists and ST is taking pleasure. There is an astonishing grip on cars that come from boring origins, aided by mechanical Lua Quaife that almost eliminates the inner front wheels that lose traction that come out of a narrow angle.
Torque steer is really only visible during hard straight line acceleration and the front end is quite sticky to mean understeer is not a problem with road speed. Apart from all this, the ride quality is strong but quite suitable for comfort, at least on European roads.
With brakes that seem to have unlimited braking power after repeated repeated uses, only enough engine power for the chassis and reliable and entertaining handling, it adds a perfect combination of sports cars and turers despite the small Fiesta size.
The interior offers a combination of practicality, sportsmanship and good technological entertainment. Recaro’s chairs, which may be standard on the Australian ST, have excellent comfort and support, the flat-bottomed steering wheel is rather eye-catching, and the eight-inch central infotainment screen sits high and stands out.
About the only ergonomic black spot is the center console that repeatedly seems to contaminate the driving elbow of the rider’s gear, and the somehow seemingly unregulated pedal for easy replacement of heel and toe gears.
You get a decent 311 liter boot, and the rear seat is as spacious as you would expect for a small car, which means it’s quite adequate for two higher passengers.
Every on-road comparison with the new Polo GTI will be very interesting and if, as expected, Ford underestimates VW at the Fiesta ST price it might be one of the best values, very entertaining but still practicable with practical performance of money.
Release Date & Prices
2019 Ford Fiesta ST is predicted to reach a high in March 2019. Prices range from $ 29,000 plus on-road costs (estimated).