2020 Ford Fiesta St
► Ford revises its giant-killer hot hatch► Regular, Perf Backpack and Perf Edition tested► The Dejected Oval smashes it again
Talk about a boxy act to follow. The previous-generation Ford Fiesta ST is a bona fide avant-garde classic, a car that could accomplish any alley fun, at any time. Thankfully, the new ST is addition brawl of hot-hatch energy, but has been fabricated hardly added well-rounded, with a beneath backbreaking ride and a plusher interior. If you admired the old ST, you’ll adulation the new one alike more.
Our abounding Fiesta ST analysis includes the car with and after the Achievement Pack, forth with the beaming orange Achievement Edition alien in mid-2019.
ST-2 gets you altitude control, a bigger, 8-inch touchscreen and a adherent complete arrangement for £20,700 (or £21,150 for the bristles door). Finally, the ST-3, the car we drove, brings the 18-inch wheels, the red calipers, sat-nav and assorted auto-wipers and mirrors. The three-door is £22,450 while the five-door starts at £22,900. The ashen orange Achievement Edition, with all of its toys, will set you aback £26,495. We’ll explain why in a bit.
The ST brand was aboriginal acclimated on a Fiesta in 2004 for a agilely broiled adaptation of the sixth-generation car. It was powered by a 150bhp 2.0-litre agent and, while it had some nice stripes, it was abundantly forgettable. Then in 2012 a new ST was announced, based on the Mk 7 Fiesta, powered by a 1.6 turbo agent that put out 178bhp with an ‘overboost’ action that could bear 197bhp in abbreviate bursts.
No-one had decidedly aerial expectations of this car until we collection it: it accepted to be ‘an complete blast,’ as we said in our best analysis in 2013 – a car to ‘plaster a smile all over your face’. Appear the end of its lifecycle Ford aloft the bar afresh with the ST200, which offered 197bhp and approached 230bhp on overboost. It too accustomed babble reviews, and it’s this car that the 2018 ST has to beat.
It’s true, the big banderole change in the new Fiesta ST is the about-face from the 1.6-litre four-cylinder to a 1.5 triple, but this aboriginal agent is based on Ford’s accolade acceptable 1.0-litre Ecoboost; a assignment of internal-combustion magic. The new ST’s ability assemblage is fruity, airy and abounding of personality, and somehow – out of aloof three cylinders – Ford has extracted a arresting 200bhp and 214lb ft from it.
There is no overboost this time, so that is aiguille power, but accustomed this charcoal a little failing auto (the 3-door’s kerb weight is aloof 1262kg) that is added than abundant ability to accomplish the ST a accelerated car: Ford suggests 0-62mph time is 6.5 seconds, hardly quicker than the ST200 (6.7 seconds). Top acceleration is 144mph. Best of all it revs so agreeably and makes a bigger babble than the old engine.
Ford has additionally alien butt absolute – a aboriginal for a amateur – so aback you’re canoeing with revs beneath 4500rpm, the agent becomes a 1.0-litre twin, convalescent ammunition ability by a claimed 6 per cent.
Totally. Beneath the surface, Ford has fabricated all sorts of automated adjustments and improvements over the approachable model; but abaft the wheel, area it counts, it’s an alike sharper, added airy acquaintance than before.
But aback to the adipose bits: The ST’s clue is 10mm added than a accepted new Fiesta and 48mm added than the old car; the council arrangement is 14 per cent quicker than the ST200; and torsional acerbity is up 8 per cent. That agency council hardly annealed like the Focus RS, but still actual direct, and you still get the cutting ‘just point it at a corner’,’ feeling.
The Fiesta ST doesn’t feel afar or wayward, it consistently feels bound and beneath control, but there’s still a audible activity of antic adaptability in the rear axle. It makes the car feel animate and gives every angle a little ball of accessible trajectories. Ford additionally provides you the accoutrement to add yet added action to the ST with a Achievement Backpack and the adventitious to about-face it up to 11 with the Achievement Edition.
The Achievement Backpack comprises a leash of go-faster additions: a Quaife limited-slip cogwheel on the advanced axle, a barrage ascendancy arrangement to ache the clamp and advanced tyres (track use only, kids…) and about-face lights to acquaint you aback you’re accepting abutting to the redline in case you’ve got the stereo angry up too loud.
But actuality altogether honest, we alone charge a third of this admixture to accomplish the ST into the car our testers accept collapsed so acutely in adulation with. It’s that glace diff, and how the Fiesta’s administration responds to it.
The Quaife limited-slip differential, accumulated with the Michelin Pilot Super Sport tyres, provides an atrocious bulk of anchor advancing out of alike the tightest back-road bend, acceptance you to get aback on the burke ridiculously early. There is some torque steer, of course, but not abundant to ruin the activity that you can aim and eject this car with precision.
There’s a slight crumb at the ‘wheel aback you bulb the burke in a beeline line, but if you’ve anytime apprenticed annihilation abroad of this ilk you’ll be afraid how accurately this ST’s set up.
And mid angle you’ve got huge traction, of course, the animosity accomplishing the adamantine assignment and sending torque to either caster according to the under-tyre adhesion. Apprenticed after the LSD you’ll apprehension anon it isn’t as adjustable on the burke because the advanced end won’t chaw in absolutely the aforementioned way, instead abrasion frustratingly wide. You can still get that twist-beam rear end to erect a wheel, but it’s added difficult and requires absolutely a lot added commitment.
That brings us assimilate the abutting annoyance with the cheapest STs – you’ll assignment those brakes abundantly adamantine because the absorption and adherence ascendancy accept a lot added to do to accumulate that 1.5 three-pot’s achievement beneath control. The animosity mitigates this, admitting we still managed to get them rather ‘warm’ on both cars during our test. Rude not to, right?
To the ST-3 the Achievement Edition adds £2500 to the account price, a set of actual attractive failing Ford Achievement auto (at 18 inches in diameter, no bigger than the ST-3’s banal rims but lighter) and a Ford Achievement coilover abeyance upgrade, which both lowers the car (15mm at the front; 10mm at the rear) and brings 12-stage compression and 16-step backlash adjustment. The damper units, accomplished in stainless animate with dejected springs, attending the business tucked up abaft those actual appealing wheels.
But the absolute abstract is the Fiesta’s amazing handling. There’s endless of grip, absolute and compact steering, abiding anatomy ascendancy and a acutely advantageous faculty of affiliation with your tyres. Understeer’s there alone if clumsily affronted – mostly the Fiesta aloof changes administration like a housefly and offers added adaptability than abounding rear-drive sports cars. The accepted car shares abounding of these qualities but the Achievement Edition elevates them all to addition akin of ultra-crisp definition.
In agreement of acclimation flaws, the active position is abundant bigger in this car – you can now pump a batten and lower yourself appear the floor, instead of activity like you’re perched in a child’s highchair like the old one.
However, the bone-jarring ride is alone partially resolved. Ford talks a lot about the new ‘directionally anguish force agent springs’ and ‘frequency careful dampers’, and there’s no abstinent this is clever, blithely sorted anatomy – but let’s not kid ourselves. There’s still a lot of vertical jigglingly and bouncing activity on, so abundant so that on an asperous aback road, you accept to apply aloof to get your feel in the appropriate abode on the touchscreen.
And area does it fit on the competition? Area the Civic Type R and Renault Megane R.S. assume to surgically booty afar every mile of tarmac, the Fiesta ST dances over it – a bit like our old i30N long-termer. Of course, this is abate and added active too, so anticipate of it like an i30N concentrated into an alike abate space. All the energy, alike beneath of the size; an i30N liquitab, if you will.
One added affair – the new Fiesta ST sounds fantastic. In Sport or Chase approach at idle, the ST’s three-cylinders blubbering and cheep like a assemblage car. Increase the revs, and you’ll acquisition the Fiesta ST has a crisp, bright characterful accent – and alike sounds acceptable on the over run. It’s not all about the noise, but it’s nice to accept a appropriately accustomed agreeable soundtrack.
Actually, that’s the abundant affair about the new Fiesta ST, it has absolutely taken some big strides in agreement of refinement. I like the new Fiesta ancestors look, and the ST isn’t too bling – just a few red capacity and a bore grille. It’s not an awkward car to drive.
Inside the autogenous is a huge footfall forward, with a abundant avant-garde avant-garde ambience, and the latest agenda awning tech admitting with abstracts not absolutely of the accomplished affection in places. Altogether, it does feel like a added developed up car to own, after accident that antic archness if you appetite to drive collapsed out.
The new Ford Fiesta ST combines all that was acceptable about the approachable ST200 with a abundant bigger autogenous and a decidedly ablaze new engine. If you anticipate the exoteric has fabricated the new adaptation conceivably a blow beneath characterful, don’t anguish – from the driver’s seat, it has as big a personality as ever. With the Achievement Edition, the accuracy that you could accept a alive new Golf for the aforementioned money will be inconsequential to the affectionate of souls this Fiesta will accomplish absurdly happy.
Check out our Ford reviews
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