Automotive

Ford boosts Fiesta ST pocket rocket to 197 hp

Ford boosts Fiesta ST pocket r...
The ST200 has more power and a sharper handling setup, which should make one of our favourite hot hatches even better
The ST200 has more power and a sharper handling setup, which should make one of our favourite hot hatches even better
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The Fiesta ST's interior has been left largely untouched, although there wasn't much wrong with it in the first place
1/10
The Fiesta ST's interior has been left largely untouched, although there wasn't much wrong with it in the first place
We fell in love with the ST's slick manual gearbox and sharp steering
2/10
We fell in love with the ST's slick manual gearbox and sharp steering
There's light up side sills as a part of the ST200 package
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There's light up side sills as a part of the ST200 package
The ST's Recaros hold you tight, even though they're a bit tiring on long journeys
4/10
The ST's Recaros hold you tight, even though they're a bit tiring on long journeys
The Fiesta ST's interior is not where the money has been spent, although it's completely fit for purpose
5/10
The Fiesta ST's interior is not where the money has been spent, although it's completely fit for purpose
Special alloy wheels are a part of the package, although they're also very similar to the regular car's
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Special alloy wheels are a part of the package, although they're also very similar to the regular car's
The ST200's power outputs put it into the same range as the Mountune tuner range
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The ST200's power outputs put it into the same range as the Mountune tuner range
Thanks to revised spring and damper rates, the ST200 sits 15 mm lower than regular STs
8/10
Thanks to revised spring and damper rates, the ST200 sits 15 mm lower than regular STs
On the outside, there's almost nothing to distinguish the ST200 from regular hot Fiestas
9/10
On the outside, there's almost nothing to distinguish the ST200 from regular hot Fiestas
The ST200 has more power and a sharper handling setup, which should make one of our favourite hot hatches even better
10/10
The ST200 has more power and a sharper handling setup, which should make one of our favourite hot hatches even better
View gallery - 10 images

The Fiesta ST was already one of the livelier pocket rockets on the road, but that hasn't stopped Ford from giving it a tune-up to keep it at the top of its game. The new ST200 has been given more power, a sharper handling setup and bigger brakes for an even more playful, involving drive.

Key to the Fiesta's upgrades is a more powerful iteration of its 1.6-liter EcoBoost engine. The motor now delivers 197 hp (147 kW) and 290 Nm of torque, enough to shoot it to 62 mph (100 km/h) in 6.7 seconds - 0.2 seconds faster than the regular ST.

What's more, there's an extra 15 hp (11 kW) and 30 Nm of torque to play with for up to 15 seconds thanks to a transient overboost system. That means on overboost, Ford's latest Fiesta ST matches the factory endorsed tuner Mountune's power outputs. Is there a civil war on the horizon?

Although we were big fans of the ST's punchy engine when we drove it, what really won us (and the world's entire motoring press) over was the car's playful handling. Ford isn't resting on its laurels, though. The ST200 has been tweaked with a sharper, 13.69:1 steering ratio and shortened steering arms as well as a stiffer rear twist beam.

We fell in love with the ST's slick manual gearbox and sharp steering
We fell in love with the ST's slick manual gearbox and sharp steering

Thanks to unique spring and damper rates at all four corners, the car's center of gravity has been lowered by 15 mm, and there's also a larger master brake cylinder to help the car pull up when you're having a go. Inside, there's uniquely trimmed Recaro seats and light up side skirts, but Ford has spent its money where it matters on a hot hatchback - the handling.

These sound like small changes, but we'd put our money on them making a significant difference to the overall ST package. In fact, we can't wait to get behind the wheel and see what a friskier Fiesta feels like.

Ford's launch video for the ST200 is below.

Ford Fiesta ST200

Source: Ford

View gallery - 10 images
3 comments
MarylandUSA
I love the Fiesta; I've bought one for myself and one for my older daughter. I also love Ford. But Ford has one tradition that has long annoyed me: On certain car lines, like Fiesta and Focus, their best engine and chassis are available ONLY with manual transmission. No other car company I know of does this.
pSynrg
That's because the best chassis/engine combo is generally aimed at driving enthusiasts. A group of drivers who demand as much manual input as possible.
Witness the fall of the Renaultsport Clio (1.6 Turbo) from the top spot of hot hatches after over 20 years of being there (since the Mk1 Clio 16V).
The main reason? No manual gearbox option, whatsoever. It didn't help that their semi-auto was a poor interpretation of the technology. No alternative, really annoyed even the hardcore RS Clio crowd.
The ST200 is pretty much exactly what Renault were doing with the Clio 200 over 5 years ago.
Shame it looks so horrible!
MarylandUSA
I get that, pSynrg, but I maintain that Ford has misjudged the market. Some driving enthusiasts enjoy acceleration and precise steering and handing but prefer Ford's 6-speed auto-manual or need to share their Fiesta/Focus with family members who can't drive a stick.
And why would Ford offer its 1.0-liter turbo engine with a stick shift only?
In the Mustang line, the GT is aimed at driving enthusiasts. But Ford lets you buy it with an automatic.
Chevrolet will gladly sell you a Corvette with an 8-speed automatic.
Mazda will gladly sell you a Mazda3 Turbo with an automatic.
Volvo, BMW, Mercedes, Acura--the list goes on.
If your reason were the sole reason, none of those brands and models would offer an automatic on their enthusiast cars.
But they do.