Ford boosts Fiesta ST pocket rocket to 197 hp
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.
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.
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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!
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.