The Ford Fiesta is an absolute sales monster, ranking as Britain’s number-one best-selling car every year since 2009.
Naturally, the ST hot hatch version is our preferred kind of Fiesta and there was much fistpumping in the air today as Ford revealed more details on what to expect from the most super of superminis.
Ford reckons that the new Fiesta ST will be more responsive, engaging and fun-to-drive than any of its predecessors.
LSD in the ST
It hopes to achieve this by including a mechanical limited-slip differential (LSD) for the first time, enhancing the car’s cornering traction, and introducing ‘launch control’ for consistently fast standing starts.
The Fiesta ST’s LSD system limits distribution of engine torque to a wheel with reduced grip to decrease wheel spin, and ups torque to the wheel with more grip to fully exploit engine performance.
This works alongside Ford’s enhanced Torque Vectoring Control technology to improve road-holding and reduce understeer by applying brake force to the inside front wheel when cornering.
In a first for the hot hatch segment, the third-gen Fiesta ST will boast Ford-patented force vectoring springs for sharper turn-in, better rear-end responsiveness and a more connected feel
We already knew the hatch would come powered by a 197bhp three-pot 1.5-litre EcoBoost petrol engine, with a reported 0-62mph sprint of 6.5 seconds and a 144mph top speed.
Additionally, Ford had revealed that the engine would be accompanied by three driving modes (normal, sport and track) that alter engine mapping, traction control and throttle pedal response, amongst other things.
A unique suspension setup will result in sharper turn-in and a more immediate response to steering inputs, while shaving 10kg from the car’s total weight.
The blue oval is under no illusion that a lot is riding on the next Fiesta ST.
“Hot-hatch drivers are expecting big things from this small car,” said Leo Roeks, European Ford Performance director.
“We’ve applied what we’ve learned from recent Ford Performance models including the Focus RS and Ford GT to develop an all-new Fiesta ST that sets a new standard for driving fun in its segment, with a throaty three-cylinder soundtrack that will speak to petrol-heads whatever their language.”
Stephen Hasley, brand manager at Petrol News, comments: “The Fiesta ST is the ultimate version of one of the UK’s best popular cars ever – there’s no way they’re messing it up.”
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