An all-new hot hatch has just been let loose courtesy of the Blue Oval brand. Powered by a new 1.5-liter EcoBoost powertrain, the 2018 Ford Fiesta ST has set its sights against the likes of the Volkswagen Golf GTI, Peugeot 208 GTI and Toyota Yaris GRMN. It is scheduled to make its official debut at the 2017 Geneva International Motor Show and features an array of new features.
“Our next generation Fiesta ST is true to the philosophy of delivering cutting-edge technology to enhance every facet of the responsive Ford Performance chassis and powertrain. With selectable Drive Modes and an all-new EcoBoost engine delivering an unprecedented combination of performance and fuel-efficiency, the new model will deliver the most versatile, fun, engaging and rewarding Fiesta ST driving experience yet,” said Joe Bakaj, vice president of product development, Ford Europe.
As mentioned earlier, the third-generation Fiesta ST is propelled by a new all-aluminum 1.5-liter EcoBoost inline-three. It is substantially more powerful than the old 1.6-liter EcoBoost on the previous generation ST. The new engine produces 200 PS along with 290 Nm of torque, eclipsing the outgoing 1.6's 182 PS with 240 Nm of torque. It can go from 0 – 100 km/h in 6.7 seconds.
This was made possible thanks to high-pressure fuel injection, twin variable cam timing, new turbocharger with optimized turbine design and port with direct fuel injection according to Ford. In addition, the automaker was also able to install cylinder deactivation technology to further reduce fuel consumption and lessen C02 emissions. First introduced in the 1.0-liter EcoBoost, the engine management system can shut off one cylinder when not in full load.
The 2018 Fiesta ST also comes with three new driving modes; Normal, Sport and Track. Sport sharpens engine mapping, traction control, electronic stability control (ESC), exhaust note and electronic power steering to deliver a more responsive drive. Track, on the other hand, turns off traction control and sets all of the driving features for the fastest lap times.
Also helping the car maneuver through tight corners is torque vectoring. This system reduces understeer by automatically applying brake force on the inside wheel during cornering. The ESC, on the other hand, can be set to three modes: full intervention, wide slip mode and full deactivation.
As far as the exterior is concerned, the new Fiesta ST borrows styling cues from the standard seventh-gen Fiesta that was revealed late last year. It will be available in either three- or five-door body styles and comes with exclusive exterior equipment like the front mesh grill, ST badges and 18-inch alloy wheels wrapped in low-profile Michelin tires.
Inside, bolstered Recaro seats come as standard, along with a flat-bottomed steering wheel. When officially launched, Ford will offer more personalization options including trim material for the gear shifter, steering wheel, door pulls and dashboard.
In terms of in-car tech, the 2018 Fiesta ST will have SYNC 3 as standard via an 8-inch touchscreen infotainment. Features such as Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and B&O Audio will be available.
“Next generation Fiesta ST customers will benefit from innovations developed by Ford Performance for the Ford GT supercar and Focus RS hot hatchback, including high power EcoBoost and Drive Mode technologies. Working as one unified Ford Performance team helps us better deliver our core fun-to-drive experience – and democratise sophisticated performance-enhancing features – for every customer,” said Dave Pericak, global director, Ford Performance.
Sales of the all-new Ford Fiesta ST will begin in early 2018 in Europe.