JUST WHEN hot hatch fans thought the Fiesta ST couldn’t get any more cheeky, Ford has revealed a new generation model that now features a tiddly three-cylinder engine.
However, before the fast Ford faithful throw down their driving gloves and branded anoraks in disgust, there’s good news: the 1.5-litre engine might be smaller but it packs a 198bhp punch – more than the outgoing standard ST.
The 2017 Fiesta ST will make its public debut at next month’s Geneva motor show. At its heart is a 1.5-litre EcoBoost engine with cylinder deactivation technology. It means that when drivers are coasting or cruising gently, the three-cylinder engine will actually shut down a cylinder to become a two-cylinder motor. It fires back up in just 14 milliseconds – 20 times faster than the blink of an eye, say Ford’s engineers.
It’s technology like this that means the car can be both powerful and frugal. The new engine boasts more power but emits an officially-rated 114g/km of CO2, which is a healthy improvement over the 138g/km of the four-cylinder ST. Ford says it will accelerate from 0-62mph in 6.7 seconds.
Much rides on the shoulders on the new model. The old car was a firm favourite with Driving and our columnist Jeremy Clarkson.
Ford says it has reduced turbo lag, and a new three-stage Drive Modes system offers Normal, Sport and Track settings. The car’s torque vectoring system remains.
“Next generation Fiesta ST customers will benefit from innovations developed by Ford Performance for the Ford GT supercar and Focus RS hot hatchback, including fuel injection and Drive Mode technologies,” said Dave Pericak of Ford Performance.
Taking a leaf out of Mini’s book, Ford says the new Fiesta ST will offer greater levels of personalisation. Unfortunately, this doesn’t include a vintage London to Mexico rally car livery.
Both three and five-door bodystyles will be sold, and the new ST will be offered with a B&O Play (Bang & Olusen) audio system.
As excited as we are about the continuation of this great little car, the price could be something of a stumbling block. When the last model was launched, in early 2014, it cost £16,995, and was worth every penny.
That has crept up to £18,145 on the outgoing ST-1, and although Ford told Driving it’s too early to announce pricing, we’d expect the entry-level version of the 2017 ST to cost more still.
Perhaps it’s time to browse the classifieds and find your perfect, year-old Fiesta ST…