The decision is in. On the current Autocar Awards, we named the brand new Ford Fiesta ST as Britain’s Finest Inexpensive Driver’s Automobile. It’s a automobile that we’ve liked since we first obtained our fingers on it – giving it a four.5-star assessment, after which spending 4 gratifying months with it on our long-term check fleet.
The Fiesta ST earned its Autocar Award by beating a number of the best efficiency vehicles that value beneath £30,000 in a multi-car shoot-out – proving itself to be simply as a lot enjoyable on the street as it’s on the monitor, with out ever dropping the refinement and practicality that make it a hatchback you should use day-after-day.
Listed below are Autocar’s deputy editor James Attwood and deputy digital editor Tom Morgan to let you know how the Fiesta ST outperformed its rivals.
To study extra concerning the Ford Fiesta ST, head to ford.co.uk/fiesta-st
Delivering the place it counts
The brand new Ford Fiesta ST’s efficiency credentials begin the place it issues: beneath the pores and skin. Each aspect has been designed to make driving extra enjoyable and fascinating – flattering novices and rewarding skilled drivers, with out compromising the refinement and on a regular basis versatility you anticipate from considered one of Britain’s hottest small vehicles.
The compact, light-weight three-cylinder aluminium 1.5-litre EcoBoost turbo petrol engine – which makes use of a six-speed handbook gearbox – blends twin-independent variable cam timing with energy gasoline injection and direct gasoline injection, whereas a brand new turbocharger design builds increase stress sooner to minimise lag and make sure that the brand new Fiesta ST’s smaller engine delivers excessive torque from the off.
An built-in exhaust manifold additionally helps ship torque extra quickly by minimising the gap exhaust gases journey between the cylinders and the turbochargers. The end result: 200PS and 290Nm of torque for a Zero-62mph time of 6.5 seconds and a prime velocity of 144mph.
The Fiesta ST’s 1.5-litre engine isn’t simply highly effective, it’s additionally environment friendly. Ford’s industry-first cylinder deactivation for a three-cylinder engine improves gasoline economic system at low revs, re-engaging inside 14 milliseconds – 20 instances sooner than the blink of an eye fixed – to ship full efficiency on demand.
And – as you’d anticipate from a Ford Efficiency scorching hatch – while you do open the throttle, the Fiesta ST’s energetic exhaust know-how delivers the total orchestra of throaty pops and bangs to bolster your driving soundtrack.
Intelligent suspension tech
The Fiesta ST additionally has the creds that rely in relation to cornering, with a chassis that has been designed to be steady, agile and responsive in equal measure – whether or not the street forward gives an ideal sunny drive or winter rain.
The Fiesta ST is the primary compact scorching hatch to make use of Ford’s patented drive vectoring springs on its twist-beam rear suspension, with the know-how honed particularly for the Fiesta ST. This pioneering system improves vertical and lateral stiffness concurrently, and works with frequency-dependent damping to make sure sharper steering response, with none compromise on consolation, experience or refinement
Ford’s enhanced Torque Vectoring Management system reduces understeer by making use of delicate braking to the within entrance wheel whereas cornering, whereas an non-obligatory Quaife limited-slip differential within the non-obligatory ‘Efficiency Pack’ reduces wheel slip beneath energy – the better grip and traction enhancing energy supply and improved confidence on nook exit.
A 3-mode digital stability management (ESC) and three selectable drive modes – Regular, Sport and Observe – let Fiesta ST drivers choose the extent of laid-back refinement or tightly-wound full-throttle efficiency that they need on their drive, whereas the non-obligatory track-specific ‘Launch Management’ operate enhances fast-standing begins.
A premium inside
Simply because the Fiesta ST drives like a scaled-down supercar doesn’t imply that Ford has skimped on the spec record. Accessible in three and five-door physique kinds, as both ST-2 or ST-Three with 17-inch or 18-inch wheels, trendy ST badges and trim components, and a spread of distinctive colors – all of which add a sporty complement to the Fiesta ST’s pure trendy appears to be like.
Inside, the Fiesta ST bolsters the Fiesta’s trendy premium inside with daring efficiency touches, including comfy and supportive Recaro seats and a flat-bottomed steering wheel with trendy stitching that can be mirrored on the leather-based handbrake lever and the ST gearbox gaiter. Fiesta ST drivers may also select from a spread of customisable trim components, or add a completely openable panoramic sunroof.
Music, navigation and comms will get an improve with the Eight-inch SYNC3 touchscreen that additionally permits hands-free smartphone management by voice instructions, whereas the non-obligatory B&O PLAY sound system gives an much more high-end audio expertise.
Driver help and security know-how that comes as normal contains Lane Retaining Alert and Lane Retaining Assist, in addition to cruise management with velocity limiter and computerized headlights, when you can select so as to add auto high-beam and Site visitors Signal Recognition.
“Scorching hatch followers predict huge issues from the Fiesta ST,” says Leo Roeks, Ford Efficiency director, Europe. “We’ve utilized what we’ve discovered from current Ford Efficiency fashions, together with the Focus RS and Ford GT, to develop an all-new Fiesta ST that units a brand new normal for its sector.”
Judging by the truth that we’ve named it Britain’s Finest Inexpensive Driver’s Automobile, it appears to be like just like the Fiesta ST has finished simply that.