NEW FORD FIESTA ST BRINGS THREE CYLINDERS TO THE HOT HATCH FIGHT.
At least in Europe, it’s available in three- and five-door configurations.
Ford Performance is simply ripping the sheet off the new 2018 Fiesta ST. Not only does the new hot hatch look great, but Ford is trying something a little different in the segment by putting a turbocharged 1.5-liter three-cylinder under the hood rather than the usual four-pot engine.
The new mill produces 197 horsepower (147 kilowatts) and 214 pound-feet (290 Newton-meters) of torque, and it can get the Fiesta ST to 62 miles per hour (100 kilometers per hour) in 6.7 seconds. In comparison, the current 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder makes 180 hp (134 kW) and 177 lb-ft (240 Nm) in the standard Fiesta ST in Europe or 197 hp (147 kW) and 202 lb-ft (274 Nm) in the base North American version.
As if a 1.5-liter isn’t small enough, the engine also has cylinder deactivation. Under light loads, the powerplant can run on just two cylinders to safe fuel and lower emissions. Ford claims that the 14 milliseconds necessary for returning to full power makes the switch seamless.
Selectable drive modes also let the driver fine-tune the way the hot hatch feels. The Normal, Sport, and Track settings affect the Electronic Sound Enhancement and active exhaust noise control valve to make the little powerplant sound meaner when the time comes for an enthusiastic drive. Each one also tweaks the throttle mapping, steering, and stability control.
The Fiesta ST’s high-tech engine is useless if the hot hatch can’t get the power down. Ford gives the little vehicle torque vectoring that brakes the inside front wheel while cornering as a means to reduce understeer.
The new hot hatch looks fantastic from the front with its wavy mesh grille, but we’re curious to see the model from other angles. In these photos, the rear end doesn’t have aggressive styling to match the face.
Inside, occupants sit in well-bolstered Recaro seats and grip a flat-bottom steering wheel. Ford is promising lots of styling options for the cabin, too. The eight-inch Sync 3 infotainment system supports Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
The new Fiesta ST makes a public debut at the upcoming Geneva Motor Show. Sales in Europe begin in early 2018, and customers can pick from three- or five-door configurations. There’s no word yet about the launch date or available configurations in the United States.