The biggest news is the move to an-all new engine configuration. The 1.6-litre four-cylinder turbo used in the current car is out, replaced by a lightweight, aluminium 1.5-litre three-cylinder turbo.
The new motor produces 197bhp. That’s 17bhp up on the standard output of the current Fiesta ST, but equal to its ‘overboost’ figure. Torque swells from 240Nm to 290Nm, and Ford claims that the new Fiesta ST can crack 0-62mph in 6.7 seconds – two tenths quicker than the current generation model and on par with the ST200. A top speed just above 140mph seems likely.
Naturally, the downsized motor will be cleaner and more efficient than the outgoing four-cylinder. Ford reckons CO2 emissions for the new model will tumble from 138g/km to 114g/km, and with cylinder de-activation technology on-board, fuel-economy should improve too.
Speaking to Auto Express last year, Ford’s head of small cars in Europe, Darren Palmer spoke up the prospects of a three-cylinder ST, calling the new engine “promising”.
“It’s a great engine – it sounds brilliant and there’s loads of torque when the turbo comes on boost”.
However, the improvement drive won’t just focus on what’s under the bonnet. According to Palmer, the European development team at the brand’s Lommel testing facility in Belgium has “obsessed over the car’s steering. They’ve fine-tuned the calibration to make sure it drives exactly how a Fiesta should”. Palmer told us Ford knows it’s got one of the most popular superminis and wants to build on the nameplate’s popularity, so it’s “going in hard with the new Fiesta”.
The seventh generation Fiesta is still based on Ford’s global B-car platform, but on top of the tweaks received by the standard car to improve grip, plus the new model’s wider track, the ST’s chassis has been further tuned by Ford Performance