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New Ford Fiesta ST

By raccars Published

After the super hot supercars of Geneva, a Ford Fiesta ST sounds pedestrian at best. However, in the real world, Ford's ST sub-brand has always been very good at adding hot hatch fun to sensible cars.

The ST follows the current Fiesta's styling with a bit of racy bodykit thrown in, Recaro seats and 17-inch alloy wheels, mated to a 1.6 litre EcoBoost petrol engine, with four cylinders and a turbo for returns of 179bhp. There's also an 'overboost' function that will bump up the power to 197bhp in short bursts. The ST will go from 0-60mph in 6.9 seconds, on the way to a top speed of 137mph, aided by a six-speed manual gearbox and an electronic limited-slip differential. The other statistics are good but not mind-blowing - you should get 48mpg with emissions of 138g/kg, but more interestingly, the whole lot comes in under £17,000 for the standard model.

Ford's ST versions are designed to give you a bit of racetrack excitement in an everyday runaround package, which the Fiesta does just as well as its Focus ST sibling. Given the excellent handling of the standard Fiesta, a few tweaks were all that was necessary to tart up the package – the ride height is reduced by 10mm and there is some slightly modified suspension, steering and eTVC (torque vectoring control), to give that limited-slip diff effect to the front axle.

The engine is lively but makes you work for it, but handling is where this car really shines. You can try and throw it off the road but it really wants to stay there. There is a 'sport' mode you can use to get a bit of looseness in the back end by switching off traction controls, but this would be inadvisable. In effect, you get more fun throwing it around corners than you do from straight line speed.

The other huge advantage to the Fiesta is its very accessible pricing. It's cheaper than comparable rivals like the Renault Clio RS or the Peugeot 208 GTi, but easily as attractive. Its fairly understated look will appeal to many who don't want to be lumbered with the 'boy racer' tag. The Fiesta ST does lack some sophistication in terms of interior styling and equipment – everything you need is there but that's about as far as it goes, but Ford are banking on the price being more attractive than the bells and whistles that spending an extra few grand would give.

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