Frankfurt 2011: Ford Fiesta ST Concept

By Brandon Turkus

September 13, 2011

When we tested the Ford Fiesta in a three-way comparison last winter, we lamented that, despite having the most power of our three testers, it felt decidedly less brisk than the Honda Fit and Mazda2. That probably won’t be a problem for the Ford Fiesta ST Concept.
Yes, it is a concept, but come on, it looks pretty much production ready. There is none of the concept car bling. Wheels are seventeen-inch alloys, not twenty-inch forged magnesium pieces that cost a small fortune. It has mirrors, not cameras. Even the body kit looks decidedly subdued. No, if there was a definition for “thinly veiled production car, ” this would be it.
Power comes from a 1.6-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder that produces 177 horsepower and 177 pound-feet of torque. When driven in anger, the ST will hit 62 miles per hour in under seven seconds, and will top out at over 136 miles per hour. Thankfully, the only transmission mentioned is a six-speed manual. At the same time, it should be quite environmentally friendly for a hot hatch. Carbon emissions should be under 140 grams per kilometer.
Ford’s director of Global Performance Vehicles had this to say about the Fiesta: “The Fiesta ST Concept shows in the most dramatic way possible that the qualities that define an ST are not limited to one model. The potential for delivering the ST experience to an even wider audience are laid bare by this striking new concept.” While that doesn’t sound like an out-and-out production announcement, the chances of this hot little Fiesta getting built seem pretty good.
Please scroll down for the official press release from Ford.
Ford Reveals Fiesta ST Concept at Frankfurt;
Previews Future High-Performance Fiesta
•          Ford unveils exciting new Fiesta ST Concept at 2011 IAA Frankfurt Motor Show, indicating the future direction for a high-performance Fiesta
•          Fiesta ST Concept features a specially tuned 180PS 1.6-litre Ford EcoBoost engine to deliver spirited performance combined with fuel efficiency and low emissions
•          Bold and dynamic exterior styling inspired by Fiesta RS WRC promises driver-oriented interior features
FRANKFURT, Germany, Sept. 12, 2011 – Ford is revealing its vision for a future high-performance Fiesta ST at the 2011 IAA Frankfurt Motor Show. The Ford Fiesta ST Concept signals the next step in Ford Motor Company’s global performance vehicle strategy and hints at how a future Fiesta ST performance model might look when it joins the Focus ST in the global Ford small car portfolio.
The Fiesta ST Concept combines eye-catching, muscular and sporty styling with a dynamic sports chassis and a high-performance powertrain capable of delivering impressive fuel economy with low CO2 emissions.
A global Fiesta ST would continue the proud, 35-year Fiesta history of delivering high performance thrills to small car customers. Iconic past models have included the Fiesta XR2 and XR2i, Fiesta RS1800 and RS Turbo and more recently the first generation Fiesta ST. 
The bold and distinctive new three-door Fiesta ST Concept embodies the spirit of Fiesta’s high-performance history while infusing the latest model with dynamic, futuristic looks and innovative technology.
“The Fiesta has a rich history of high-performance models so a new ST performance model is a logical next step in our performance vehicle strategy for our global small cars,” said Derrick Kuzak, Ford group vice president, Global Product Development. “The Fiesta ST Concept continues that tradition by showing how a global performance version of our best-selling B-car can be both technically advanced and dramatically styled.
“With a racing silhouette inspired by the global Fiesta race and rally cars currently competing on the world stage, and influenced by the unique appearance of the all-new Focus ST, the new Fiesta ST Concept is an exciting demonstration of the road-going Fiesta’s future potential.”
WRC-inspired, EcoBoost-powered
With the Fiesta RS World Rally Car and Fiesta Rallycross cars currently demonstrating the potential of Ford’s global small car in the toughest of international motorsport events, there could be no better time for Ford to offer customers a glimpse of what is also technically possible with the road-going Fiesta.
Like Ford’s World Rally Championship contender, the Fiesta RS WRC, Fiesta ST Concept uses a 1.6-litre Ford EcoBoost petrol engine to deliver performance every bit as breathtaking as the vehicle’s striking design.
The use of a 1.6-litre turbocharged unit in the Fiesta ST Concept and Ford’s EcoBoost downsizing strategy in general reflects not only the current WRC engine guidelines, but also the trend within international motorsport to deliver greater fuel economy through technical advancement.
As with all engines in the EcoBoost family, the Fiesta ST Concept’s advanced engine combines turbocharging and direct injection to deliver the powerful performance of a larger capacity traditional petrol engine.
Like the 2.0-litre EcoBoost engine that will power the forthcoming Ford Focus ST, the 1.6-litre EcoBoost in the Fiesta ST Concept also features Twin-independent Variable Camshaft Timing (Ti-VCT) and has been specially developed to provide power and torque worthy of the ST badge.
For the Fiesta ST Concept, the 1.6-litre Ford EcoBoost engine achieves a target power output of 180PS with 240Nm of torque, enough to propel the concept vehicle from 0-100km/h in less than 7 seconds. A top speed exceeding 220km/h is possible.
Yet the advanced design of the turbocharged, 4-cylinder engine – connected to a 6-speed manual transmission – means the Fiesta ST Concept is also able to deliver target CO2 emissions of lower than 140g/km.
Improving fuel economy and emissions remains one of the driving factors behind Ford’s continuing development of the EcoBoost engine family, with the Fiesta ST Concept proving that responsible and attractive fuel economy need not come at the expense of performance.
Bold Design
The Fiesta ST’s bold and assertive styling makes an immediate impression and drives home the high performance message with a number of striking features and design themes. The large, distinctive trapezoidal grille echoes a key feature of its larger sibling, the new Focus ST, and incorporates a honeycomb mesh design.
At the rear a dramatic diffuser design leaves no doubt as to the sporting credentials of the Fiesta ST Concept. The diffuser also envelops a twin exit exhaust.
A lowered stance, widened wheel arches filled with 17-inch alloy wheels and full ST body kit mirror the styling of the Ford Fiesta WRC competition car – an alluring form that also delivers racing functionality.
An all-new exterior paint colour in Europe – Molten Orange, as featured in the North American Ford SVT F-150 Raptor pickup – reinforces the invigorating, racing spirit of the Fiesta ST Concept.
This theme is continued inside the high-contrast sports interior which includes Recaro sports seats for the driver and front passenger.
Motorsport-influenced performance and handling
Taking inspiration from Ford’s competition Fiestas in the World Rally Championship (WRC), Global Rallycross Championship (GRC), European Rallycross Championship (ERC) and X Games, the Ford Global Performance Vehicles group has developed the Fiesta ST Concept to deliver uncompromised sports performance and handling.
Tuned suspension geometry ensures dynamic and competent handling that can flatter less-experienced drivers while rewarding those seeking to push the limits of the Fiesta ST’s sports performance.
“With the Focus ST we promised to deliver uncompromised sports performance and styling to a truly global audience for the first time, without sacrificing Ford’s key values of Smart, Safe, Quality and Green. With the Fiesta ST Concept we are demonstrating that our Global Performance Plan has legs,” said Jost Capito, Ford's director of Global Performance Vehicles.
“The Fiesta ST Concept shows in the most dramatic way possible that the qualities that define an ST are not limited to one model. The potential for delivering the ST experience to an even wider audience are laid bare by this striking new concept.”
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About Ford Motor Company
Ford Motor Company, a global automotive industry leader based in Dearborn, Mich., manufactures or distributes automobiles across six continents. With about 166,000 employees and about 70 plants worldwide, the company’s automotive brands include Ford and Lincoln. The company provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company. For more information regarding Ford’s products, please visit
Ford of Europe is responsible for producing, selling and servicing Ford brand vehicles in 51 individual markets and employs approximately 66,000 employees. In addition to Ford Motor Credit Company, Ford of Europe operations include Ford Customer Service Division and 22 manufacturing facilities, including joint ventures. The first Ford cars were shipped to Europe in 1903 – the same year Ford Motor Company was founded. European production started in 1911.
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