Review: Ford Fiesta ST

By Winding Road Staff

November 26, 2012

This is the Master Landing Page for the Ford Fiesta ST. From now on, as we further review this car, we will be updating this page with whatever fresh content we create. Future drive reviews, updated specifications, videos, and other relevant information will all be found right here, in one convenient spot.
Geneva 2012: Ford Fiesta ST
First, the good news: Ford is going to show what it calls a “production-ready” Fiesta ST to the awestruck show-goers at the Geneva Motor Show this week. Also of note: this ST is radical.
A punchy 177-horsepower, EcoBoosted 1.6-liter four will propel the hottest Fiesta to 62 miles per hour in just under 7 seconds, meaning the ST will be a legitimate threat to the fun-to-drive-small-car hegemony of the Mini Cooper S and the Fiat 500 Abarth.
The bad news, for you glass-half-empty types, is that this particular three-door Fiesta ST isn’t entirely likely to come to North America. We were told, back at last year’s LA Auto Show, that a four-doored ST is more likely for global sale though, so don’t give up yet.
Europeans will get first crack at the Fiesta ST, when the car debuts across the pond, sometime in 2013.
Scroll down for Ford’s full press release.
Production-Ready Fiesta ST Debuts at 2012 Geneva Motor Show
- Dynamic new Fiesta ST unveiled as a production-ready model at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show and confirmed for introduction in Europe in 2013
- New Fiesta ST is powered by a 1.6-litre EcoBoost engine that delivers 180PS – 20 per cent more power than the previous model – accelerates 0-100km/h in less than seven seconds and can reach a top-speed of 220km/h-plus
- Class-leading driving dynamics delivered by enhanced Torque Vectoring Control system, specially-tuned chassis and three Electronic Stability Control settings – all tested extensively at Germany's world-famous Nürburgring Nordschleife
- Ford remains open to the idea of introducing the high-performance small car to North America for the first time, following a positive response to the five-door Fiesta ST concept at the 2011 Los Angeles Auto Show.
GENEVA, Switzerland, March 5, 2012 – Ford Motor Company is unveiling the new production-ready Fiesta ST at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show in advance of the performance hatchback's launch in Europe in 2013.
Customers have clamoured for a new Fiesta ST since the last model disappeared from European showrooms in 2008. The all-new model will take Fiesta ST performance to a new level. The numbers tell the story: 180PS 1.6-litre EcoBoost, 240Nm of torque, 0-100km/h in under seven seconds, and top speed of more than 220km/h. At the same time, the EcoBoost technology delivers a 20 per cent reduction in CO2 emissions compared with the previous Fiesta ST.
Developed by Ford's Team RS, the new Fiesta ST delivers significant ride-and-handling improvements through the introduction of a specially tuned chassis that sits 15mm lower than the standard Fiesta; Ford's enhanced Torque Vectoring Control system; and three Electronic Stability Control modes. The technologies were put to the test over 5000 kilometers of driving on Germany's Nürburgring Nordschleife.
"We believe Ford customers will be blown away by the new Fiesta ST, and not only by the exhilarating performance but by the styling and specification, too. This dynamic new hot-hatch is undoubtedly our best Fiesta ST to date," said Jost Capito, Ford's director of Global Performance Vehicles.
The high-contrast interior features unprecedented levels of equipment and specification to suit the sporting driver, with standard Recaro sports seats appearing in a Fiesta ST for the first time. It also will be equipped with MyKey, which allows owners to limit performance and ensure activation of safety features for when less-experienced drivers use the vehicle; and SYNC, Ford's voice-activated in-car connectivity system. A new bold and dynamic exterior design drives home the high performance message and features the latest Ford design signatures including a large trapezoidal grille.
The new Fiesta ST was engineered using Ford's global Performance Car DNA and developed by Ford Team RS, the European arm of the company's Global Performance Vehicles group.
The experience of the engineering team in working with Ford's motorsport partners to develop the Fiesta RS WRC, Fiesta Rallycross and Racing Fiesta vehicles, also proved invaluable for developing the new Fiesta ST.
With production of the new Fiesta ST confirmed for Europe, Ford also remains open to the idea of introducing the high-performance small car to other regions, including North America for the first time following a highly positive response to the five-door Fiesta ST concept that made its North American debut at the 2011 Los Angeles Auto Show.
"We're delighted to be bringing a new generation Fiesta ST to our European enthusiasts in 2013 and we'll have more to say about our plans for other markets in the near future," said Capito. "With the Fiesta ST joining the new Focus ST, we will again be able to deliver a choice of affordable small performance cars that are designed to deliver a unique blend of stand-out styling and dynamic on-road performance with true practicality for everyday use."
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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 164,000 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 and its products worldwide, 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.
First Look: 2014 Ford Fiesta ST
Ford seems quite committed to the hot hatch in the United States, as the Dearborn-based manufacturer has just announced another speedy five-door for the North American market. Slotting below the 252-horsepower Focus ST is this, the 197-horsepower Fiesta ST.
Combining that much horsepower with 214 pound-feet of torque should result in quite a brisk little hatch. In fact, it compares favorably with the current crop of hottish hatches. In fact, those power figures are so appealing that this Fiesta would have fit in just fine with our crop of hot hatches from a few months back. Impressively, 177 of those 214 pound-feet of torque are available at just 1600 rpm, while peak torque is available at 3500 rpm.
Of course, in this segment, the ST needs to look the part. It features the same catfish mouth found on the Focus ST, along with a set of meaty, 17-inch alloys and a pair of chrome-tipped exhaust pipes. It looks the part of the hot hatch, that’s for certain. That point is driven home when you look inside the cabin. Like its big brother, the Fiesta ST has a rather colorful cabin, with what look like the same excellent Recaro seats found on the Focus ST, this time finished in red and black. We’re assuming a full-leather option will also be available.
Other tweaks include a modified suspension that’s been dropped 15 millimeters. The suspension actively fights understeer thanks to electronic Torque Vectoring Control, while a three-mode stability control will allow experienced drivers to play a bit closer to the Fiesta ST’s handling limits.
The ST will be making its official debut at this week’s Los Angeles International Auto Show. Additional info, such as pricing and availability will be announced at a later date.
Please scroll down for the official press release from Ford.
Confirmed: Ford to Launch Fiesta ST in North America, Brings Big Speed and Style to the Small Car Market
Fiesta ST – a well-known hot hatch born in Europe and now ready for North America – packs a punch with a 1.6-liter EcoBoost®engine producing nearly 200 horsepower
New Fiesta ST is Ford’s latest vehicle to wear the Sport Technologies badge, a global performance brand that debuted in North America earlier this year with the launch of the Focus ST
Exclusively equipped with a six-speed manual transmission, Fiesta ST is expected to be a segment leader in both performance and fuel efficiency
LOS ANGELES, Nov. 26, 2012 – Small cars continue to be a hot segment in North America and with the new Fiesta ST, introduced here at the 2012 Los Angeles Auto Show, Ford is expected to have the hottest hatch around.
Fiesta ST, a performance model first launched in Europe back in 2005, is yet another proof point from Ford that small cars are anything but boring. In addition to a precision sport-tuned suspension and an improved braking system, Fiesta ST packs a punch under the hood.
A new high-output variant of the award-winning 1.6-liter EcoBoost® four-cylinder engine propels Fiesta ST with an estimated 197 horsepower and 214 lb.-ft. of torque. In comparison, Mini Cooper S makes do with 181 horsepower and 177 lb.-ft., while Chevrolet Sonic RS produces just 138 horsepower and 148 lb.-ft.
Unlike the competition, Fiesta ST doesn’t simply look like a performance car; it’s got the guts to back it up.
“This is a rewarding car to rev,” says Mark Roberts, Fiesta calibration supervisor. “With 177 lb.-ft. of torque available from just 1,600 rpm and 214 lb.-ft. by 3,500 rpm, Fiesta ST gives the performance and feel of an engine twice its size. There’s no waiting at all for the power to just push you back in your seat.”
Fiesta ST may be born with racing DNA, but buyers won’t have to pay for that performance at the pump. Available exclusively as a five-door hatchback in North America and with a six-speed manual transmission, Fiesta ST is projected to achieve up to 34 mpg.
This compact performance machine sports a unique grille and chin spoiler with new rear diffuser and fascia extensions. Bright tipped dual-exhaust pipes and high-mount spoiler along with unique 17-inch wheels complete the visual package: Fiesta ST looks like it’s made for the racetrack. The car is first of its nameplate to receive the Molten Orange tri-coat metallic paint.
Fiesta ST steering is more direct and responsive than the base model. A unique suspension with modified front knuckle makes for a quicker overall steering ratio of 13.6:1.
The rear axle gets increased roll stiffness to improve stability through fast corners, while the Fiesta ST body sits 15 millimeters closer to the ground than the base model.
Increased mechanical grip provided by the suspension improvements is further enhanced with electronic Torque Vectoring Control to reduce understeer during hard cornering maneuvers. Three-mode electronic stability control – standard, sport or off – enables the ST driver to select the amount of electronic aid based on current conditions. Overall, Fiesta ST provides enthusiastic drivers with the ideal mix of performance handling and ride comfort.
Fiesta ST will also sound good on the open road. It features the mechanical version of the sound symposer first used on the Focus ST, which went on sale in North America earlier this year, to provide an enhanced soundtrack for drivers out tackling the open road. It is unique for Fiesta in that for the first time the engine sound is directly fed into the passenger cabin to accentuate feedback quality and response.
Fiesta ST is the result of the combined efforts of Team RS in Europe and SVT in the United States.
Ford Fiesta ST Price To Undercut Veloster Turbo, 500 Abarth
That’s right folks, Ford’s EcoBoosted hot hatch, the little brother to the Focus ST, will start at just $21,400, undercutting both the Hyundai Veloster Turbo ($22,100) and the Fiat 500 Abarth ($22,000), and making it the cheapest hot hatch on sale.
While there was no press release announcing the pricing, we came across it while playing on Ford’s online configurator through hard-nosed investigative journalism. For those that need a refresher, the ST packs 197 horsepower, 214 pound-feet of torque, and a six-speed manual gearbox.
The 2014 Fiesta ST will be available this spring.