Feisty Ford Fiesta has a car load of finesse

Take a seat, belt up and prepare yourself for a real blast as the new Ford ST200 hits the road. Declan Colley looks at the many wow specifications

Feisty Ford Fiesta has a car load of finesse

If its predecessor is anything to go by, then the new Ford Fiesta ST200 is going to be a real blast when we get our mitts on it in the coming weeks.

The ‘old’ Fiesta ST was a stunning tour de force of a ‘mini’ hot hatch — it must have been because Ford has sold 30,000 of them across Europe — and without doubt the class of a small field, but the new one gets 10% more power and 20% more torque with 200 bhp and 290 Nm from a specially calibrated 1.6-litre EcoBoost petrol engine. It should be a wow.

Ford says the ST200 does the 0-100 kph sprint in 6.7 seconds and delivers faster in-gear acceleration for improved drivability. And, with enhanced suspension and steering, is said to have even better handling and ride quality than the ST.

“The Fiesta ST is truly beloved by owners and critics, but the ST200 takes this special drivers’ car to a new level of power and performance,” said Ciarán McMahon, chairman and managing director of Ford Ireland at the launch of the ST200 last week.

On the technical front, the model’s 1.6-litre EcoBoost engine uses a new calibration to deliver 200 PS — twice that offered by its Fiesta XR2 predecessor 20 years ago — and 290 Nm of torque, with an additional 15 PS and 30 Nm of torque available for up to 20 seconds using transient overboost.

A 4.06 ratio final drive — shortened from 3.82 in the Fiesta ST — further enhances in-gear acceleration. Acceleration from 50-100 kph (31-82 mph) takes 5.2 seconds in fourth gear. Top speed is 230 kph (143 mph).

The Fiesta ST200 also utilises recently upgraded Fiesta ST suspension and Electronic Power Assisted Steering (EPAS) settings to improve ride quality and driving dynamics. A rear twist-beam with 27% more roll-stiffness and a front anti-roll bar increased to 21 mm from 19 mm diameter support revised damper specifications for better impact absorption. Like the Fiesta ST, the ST200 sits 15 millimetres closer to the road than standard Fiesta models.

Fiesta ST200 driving dynamics are supported by Ford’s trick Enhanced Torque Vectoring Control (eTVC) and 3-mode Electronic Stability Control (ESC). The eTVC system applies brake force to the inside front wheel when cornering to improve road holding and reduce understeer without affecting speed. ESC offers full system intervention; wide-slip mode with limited intervention; and full ESC de-activation.

Optimised braking is delivered with 278mm front and 253mm rear disc brakes, and a larger tandem brake master cylinder than standard Fiesta models.

The engine’s low weight also assists handling and features technologies, including turbocharging, high-pressure direct fuel-injection and twin-independent variable cam timing for high power, alongside 6.1 l/100 km (46.3mpg) fuel efficiency and 140g/km CO2 emissions.

In terms of the look of the car, the ST200 is said to offer a bolder and more distinctive design, offered only with an exclusive Storm Grey exterior colour and with the distinctive 17-inch ST alloys wheels, finished in matt black with polished rims.

Fiesta ST200 models also feature red painted callipers alongside the ST-specification large trapezoidal grille with honeycomb construction, dynamic front spoiler and side-skirts, body-colour rear diffuser element and large rear roof spoiler.

Carbon fibre dashboard inserts, alloy-metal pedals and gearshifter, and an ST-specification steering wheel also feature for the atmospheric interior that contrasts dark materials and headliner with silver effect detailing.

Pricing for the Fiesta ST200 starts from €32,190.

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