New 2018 Ford Fiesta ST: UK prices and specs revealed
Ford's latest Fiesta ST hot hatch has gone on sale in Britain, with a very tempting price tag
Crucially, that means that the entry-level version of the hot new Ford substantially undercuts rivals such as the 208 GTI by Peugeot Sport and the Renault Clio R.S. It's also only £1,000 more than the new Suzuki Swift Sport too.
The new ST line-up mirrors that of the previous version of the car, with buyers offered three different levels of specification and equipment. As standard, entry-level ST-1 versions ride on 17-inch alloy wheels finished in Flash Grey, while a flat bottomed steering wheel and fabric trimmed Recaro sports seats are also standard fit. Tech highlights include cruise control with speed limiter function as standard too, alongside lane keep alert and assist, automatic headlights, electrically operated and heated door mirrors. Infotainment is included in the form of a 6.5-inch SYNC3 touchscreen display with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and the basic ST is completed with selectable driving modes. The ST-1 is only available as a three-door model.
Stepping up to ST-2 trim adds the black, machined finish to the car's signature alloy wheels, still measuring 17-inches in size but with 18-inch versions optional. Automatic climate control builds on the base car's manual air conditioning, while the Recaro sports seats gain blue detailing, blue seatbelts and are now heated. The SYNC3 touchscreen infotainment unit grows to eight inches, though it doesn't gain sat nav. Instead, the B&O Play 10-speaker audio setup is included. Finally, the centre console sprouts an armrest and illuminated cupholders. It's a £1,000 more than the basic model, at £19,995 for a three-door version. The ST-2 five-door is priced from £20,645.
The range-topping ST-3 kicks off at £21,495, or £22,145 for the five-door car. 18-inch wheels are included, while the brake calipers are painted red too. Inside, the Recaro seats are trimmed in leather and gain adjustable lumbar support too. Tech wise, a suite of driver assistance features includes automatic high beam, automatic wipers, a rear view cameras system with parking sensors, and a 4.2-inch TFT instrument cluster display. The eight-inch display gains navigation, while final additions include puddle lights and electronic rear windows on five-door versions.
Every version of the car can be equipped with the ST Performance Pack for £850. This includes a Quaife limited-slip differential, launch control, and gearshift prompt lights on the dashboard.
New 2018 Ford Fiesta ST: engine and performance
Shockingly, the 2018 Ford Fiesta ST will, in certain circumstances, run on only two cylinders, as the new downsized three-cylinder turbo motor features cylinder deactivation technology. So out with the old 1.6 four-cylinder turbocharged unit, and in with the new 1.5-litre three-cylinder turbo engine.
Ford claims the new motor produces 197bhp – 17bhp up on the output of the motor in the outgoing Fiesta ST, but equal to its figure on ‘overboost’. Gains in peak torque are clear cut, with the figure swelling from 240Nm to 290Nm. In terms of performance, Ford claims the new ST will crack 0-62mph in 6.5 seconds, four tenths of a second faster than the outgoing car. Top speed rises to 144mph.
Naturally, the downsized motor will be cleaner and more efficient than the outgoing four-cylinder. Ford claims 136g/km CO2, while the new Fiesta ST chalks up 47.1mpg on a combined run officially.
Speaking to Auto Express in 2016, Ford’s head of small cars in Europe, Darren Palmer spoke up the prospects of the 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 eighth-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.
Like on the previous generation car, a torque-vectoring unit can step in to reduce understeer by braking the inside front wheel in corners, and the new Fiesta ST comes with three selectable driving modes – Normal, Sport and Track – altering traction control, throttle response, power steering and exhaust valve settings.
New 2018 Ford Fiesta ST: design and technology
From launch the new Fiesta ST will be available in both three-door and five-door bodystyles. In terms of design, it cuts a close look to the standard new Fiesta in ST-line trim, but with a slightly more aggressive front bumper and grille, a painted rear diffuser, and exclusive 18-inch alloy wheels on flagship versions. The car's colour pallete has been broadened too.
In the new cabin, Ford promises greater levels of personalisation than before. Interior styling packs will be available, offering alternative trim and finishes on items around the cockpit. In terms of technology, the new Sync 3 infotainment system appears alongside touchscreen displays up to 8-inches in size. In tune with the car’s hot hatch image, Recaro sports seats with chunky side bolsters appear up front, and a flat-bottomed sports steering wheel makes the cut.
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