Ford Fiesta ST preview
Only the most exciting new small hot hatch to be launched in ages. The outgoing Ford Fiesta ST is one of our all-time favourite fast superminis for its incredible dynamics and the way it can paint a smile across the face of anyone that drives it. The new car has a lot to live up to, but it certainly seems promising. When the new Fiesta ST goes on sale in early 2018 it will be available from the off in three- and five-door body styles and sit atop the brand new Ford Fiesta range. Power comes from a turbocharged 1.5-litre three-cylinder petrol engine, there'll be loads of personalisation options, plus driving modes to suit different conditions.
What will its rivals be?
There are plenty of junior hot hatches on the market these days, including the likeable Peugeot 208 GTi and Renault Clio RS. There's a brand new SEAT Ibiza and Volkswagen Polo on the way and we wouldn't rule out fast Cupra and GTI variants of those eventually, while the Fiesta will also have to contend with the first hot hatch from Toyota in a long time too, called the Yaris GRMN. Spoiled for choice, buyers are.
Any tech info?
Ford has already let slip a few details about the Fiesta ST's 'Drive Modes' system. The buyer chooses between Normal, Sport and Track settings, which then alters the throttle response, power steering and stability control, as well as the 'Electronic Sound Enhancement' system and even the active exhaust noise control valve to help make the ST sound particularly sporty, but only when you want it to.
On top of that, the engine will feature cylinder deactivation to reduce fuel consumption and emissions, so much so that Ford is aiming for an incredibly low 114g/km rating, which means cheap motor tax and low VRT for a very sporting car. Power output is 200hp.
What will the range be like?
As mentioned above, the Fiesta ST will be available in both three- and five-door formats. It's also likely to come in a few different trim levels, traditionally numbered one to three. We expect Recaro sports seats, a flat-bottomed steering wheel and 18-inch alloy wheels to be standard, while buyers will have access to the 'SYNC 3' touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, along with the option of a high-quality B&O PLAY sound system.
We have very high expectations for the 2018 Fiesta ST. Ford has a knack of making fantastic fast small cars and the new model appears to take a substantial step forward in terms of technology and interior ambience. Hopefully the price is kept reasonable.