RE: Ford Fiesta ST Performance Edition | Driven

RE: Ford Fiesta ST Performance Edition | Driven

Saturday 17th August

Ford Fiesta ST Performance Edition | Driven

Exclusive to the UK and limited to just 600 examples, we find out if the Deep Orange is worth the wait



Just 600 examples of the Fiesta ST Performance Edition are being produced for the UK market, a reflection of our continued affection for hot hatches which are both small and brilliant. It's no ordinary top-of-the-range trim level, but rather a 200hp, coilover, adjustable damper and lightweight wheel-equipped terrier. And it's orange. Each will be finished in identical and generously equipped three-door specification, with chassis alterations accompanied by standard-fit Performance Pack bits (normally a Β£925 tick box). That includes the Quaife limited-slip diff and launch control, while other usually selectable items like LED headlamps and the B&O stereo are also thrown in. Pricing reflects the upgrades; this is a Fiesta that will cost about Β£26,000 - or Β£3,750 more than an ST-3.

If that figure makes you wince, the Performance Edition is clearly not for you. The regular car is so brilliant - as we know from our drive in a non-Performance Pack car - that most buyers after a bit of fun would be happy in a lower-spec ST. But there's clearly an appetite for going the distance; two thirds of British buyers go for the top ST-3 model. Little wonder its maker has felt confident enough to launch a track-honed version that costs almost exactly as much as a Hyundai i30 N.


Admirably, the Fiesta takes the nerdy stuff to the next level. Aside from lowering the car by 15mm at the front and 10mm at the rear, the coilover suspension - comprised of stainless-steel damper housing and powder-coated springs - allows for 12 bump and 16 rebound settings. Rest assured this is a bonafide track day enthusiast pleaser; its case proven by those lovely 10-spoke, 18-inch alloys, which are of the flow-formed kind and collectively lower unsprung mass by 7kg. They remain wrapped in sticky Michelin Super Sport rubber.

The Performance Edition is inevitably firmer than standard using the settings chosen for it by Ford UK. However, while it'll find cracks and ridges that the standard car would keep from its occupants, there's a keen sense of rubberised cushioning at the extremities of each strut movement - as there often is with upgraded dampers. There's room for improvement with the bump and rebound, but that's exactly the sort of in-built adjustability you're paying for. Suffice it to say, on a sodden test route in Warwickshire, the ride is far from uncomfortable.

The conditions make it impossible to note any improvement on initial turn-in, although during the second phase of cornering, once the front end has begun to sweep in towards an apex, the additional support provided by those coilovers is readily apparent. You get the sense that firmer springs, better resolved damping and that slight forward rake to the body combine to enhance the ST's natural agility, so much so that it's easy to load up the fronts and set the car into a mini slide almost instantly. With a closed throttle the car happily rotates into a neutral stance, requiring little or no steering lock; with a held brake, you'll be correcting the slip angle. Familiar traits to the ST, sure - but the Performance Edition heightens the Fiesta's body control while simultaneously reducing the amount of input required to keep everything in check.


The result is more than a little addictive. We already know how effective the ST's brake-assisted Quaife LSD is and it really shines in the new setting, allowing you to chase the throttle even when the conditions are far from optimal. The torque on offer from the three-cylinder motor and oily function of the six-speed manual means driving smoothly along a route is supremely satisfying, helped no end by the little exhaust pops which follow you everywhere.

Complaints? Stiffer ride aside, there aren't really any. Ok, so it's still not as serious as previous generations of the Renault Sport Clio. The Fiesta's electric steering offers too little feel and the chassis, even with the enhancements, can't quite reach the track car-mimicry of the erstwhile 200 Cup. But as a car with a nicely finished cabin and wholly retained usability, it closes a big gap to that champ of champs. The ST is never going to be as broadly talented as something like the i30 N, but as a hot hatch for 5am Sunday drives or regular track days, it positions itself as 2019's standout option. If your name's on the orange-coloured wait list, consider us green with envy.


SPECIFICATION - FORD FIESTA ST PERFORMANCE EDITION
Engine:
1,497cc, turbocharged 3-cyl
Transmission: 6-speed manual, front-wheel drive
Power (hp): 200@6,000rpm
Torque (lb ft): 214@1,600-4,000rpm
0-62mph: 6.5sec
Top speed: 144mph
Weight: 1,255kg (EU, with driver)
MPG: 47.1
CO2: 136g/km
Price: Β£26,00 (est)

Search for a Fiesta ST here




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Author
Discussion

GTEYE

Original Poster:

1,400 posts

155 months

Saturday 17th August
quotequote all
I would guess that the limited volumes are Ford’s way of trying to achieve the full RRP.

Seems rather pricey for effectively orange paint and a few options ticked.

Looks good though, but it seems a little cynical.

Dale487

1,013 posts

68 months

Saturday 17th August
quotequote all
I think this just shows the great value of the normal Fiesta ST.

Plus I'm not sure about the orange, but each to their own.

jon-yprpe

105 posts

33 months

Saturday 17th August
quotequote all
Wrap the rear window in the same colour and add a ‘British Telecom’ logo...

Uncle John

1,957 posts

136 months

Saturday 17th August
quotequote all
Dale487 said:
I think this just shows the great value of the normal Fiesta ST.

Plus I'm not sure about the orange, but each to their own.
Agreed, it’s not quite the right orange for me.

spookly

2,230 posts

40 months

Saturday 17th August
quotequote all
£26k and you get a 3 pot. Hmmmmm. Looks nice, but it's a pass from me.

lee_erm

806 posts

138 months

Saturday 17th August
quotequote all
spookly said:
£26k and you get a 3 pot. Hmmmmm. Looks nice, but it's a pass from me.
It's more charecterful than 99% of 4 pots. Intact it's a complete peach.

Ahbefive

11,651 posts

117 months

Saturday 17th August
quotequote all
I like it, new cars are very expensive these days though.

FN2TypeR

6,191 posts

38 months

Saturday 17th August
quotequote all
spookly said:
£26k and you get a 3 pot. Hmmmmm. Looks nice, but it's a pass from me.
It's a great little engine!

I like it, but I'd save my money and get the "normal" one, tbh.

ChevyChase77

183 posts

3 months

Saturday 17th August
quotequote all
Great car. Not a fan of the yellow though......and yep British Telecom yellow....

cerb4.5lee

12,329 posts

125 months

Saturday 17th August
quotequote all
Ahbefive said:
I like it, new cars are very expensive these days though.
They are and I was shocked yesterday when I was reading a review of the focus ST and that costs £32k!! Either I'm getting old or I'm just not going with the times.

I'd love a go in this car though and I'm fascinated by its engine. In my head I think that the engine will blow up within 10 minutes/not last very long at all because it is so small...but I read so many good things about it.

RacerMike

2,462 posts

156 months

Saturday 17th August
quotequote all
cerb4.5lee said:
They are and I was shocked yesterday when I was reading a review of the focus ST and that costs £32k!! Either I'm getting old or I'm just not going with the times.

I'd love a go in this car though and I'm fascinated by its engine. In my head I think that the engine will blow up within 10 minutes/not last very long at all because it is so small...but I read so many good things about it.
It’s true that a Leon Cupra R was £17,000 back in the day, but that’s £27k with inflation in today’s money. So to be honest, the price hasn’t actually increased nearly as much as people think.

rj56102

1 posts

1 month

Saturday 17th August
quotequote all
I have one of these on order, great to finally see some further correspondence on it since the initial articles in april.

Cudd Wudd

396 posts

70 months

Saturday 17th August
quotequote all
Might just be me, but the side profile photo in front of the graffiti wall seems to show a car with laughably big proportions or a very tiny man driving it. Or perhaps both.

CABC

2,662 posts

46 months

Saturday 17th August
quotequote all
i thought the added parts might make this an absolute winner, but the last para is a little damming. Clio 200 still better track car and i30N still better overall. I care as i'm looking for a new track/road car combination car after the demise of my track focused mx5. i still have the ST in my sights, 5+ yrs old then mod to suit. great thing about the ST Perf is that some of those mods come with the car and don't depreciate to zero, could it make financial sense? biggrin

s m

17,823 posts

148 months

Saturday 17th August
quotequote all
cerb4.5lee said:
Ahbefive said:
I like it, new cars are very expensive these days though.
They are and I was shocked yesterday when I was reading a review of the focus ST and that costs £32k!! Either I'm getting old or I'm just not going with the times.

The one that made me double-take was the £45k 320d auto - a few options admittedly but you see loads floating about on the roads

wab172uk

1,370 posts

172 months

Saturday 17th August
quotequote all
For me, they could have gone 2 steps further to make it special. Bucket seats out of the RS, and turned the wick up by 20bhp. I'm not really a fan of the Orange paint, so wouldn't be a car for me.

But as you can add all the extra bits to a standard ST, then this would be the route I'd personally go.

Now where's the Fiesta RS Ford?

gigglebug

1,238 posts

67 months

Saturday 17th August
quotequote all
wab172uk said:
But as you can add all the extra bits to a standard ST, then this would be the route I'd personally go.
Is it already possible to buy the wheels and suspension components as optional extras or are they just specific to these 600 cars?

cerb4.5lee

12,329 posts

125 months

Saturday 17th August
quotequote all
s m said:
cerb4.5lee said:
Ahbefive said:
I like it, new cars are very expensive these days though.
They are and I was shocked yesterday when I was reading a review of the focus ST and that costs £32k!! Either I'm getting old or I'm just not going with the times.

The one that made me double-take was the £45k 320d auto - a few options admittedly but you see loads floating about on the roads
That is expensive for sure! yikes I remember paying £33k for a 3 month old 330d back in 2006 and I thought that was expensive for what it actually was.

I need to learn to go with the times I think. smile

Nickp82

1,920 posts

38 months

Saturday 17th August
quotequote all
Cudd Wudd said:
Might just be me, but the side profile photo in front of the graffiti wall seems to show a car with laughably big proportions or a very tiny man driving it. Or perhaps both.
I see what you mean, kinda looks like a 3dr Cmax in that pic!

RacerMike

2,462 posts

156 months

Saturday 17th August
quotequote all
cerb4.5lee said:
s m said:
cerb4.5lee said:
Ahbefive said:
I like it, new cars are very expensive these days though.
They are and I was shocked yesterday when I was reading a review of the focus ST and that costs £32k!! Either I'm getting old or I'm just not going with the times.

The one that made me double-take was the £45k 320d auto - a few options admittedly but you see loads floating about on the roads
That is expensive for sure! yikes I remember paying £33k for a 3 month old 330d back in 2006 and I thought that was expensive for what it actually was.

I need to learn to go with the times I think. smile
Funnily enough, £33k in 2006 is equivalent to £45k in today’s money. So actually, all BMW have done is raise their prices with inflation....