It's not an exaggeration to say that the three-cylinder Fiesta ST is one of the most eagerly anticipated performance cars of 2018, at any price. After years of quite ordinary supermini hot hatches, the last Fiesta ST finally delivered on the promise - and set the bar very high for this one.
As we wait patiently to drive it, so news comes from Ford of a few tasty add-ons that will be offered to ST customers. Most exciting of which is a Quaife limited-slip differential, which will be optional on the upcoming three-cylinder car. Working in conjunction with the 'Torque Vectoring Control' brake nibbling technology, the diff will "optimise front-end traction for enhanced cornering ability", according to Ford.
In addition, the Quaife LSD is said to offer "optimal grip on dry surfaces and smoothness on wet surfaces." Certainly we know from the likes of Peugeot Sport's 208 GTI just what a positive effect a locking differential in a front-wheel drive car can have (with some suspension changes too, granted), so it will be interesting to see just what influence this Quaife hardware will have.
Ford has also announced Launch Control as an option for the Fiesta ST, allowing drivers to "achieve maximum satisfaction with consistently fast standing starts." Using steering wheel controls to initiate and a combination of the various chassis electronics to execute, the Launch Control should make it a tad easier to hit the claimed 6.5 seconds it takes to reach 62mph. Ford claims no measured advantage for the Launch Control, though, but it's there to try and match if you're feeling racy...
What will be standard on the ST (but has only now been confirmed by Ford) are "force vectoring springs"; said to be the first small hot hatch to benefit from the tech, the Fiesta uses "non-uniform, non-interchangeable, directionally wound springs to apply vectoring forces to the rear suspension." It should permit increased lateral stiffness, which promotes sharper turn in response without a ride quality or refinement penalty. It's also lighter (by 10kg) than a Watt's linkage, that's often used to achieve the same benefit in torsion beam cars.
As opposed to the previous generation ST, this one will be available from launch with both three and five doors. Seven colours will be offered - Frozen White, Magnetic, Moondust Silver, Performance Blue, Race Red, Shadow Black and Silver Fox - and the first drives are in a couple of months. Bring it on!
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