How do you improve on subcompact perfection? Try adding 77 horsepower to turn the Ford Fiesta into a true hot hatch.
Back in May during our 2012 Ford Fiesta driving impressions, we dubbed it “the best looking subcompact car ever to grace the streets of America”. While the praise may have been lavish it was, at the time, sincere. Time makes fools of us all however, and standing next to the Fiesta ST leaves us with only three questions.
- Does it drive as good as it looks?
- How much does it cost?
- When can we get one?
With the first part, being short handed a test track to fly around at the Los Angeles Convention Center we’ll have to guess. But if its anything like our 2012 Ford Fiesta test drive it should be loads of fun to throw into a corner. And with its 1.6-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder engine with an estimated 197 horsepower and 214 lb.-ft. of torque it should be fun for several other things as well.
For those comparison shoppers in the audience, the Mini Cooper S makes do with 181 horsepower and 177 lb.-ft., while Chevrolet Sonic RS produces just 138 horsepower and 148 lb.-ft. Even the Fiat 500 Abarth produces only 160 horsepower and 170 lb.-ft while numbers start to draw even with the VW GTI which produces a comparable 200 horsepower. That’s good company.
Sadly the other thing Ford failed to provide besides a test track was also a price. But using those models listed above as a guide, it would be fair to pin it down in the $20,000 – $22,000 range. Similar you would have to expect in price to the Chevy Sonic RS or the Fiat 500 Abarth. If Ford can somehow squeeze this around the new cars for under $20,000 mark this thing will fly off shelves.
So what do we know? It’s a 2014 model year, which means we can hope to see them on the road in about a years time. We also know it will get a very respectable 34 MPG on the highway courtesy of that 1.6-liter EcoBoost engine though expect that to get knocked down a few blocks when driving ‘aggressively’.
And speaking of driving I hope you know how to drive stick because the Ford Fiesta ST will only be coming to our shores, at least first, in a six-speed manual. Sorry slush-boxers you’re out of luck.
Mechanically there’s also been a few improvements over the stock Ford Fiesta we drove earlier. A stiffer rear axle has been added and the car has been lowered 15mm closer to help reduce roll in the corners as well as a quicker steering ratio to help you throw it into that corner faster all riding on 17-inch wheels.
The whole package sounds delicious but if there is one downside as far as this hothatch is concerned its the lack of a two door option. Sorry coupe fans the Fiesta ST will be a five door exclusive on this side of the pond. At least for now.
Still, beggars cannot be choosers. And when it comes to small affordable hot hatch backs that also happen to get great fuel economy we’re firmly in the camp of begging for more.