Competes with: Chevrolet Sonic RS, Mini Cooper S
Looks like: The Fiesta ST Concept that graced last year's L.A. Auto Show
Drivetrain: 197-hp, turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder with six-speed manual transmission; front-wheel drive
Hits dealerships: Spring 2013
The 2014 Ford Fiesta ST joins the automaker's Focus ST in the brand's stable of small performance-oriented hatchbacks. Powered by a turbocharged four-cylinder engine that's paired with a six-speed manual transmission, the Fiesta ST brings an efficient-minded approach to performance; it's expected to get up to 34 mpg, according to Ford. It hits dealerships in the spring. Pricing information hasn't been released.
Ford showed us what a performance Fiesta might look like when it brought the Fiesta ST Concept to last year's L.A. auto show, and the production version stays true to that vision. The Fiesta ST's face is dominated by a gaping mesh grille with an ST badge in the corner. There's also an aggressive front lip spoiler, larger rocker panels and a mesh-style section above the twin exhaust outlets. A large spoiler is mounted atop the liftgate, and unique 17-inch alloy wheels are fitted with summer performance tires.
The Fiesta ST's high-output turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine makes an estimated 197 horsepower and 214 pounds-feet of torque, with 177 pounds-feet of torque available at 1,600 rpm and full torque available at 3,500 rpm. The car comes with Ford's Torque Vectoring Control technology, which uses the brakes to limit wheelspin—and understeer—when cornering, and also a three-mode electronic stability system.
A number of chassis revisions complement the Fiesta ST's greater engine output. The steering is quicker, rear roll resistance has been enhanced to improve stability in corners, and the car rides 15 mm lower than a base Fiesta.
Along with other 2014 Fiesta models, the Fiesta ST is available with MyFord Touch. The system has a smaller touch-screen that measures 6.5 inches as opposed to 8 inches in other Ford models, and it benefits from more natural voice-recognition technology. There's also a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, and highly bolstered Recaro sport seats are optional.