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Falc'man
1st April 2013, 06:59 PM
014 Ford Fiesta ST: First 2014 Ford Fiesta ST: First Drive Drive

ByBy Bengt Halvorson Bengt Halvorson, Deputy Editor , Deputy Editor



HI-RES GALLERY: HI-RES GALLERY: 2014 Ford Fiesta ST 2014 Ford Fiesta ST (Euro spec) (Euro spec) -- First Drive, March 2013 First Drive, March 2013

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The idea of packing a very powerful engine The idea of packing a very powerful engine into a very small car—especially a car into a very small car—especially a car originally designed with frugality in mind— originally designed with frugality in mind—isn’t by any means a new formula. It’s isn’t by any means a new formula. It’s been done over and over again, over been done over and over again, over decades, to spice up lineups and add decades, to spice up lineups and add bragging rights. And while some bragging rights. And while some transcendent models like the Volkswagen transcendent models like the Volkswagen GTI, Honda Civic Si, and Mazdaspeed3 GTI, Honda Civic Si, and Mazdaspeed3 have rightly earned that halo over the have rightly earned that halo over the years, we can think of plenty that were years, we can think of plenty that were duds. duds. The Ford Focus ST has fast joined the The Ford Focus ST has fast joined the ranks of those halo models—well- ranks of those halo models—well-conceived in every way, and truly better conceived in every way, and truly better than the sum of its parts. But now just than the sum of its parts. But now just below (or beside) the Focus ST slots a below (or beside) the Focus ST slots a 2014 Ford Fiesta ST that somehow sets 2014 Ford Fiesta ST that somehow sets our hot-hatch heartbeat aflutter. Maybe our hot-hatch heartbeat aflutter. Maybe more so than the Focus ST. more so than the Focus ST.

That’s right. The Fiesta ST has neither a That’s right. The Fiesta ST has neither a such a boast-worthy power-to-weight such a boast-worthy power-to-weight ratio nor quite as many engineering tricks ratio nor quite as many engineering tricks up its sleeve, but it ends up offering more up its sleeve, but it ends up offering more seat-of-the-pants, go-fast thrills—enough seat-of-the-pants, go-fast thrills—enough to pull people away from the likes of the to pull people away from the likes of the Fiat 500 Abarth, MINI Cooper S, and Fiat 500 Abarth, MINI Cooper S, and Hyundai Veloster Turbo...and possibly Hyundai Veloster Turbo...and possibly even the larger Focus ST. even the larger Focus ST.

And here we were in mountainous And here we were in mountainous Southern France—fittingly, tackling some Southern France—fittingly, tackling some of the same serious driving roads, like part of the same serious driving roads, like part of the Route Napoleon, that we did with of the Route Napoleon, that we did with the Focus ST nearly a year ago. As with the Focus ST nearly a year ago. As with the Focus ST, we were only there to get an the Focus ST, we were only there to get an advance drive—a taste—of this European- advance drive—a taste—of this European-engineered little wonder, which is coming engineered little wonder, which is coming to the U.S. in just a few months. to the U.S. in just a few months.

Ford's smallest car, packed with EcoBoost Ford's smallest car, packed with EcoBoost

First off, back to that familiar idea: The First off, back to that familiar idea: The powerful engine is the new EcoBoost 1.6- powerful engine is the new EcoBoost 1.6-liter, with turbocharging, direct injection, liter, with turbocharging, direct injection, and variable valve timing—the same one and variable valve timing—the same one that we’ve enjoyed in the mid-size Ford that we’ve enjoyed in the mid-size Ford Fusion, TCC’s 2013 Best Car To Buy) and Fusion, TCC’s 2013 Best Car To Buy) and the Ford Escape. the Ford Escape.

In the Fiesta ST the engine makes 180 hp In the Fiesta ST the engine makes 180 hp (two more than in the Fusion and Escape) (two more than in the Fusion and Escape) and 177 pound-feet. Yet it makes a peak and 177 pound-feet. Yet it makes a peak 197 hp (and 214 lb-ft) in 20-second 197 hp (and 214 lb-ft) in 20-second bursts, thanks to a special overboost bursts, thanks to a special overboost mode (making peak boost more than 21 mode (making peak boost more than 21 psi, versus 20.3 otherwise. Simply back off psi, versus 20.3 otherwise. Simply back off the accelerator briefly, and you earn the accelerator briefly, and you earn another 20 seconds. another 20 seconds.

The engine grumbles a bit below 1,300 The engine grumbles a bit below 1,300 rpm, but then just past 1,600 rpm hits its rpm, but then just past 1,600 rpm hits its stride, churning out the torque all the way stride, churning out the torque all the way up to nearly 6,000, when the torque up to nearly 6,000, when the torque plateau thins out. This is an engine that plateau thins out. This is an engine that loves to be revved in the 3,500- to 5,500- loves to be revved in the 3,500- to 5,500-rpm range, where you reap the most rpm range, where you reap the most benefit from the turbos, it seems. benefit from the turbos, it seems.

Official acceleration times run 6.9 seconds Official acceleration times run 6.9 seconds to 62 mph, and a top speed of 137 mph. to 62 mph, and a top speed of 137 mph.

What makes that engine so effective in What makes that engine so effective in those larger vehicles is its accessible those larger vehicles is its accessible torque. Yet here it’s in a car that’s about torque. Yet here it’s in a car that’s about 700 pounds lighter than the Fusion and 700 pounds lighter than the Fusion and nearly 1,000 lighter than the Escape. So to nearly 1,000 lighter than the Escape. So to help deliver that through the wheels in a help deliver that through the wheels in a controlled fashion—especially out of low- controlled fashion—especially out of low-speed corners or on rough surfaces—the speed corners or on rough surfaces—the Fiesta ST gets an eTVC (torque vectoring) Fiesta ST gets an eTVC (torque vectoring) system that helps reduce understeer and system that helps reduce understeer and hold traction by braking the inside front hold traction by braking the inside front wheel. Separately, the stability control wheel. Separately, the stability control system has a full-off mode, along with a system has a full-off mode, along with a wheel-slip mode for intervention only wheel-slip mode for intervention only during all-out hoonage. during all-out hoonage.

The only piece of Focus ST hardware (or The only piece of Focus ST hardware (or shall we say software) lacking in the shall we say software) lacking in the Fiesta ST is the larger model's torque- Fiesta ST is the larger model's torque-steer compensation (with the stability and steer compensation (with the stability and torque-vectoring system talking to the torque-vectoring system talking to the steering); as it is, some torque steer is steering); as it is, some torque steer is noticeable in this car, but definitely not an noticeable in this car, but definitely not an issue provided you keep your hands on the issue provided you keep your hands on the wheel while driving with your right foot to wheel while driving with your right foot to the floor. the floor.

Flat and composed, yet a little sharper Flat and composed, yet a little sharper

Suspension-wise, Ford hasn't changed the Suspension-wise, Ford hasn't changed the fundamentals from what's offered in more fundamentals from what's offered in more pedestrian Fiestas. That's alright, as we pedestrian Fiestas. That's alright, as we already thought that the Fiesta is one of already thought that the Fiesta is one of the best-handling—or at least best- the best-handling—or at least best-steering—budget subcompacts on the steering—budget subcompacts on the market. But here, springs are stiffer, market. But here, springs are stiffer, dampers are recalibrated, and the car's dampers are recalibrated, and the car's center of gravity has been lowered by center of gravity has been lowered by more than a half inch. Add in modified more than a half inch. Add in modified front steering knuckle, a little more front steering knuckle, a little more negative camber, and a revised rear twist- negative camber, and a revised rear twist-beam layout—with more roll stiffness—the beam layout—with more roll stiffness—the ST feels far more flat and composed in ST feels far more flat and composed in corners than we'd expect corners than we'd expect.

More in link.

http://www.motorauthority.com/news/1083258_2014-ford-fiesta-st-first-drive

defective
1st April 2013, 09:44 PM
That article made my head hurt....

FPV GTHO
1st April 2013, 11:11 PM
I reckon they shouldve gone with the Fiesta for the next RS over the Focus. The models wearing that badge have always followed where Ford has been in motorsport, and more specifically rally. Now though basically every category worldwide is racing in Fiesta sized cars and the next RS will apparently still be a Focus.

Lynton
2nd April 2013, 08:46 AM
Go to the link, it is easier to read and a very good write up.

I disagree with the comment that fiesta should be the basis for RS. Historically RS was an escort, focus is the modern equivalent. Also RS is in the class of all the other big contenders for hot hatches such as STI, VW R, Megane RS etc. Basing it on Fiesta would put it in a different class such as Mini JCW, Fiat 500 Abarth and Renault Clio.

Falc'man
2nd April 2013, 07:42 PM
You'd think they'd need more mass and front track width to accommodate the power of an RS. All the rallies are using AWD Fiestas and until Ford decide to follow suit with the road model I don't think the Fiesta's chassis can put down that much power.

The Falcon with the 2.0 Ecoboost easily breaks traction with the 18" rims, it may prove a handful with the Fiesta. Word is the Focus ST has problems putting power down with the 2.0 so good luck chucking a 2.3 in the "Fiesta RS".

I agree with idea, though, but I can't see it happening without AWD.

FPV GTHO
2nd April 2013, 08:28 PM
Well the benefit I guess of using the smaller car would be you could do it with a smaller engine. Probably the Focus ST engine.

It likely would be a handful though, but the size isn't that different to the original Focus RS is it? I'm also thinking about the new RS unlikely to have a different body to the current 5 door only hatch, when the first 2 were the 3 door.