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Long considered an objet de lust of wannabe Lewis Hamiltons and Damon Hills across Europe, hot hatch derivatives of Ford‘s Fiesta were notoriously known as peppy, scrappy handling little cars, that offered a decent amount of driving fun for not much money (until the time came to ensure them).
Yet like anything that’s been around for 30 years, eventually there’s a need to grow up. And so it is with the hot 2013 Fiesta ST, unveiled today at the Geneva Motor Show as a car that while still paying homage to its boy racer roots, also adopts a more mature personality. With environmental sustainability at the forefront of many minds today, the ST, while sporting a turbocharged motor, weighs in with Ford’s 1.6-liter EcoBoost, that cranks out some 180 metric horsepower and 177 lb-ft of torque, yet delivers better fuel economy and reportedly a 20 percent reduction in emissions compared with its 2008 predecessor.
Featuring specific chassis tuning and a lowered, tighter suspension, plus Ford’s Torque Vectoring Control System and no fewer than three different stability control modes, the new Fiesta ST was flogged mercilessly around the infamous Nürburgring Nordschleife, during its development testing phase, with the idea of achieving a healthy blend of sharp handling and good directional stability.
On the outside, more aggressive body parts, including a new front fascia, rocker panels and rear roof spoiler are incorporated, while inside, standard Recaro bucket seats and high-contrast upholstery help set this car apart from its more sensible siblings.
Although Ford has green lit Fiesta ST production for Europe (indicated by the three-door version on display at Geneva), favorable response from the five-door concepts shown at LA and Detroit, along with the Blue Oval’s stance that it “remains open to introducing [the car] to other regions,” means it’s probably only a matter of time before it shows up stateside. We can’t wait!
GALLERY: Ford Fiesta ST
In Frankfurt last year, Ford teased us with a new Fiesta ST concept. Shown initially in three-door form we were initially worried we wouldn’t get this spiced-up version so you can perhaps imagine our delight when a five-door concept materialized a couple months later at the LA Auto Show.
Now, at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show, Ford has announced a production version of the car. Considering that many enthusiasts in Europe have been waiting with baited breath since the last Fiesta ST went away in 2008, there’s clearly a great deal riding on this new one.
Although information is still somewhat scant, Ford says this new Fiesta ST will sport an EcoBoost, 1.6-liter turbocharged four under the hood, rated at 180 metric horsepower and some 240 NM (177 lb-ft) of torque. Lowered (by some 15 mm/ 0.6 inches) and sporting stiffened suspension, plus one of the first applications of Ford’s SYNC voice command software in Europe (the Fiesta derived B-Max is the other), the peppy new Ford promises to be quite the little performance pill. Also included in this package are enhanced Torque Vectoring and three different Stability Control modes.
On the outside, aggressive aero extensions, including a more pronounced front air dam and signature rear spoiler add to the car’s boy racer persona and although the ST was developed by Ford’s RS performance division in Europe, drawing on much WRC and rally cross experience, standard MyKey technology will help ensure that younger drivers don’t get into trouble.
Revealed in three-door form in Geneva, the new Fiesta ST is clearly aimed at the European market, at least for the timing being, though Ford says “it remains open to introducing [the high performance small car] to other regions.” And if you’ve been paying any attention to Ford and its “One Ford” plan of global products, expect to see a 5-door Fiesta ST grace a North American auto show soon.