UPDATE: I BOUGHT ONE!!! SUCH AN AMAZING CAR! I’ll post pics later today!
If I can find one of these at the right price, I will picking it up for sure! What a great car!
Link to article here: http://www.caranddriver.com/reviews/2014-ford-fiesta-st-hatchback-first-drive-review
Video review of the car here: http://youtu.be/mbWklAnEhGQ
“For a major corporation obsessed with converting cars and trucks into dollars and cents, hot hatchbacks like the Ford Fiesta ST are mutant blips. Ford won’t say how many STs it hopes to sell in the U.S., but 10,000 a year would induce happiness at the Glass House in Dearborn, we’re told. That amount is roughly the number of F-150s Ford builds every year with whalebone dashboards.
Five for the Colonies
Hot Fiestas have been in European showrooms for a couple of decades, but the 2014 ST is the first such car for North America, as Ford makes more and more of its products global. The ST, which goes on sale in the U.S. this August, emerged from Ford’s engineering center in Cologne, Germany, and was finessed at its proving ground in Lommel, Belgium. The car will be assembled for North America in Mexico, with an engine shipped in from the United Kingdom. That’s a lot of frequent-flier miles for one small car.
For its $22,195 base price, you’re getting a vehicle essentially identical to the European version, from the 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder to the autobahn-firm suspension tune to the single-spec Bridgestone Potenza RE050A summer tires. Well, there is one major difference: The Euro ST will only be a three-door hatchback, whereas the American ST will come only in five-door form.
No three-door Fiesta is currently available in the U.S., and the dumpy-looking Fiesta sedan, a local concession to America’s inexplicable hatchback hatred, would look silly in this hero costume. It would also cost more to produce with noncommon parts, so the five-door it is. The two hatchbacks share wheelbases, but the five-door weighs about 130 more pounds than the three-door.
Dishing Up the Deets
The question with sporty variants always boils down to how much steak you get with the potato. In this particular tater tot, there’s one big change under the hood, and there are dozens of small changes elsewhere that produce a thoroughly fun little filet. Note, however, that we were only shown the three-door Euro version, and only with the optional Recaro seat package ($1995), navigation ($795), and 17-inch metallic gray wheels with red brake calipers ($375), which together would push a U.S.-spec ST over $25,000. A $795 sunroof is also offered.
The cast-aluminum, direct-injected 1.6-liter turbo is basically the same engine as offered in the Fusion sedan, meaning it’s a big motor in a small car. Here, governed by revised calibrations, it makes 197 horsepower at 6000 rpm and 214 lb-ft of torque at 3500 rpm. Peak power is made in “overboost” mode, when the turbo is squeezing in a maximum of 21 psi. To stretch the engine’s durability, Ford programmed the computer to cut pressure after 20 seconds at wide-open throttle, a situation you’re likely to encounter only at Bonneville or the Nürburgring, or when fleeing the cops. But lift just once, and the overboost timer resets.
Because some days are good, there’s only one transmission available, and it has six speeds and one clutch pedal. The lower ratios are relatively short, which means 60 mph takes two shifts and is probably about 6.7 seconds away. The upper ratios stretch out into a double overdrive for fuel-economy purposes. Ford and the EPA haven’t produced numbers, but expect the combined figure to fall in the low 30s.
The Fiesta’s basic front-strut, rear-twist-beam suspension layout is retained, but with major differences. The ST’s front knuckles have different attachment points to the control arm and steering linkages that increase the camber gain as the wheels stroke, a dynamic geometry change that makes the steering more darty. Meanwhile, a thicker front anti-roll bar pushes more of the roll to the back, which, along with computerized torque-vectoring control that brakes the inside front wheel in turns, helps the ST corner more sharply and with less understeer. The electric power-steering system has a firmer tune, and the ST’s rack gets a quicker ratio, dropping from 14.6:1 to 13.6:1.” Continued…