The new Ford Fiesta ST is here, ahead of the its full debut at the Geneva Motor Show in March. The smallest hot hatch in all the land gains more power, more refinement, and drops a cylinder in the new iteration. That's right, the Ford Fiesta ST is powered by an all-new 197 horsepower turbocharged 1.5-liter 3-cylinder EcoBoost engine, Ford Performance's first 3-cylinder model.
Lest you think an angry triple won't provide enough oomph, this one makes just as power as the old 1.6-liter four-cylinder. For Europe the new engine is 17 hp stronger; the 197-hp rating in the US was based on the engine's temporary overboost feature, while the 180 hp European number is more of a permanent figure. Ford claims a 0-62 mph (0-100 km/h) sprint happens in 6.7 seconds, the same as the outgoing -60 mph claim so expect a tenth or two improvement with the new car. While the torque rating is roughly the same, peak torque arrives at a lower RPM than in the previous Ecoboost engine. The ST's three-banger also gets both port and direct fuel injection in order to order to lower CO2 emissions and reduce carbon buildup on valves. It should also see an increase in fuel economy.
The new 1.5-liter EcoBoost uses twin-independent variable cam timing, improving power and efficiency. Cylinder deactivation allows the car to run on two-cylinders under certain situations. The all-aluminum engine gets an integrated exhaust manifold and an all new turbocharger. You can hear the new engine briefly in the new video.
In addition to the new engine, the Fiesta ST gets three selectable drive modes: Normal, Sport, and Track. Normal mode is an everything-assist-system-on daily-driver setting. In Sport mode, engine mapping and throttle pedal response are sharpened, the power steering is stiffened, and more fake engine noise is piped into the cabin, though a baffle in the exhaust does increase natural sounds. Track mode disables traction control completely and gives drivers a longer leash with the stability control system. Ford isn't giving any information about the new model's suspension or tire setup at this point.
The exterior styling, while all new, is still distinctly Ford. Like with Volkswagen and the GTI, Ford seems to take the approach of not messing with a good thing. The profile looks roughly the same, though we only have pictures of the three-door model (that almost assuredly won't be coming to the US). All Fiesta STs come with standard 18-inch wheels.
Ford is promising an increased amount of personalization to go along with the new trims. Customers will be able to choose from a range of choices for the shifter, steering wheel, door handles, and other various trim pieces. The automaker's new Sync 3 infotainment and a B&O Play audio system are available. Recaro seats and a flat-bottom steering wheel are standard, while Liquid Blue finally joins the palate as an official color.
Pricing and other options will come closer to the early 2018 launch, so expect more news to roll out over the course of the year.