Due to shrinking demand for the smaller car in favour of a similar sized crossover, Australian’s won’t be enjoying the full impact of Ford’s newest Fiesta hatch, which is a shame as it seems to be quite a jump over its predecessor.
It’s not all gloom, though, as Ford Australia does recognise our unbroken affinity with the hot ST version, why is why it’ll be the only guise to be making its way Down Under. Due in March 2019, the all-new single-configuration ST will indeed cost more than the rather lightweight, no frills Mk7 version, but consequently offers quite a bit of standard kit atop the performance gains. Prices shouldn’t be too far off, though, likely to remain under $30,000.
Goodies, according to Motoring, include a mechanical limited-slip front differential by Quaife, rather similar to the one used in the Focus RS, standard Autonomous Emergency Braking and Lane Keep Assist, Micheline Pilot Super Sport tyres, 18-inch wheels, and uprated Tenneco dampers.
Where the previous Fiesta ST came only as a 3-door hatch, its replacement was introduced alongside a new 5-door flavoured hot hatch - a worthy foil to the similarly practical Clio RS and forthcoming Polo GTI, then.
Which body style Ford Australia will ultimately select to be the sole Fiesta variant going forward remains to be seen. It’s also rumoured that Ford is currently developing an all-new dual-clutch transmission for use in an updated Fiesta ST and rumoured Fiesta RS. What isn’t in much dispute, though, is that we’ll be getting the hot hatch with a 6-speed manual fitted as standard.
That transmission will be funnelling drive to the front wheels from a 1.5-litre turbocharged 3-cylinder EcoBoost petrol, a new engine that takes over from the older 1.6-litre turbo-four. It generates 147kW and peak torque of 290Nm, a 13kW/50Nm improvement, while promising improved fuel economy and emissions.
On a combined cycle, the engine is claimed to sip an conservative average of 6.0-litres/100km thanks to a cylinder deactivated system, essentially operating as a two-cylinder under light load situations. With the extra thrust at maximum, the all-new Fiesta boasts a 0-100km/h sprint time of 6.5 seconds.