For the 2018 model year, Ford has taken to their new Fiesta ST to ponder upon ways to improve their newest hot hatch. But honestly, their current car is still fresh enough to pose some problems regarding feature addition, which explains their very minor improvements to an already solid formula.
To quickly understand what Ford has done to up the Fiesta ST’s ante, imagine them adding some figurative sprinkles to the top of an equally figurative ice cream cone. Rather than being very subtle changes, these are ones that might be significant enough to raise its advantage over rivals like the Volkswagen Polo GTI and Renault Clio RS.
To start, the junior ST will now receive a mechanical limited slip front differential that should improve the car’s front end bite and mid-corner grip considerably. Manufactured by Quaife, just like the diff used in the Focus RS, the LSD here is paired with Torque Vectoring Control to intelligently distribute power where it will be most effective.
Secondly, the Fiesta ST gains special force vectoring springs to further improve upon its agile handling while ensuring high speed stability. These non-uniform, directionally-wound units apply vectoring focus to the rear suspension and enables compression to travel directly into the spring for increased lateral stiffness.
These will work in tandem with the Tenneco twin-tube front and mono-tube rear dampers that use frequency-dependent damping. At 1,400Nm/deg, this makes the rear twist-beam stiffness the highest rated of any Ford Performance model.
The next feature they’ve added is Launch Control. While not as directly impactful as the previous new additions to the Fiesta ST’s arsenal, it does make better use of the car’s impressive off-the-line performance, making it as easy as possible to impress some friends with three-pot Ford. They’ve also tuned their Torque Vectoring system to all but eliminate torque steer when launching from a standstill with the mode engaged.
Speaking of which, the 1.5-litre three-cylinder turbocharged EcoBoost petrol unit is unchanged from original the 7th-generation Fiesta ST, producing 150kW and 290Nm, sent through a 6-speed manual transmission to the front wheels. Given favourable conditions and that aforementioned Launch Control mode enabled, Ford claims a 0-100km/h sprint lasting just 6.5 seconds before topping out at around 231km/h.