No, no, no Ford – you’ve got it wrong. We’re sorry, it’s back to the naughty corner for you…the Fiesta Metal limited edition model is far too good to be limited to your suggested 250. More likely 2500 will be needed to satisfy the demands of hot hatchback fans – especially at your ridiculously low $22,990 price.
The year has only just got under way and the CarShowroom team has already been rocked by this surprise packet Ford slipped into dealerships last September. All things considered, at that price it’s going to take something very special to knock the Ford Fiesta Metal from the pedestal as Australia’s best budget-priced hot hatch.
Ford Fiesta Metal Overview
Based on the three-door Ford Fiesta, the limited edition ‘Metal’ packs some punch with a nice bodykit, extra zip under the bonnet, a sportily noisy exhaust note, sports suspension, interior enhancements and stylish 17-inch alloy wheels. And hitting the sweet spot of today’s hot hatch market, the Ford Fiesta Metal is available in just one colour combo…that would be black-on-black.
The 250 Ford Fiesta Metals coming our way were designed, specified and produced at Ford’s European HQ in Cologne, Germany. ‘Puh-leeeese’ Ford can you get more.
But don’t just take our word for it - in Britain’s Auto Express magazine’s Performance Cars Of The Year ranking, the Ford Fiesta Metal secured a top-10 spot – ahead of cars from Bentley, Porsche, Aston Martin, Maserati and Lotus.
Ford Fiesta Metal Engine
Under the bonnet is a tuned version of Ford’s 1.6-litre Duratec Ti-VCT petrol engine. With maximum power of 98kW at 6700rpm and peak torque of 160Nm at 4250rpm, this powerplant surpasses the regular Zetec engine by 10kW/9Nm.
The trick is extra revs. Ford in Germany developed the tune which is aided by the sporty exhaust system (wider pipes) and a new air intake.
Ford Fiesta Metal The Interior
While some have labeled the interior of the standard Ford Fiesta as somewhat austere, that is not a valid comment for the ‘Metal’. Leather front sports seats are height adjustable and heated, the leather-wrapped sports steering wheel adjusts for rake and reach, there are alloy pedal covers and stainless steel door scuff plates as well as piano black trim highlights.
Otherwise it’s the familiar Ford Fiesta with the stylish centre stack for audio and climate control.
So the driving environment is top-notch but, as per others in this segment, rear seat leg-room is a bit snug.
Ford Fiesta Metal Exterior & Styling
Using the Fiesta three-door as the base model gets the ‘Metal’ off to a great start in our book. For some time we’ve liked the work of Ford’s European design studios (Fiesta, Focus and Mondeo in this market) and the Cologne, Germany team has pressed the right buttons again in developing the sports bodykit for the ‘Metal’.
At the front, there’s a new front bumper with a low spoiler, silver surround for the air-intake and front fog light bezels. Side skirts and lowered suspension enhance the side profile which is of course highlighted by those good-looking 17-inch five twin-spoke alloy wheels.
The rear features the roof spoiler and twin chrome-tipped exhausts.
Ford Fiesta Metal On The Road
We sprinted the Ford Fiesta Metal straight to our high-speed mountain roads test route – we suspected it would be handy over the twists and we were right. The standard Ford Fiesta is well-sorted in the suspension department, but the ‘Metal’ with its combination of those 17-inch alloys and firmer damper/spring calibration raises the bar considerably.
Here’s the thing – while the Volkswagen Polo GTI may be more finely-tuned in the suspension department for billiard table-smooth race circuits, in the everyday world there’s poor road-building, mid-corner bumps…pot-holes even. In that environment the Ford Fiesta Metal has the edge with admirably strong rebound - as we like in sporty hatchbacks - but just a little more compression comfort.
Over our mountain roads, the Ford Fiesta Metal was enormous fun – the sporty exhaust making just the right noises under acceleration or heel-and-toe downshifts into corners, turn-in was crisp, balance was great and this thing accelerated hard with occasional intrusion from the electronics when we encountered the odd loose surface mid-turn.
Sure, at the limit, the 98kW/160Nm 1.6-litre isn’t as fast as…say the upcoming turbocharged ST model Fiesta…but this is a sub-$23,000 hot hatch and it’s fast enough.
Around town the ‘Metal’ is mostly as nimble and maneuverable as the regular Fiesta although care is needed when the low front spoiler gets near a high gutter.
Ford Fiesta Metal Challenges
Ford Australia only ordered 250 Fiesta Metals from the plant in Cologne, Germany…what were they thinking? And when – not “if”, “when” – they order some more, we’d broaden the colour palette to include (say) a bright red and gun-metal grey (still with those slick, black 17-inch alloys).
Ford Fiesta Metal Verdict
We’ve always championed the created-in-Germany Ford Fiesta as a Car Showroom favourite compact hatchback and we’d sell our back-up golf clubs to buy a Zetec diesel…but now the deal has changed. We’ll be listing those clubs for sale so we can buy a Fiesta Metal.
That raucous 98kW/160Nm certainly gets the job done, the ‘Fun Factor’ red zones in the twisty stuff and all the time you’re enjoying the classy and stylish interior and top-shelf exterior looks.
At $22,990 the Fiesta Metal is sensational value – a true German hot hatchback thousands of dollars less than rivals.
Ford Fiesta Metal The Competition
The question to be asked in this league is: how keen are you to stick with European-sourced vehicles?
Exhibit ‘A’ is the Hyundai Veloster. The entry-level naturally-aspirated 1.6-litre model is good for a handy 103kW/167Nm and the $23,990 price sticker shouldn’t be overlooked.
Once the king of this league, the latest Suzuki Swift Sport lacks the hard edge of the Ford Fiesta Metal. Virtually identical for power and torque, the Swift offers more rear seat leg-room but doesn’t match the Fiesta Metal in the twisty stuff and at $23,990 is a little extra coin.
While nowhere near the racy dynamic of the Ford Fiesta Metal, if you’re thinking sporty compact three-door hatchbacks, the Toyota Yaris ZR at $18,990 should be considered. OK it’s a long way short of the Fiesta’s performance and edginess but good value nonetheless.
Volkswagen’s Polo GTI is the benchmark in this specialized sub-segment and there’s no denying the marvelous twin-charged 1.4-litre packs a mighty punch with 132kW/250Nm on-tap. But the three-door Polo GTI is listed at $27,790 - the $4,800 price differential to the Ford Fiesta Metal is hard to justify and may be a deal-breaker for some young ‘tight-budget’ buyers.