► New Ford ST-Line trim launched
► Available on Fiesta, Focus
► Two more ranges to follow in 2016
Why does Ford obsess over its sporting range? Because it believes the athletic vibe created by the likes of the Focus RS and Fiesta ST rubs off on the cooking models. And who’d not want a modest hatch warmed over with a modicum of sporting swagger, if the full-fat one’s not a viable option?
Hence the new ST-Line trim level, announced today and heading to a battery of faster-looking Fords in summer 2016. It replaces the Zetec S trim level.
Ford’s ST-Line: what it means
As the name suggests, this is a styling exercise more than the full-on sporting makeover. These models are ST Lite, slotting beneath the Real McCoy hot hatchbacks bearing their name. A bit like the relationship between BMW's M cars and its M Sport spec, then.
You can order the lukewarm spec on Fiesta and Focus first, while two other as-yet unspecified ranges will join the throng later in 2016. They're priced from £15,645 (Fiesta) and £20,595 (Focus), and for that extra outlay you get:
- ST bodykits
- Bespoke alloy wheel designs
- Blacked-out chrome side windowline
- More supportive seats
- Sports suspension lowered by 10mm
- Cabin upgrades, such as aluminium-tipped pedals
Are they any faster?
Er, no. But they won’t exactly be slow either. Ford is offering the trim level in combination with a variety of petrol and diesel engines, topping out at the 138bhp 1.0-litre EcoBoost in the Fiesta ST-Line and 180bhp 1.5-litre EcoBoost in the Focus ST-Line.
European sales and marketing vice president Roelant de Waard said there was a tangible connection between the ST-Line models and the slew of properly fast Fords including the latest GT supercar, Mustang and Focus RS hot hatch.
‘With our new ST-Line range even more customers can experience sporty style and driving dynamics inspired by our most exciting Ford Performance line-up ever.’
‘This year we expect to sell 40,000 performance cars in Europe, a 50% increase compared with 2015, which in turn saw performance car sales rise by 61% compared with 2014,’ he added.