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Ford Fiesta ST at 2012 Geneva motor show

Published: 05 March 2012

This is the new Ford Fiesta ST, unveiled on the eve of the 2012 Geneva motor show. It’s a 178bhp hot hatch, with a turbocharged 1.6-litre engine.

And it’s real? The new Ford Fiesta ST isn’t another concept?

It’s real – we saw a three-door Fiesta ST concept at the 2011 Frankfurt show, and a five-door version at the 2011 LA auto show, but this is the real thing (can you spot any differences?) and it’ll go on sale in the UK in spring 2013.

Granted that’s a bit of a wait, but it should be worth it. Under the bonnet is a 178bhp version of Ford’s 1.6-litre Ecoboost engine (Ecoboost signifies direct injection and turbocharged), so this Fiesta ST has 20% more power than its predecessor. Ford is also promising a 20% reduction in CO2 emissions over the old Fiesta ST, there’s 177lb ft too, 0-62mph will be dispatched in under seven seconds, and it will hit 136mph flat out.

What else?

The new Fiesta ST sits 15mm lower than a normal Fiesta, features Ford’s Torque Vectoring Control system to brake the inside front wheel to aid agility, and has three ESP modes that have been developed by Ford’s Team RS division during 3000 miles of testing at the Nürburgring.

The new body addenda apes the Focus ST, with a large central grille (complete with small ST logo) dominating the front end. The lights have DRL elements, there are chunky sills, a new rear bumper with a diffuser-style element, twin exhaust pipes and bigger wheels shrouding upgraded brakes. There will be five paint options, including Race Red, Molten Orange and Performance Blue.

‘We believe Ford customers will be blown away by the new Fiesta ST, and not only by the exhilarating performance but by the styling and specification, too,’ said Ford’s director of Global Performance Vehicles Jost Capito. ‘This dynamic new hot-hatch is undoubtedly our best Fiesta ST to date.’

And inside?

Chunky Recaro seats are the most obvious seats, and make their first appearance in a Fiesta ST. There are carbonfibre dash trimmings (though quite how real that carbon is remains to be seen), unique-to-the-ST steering wheel, gearstick and pedals, while a Sound Symposer filters that best engine noise from under the bonnet into the cabin.

There’s Ford’s new SYNC multimedia system too, but more intriguing is the Ford MyKey, which ‘allows owners to limit performance and ensure activation of safety features for when less-experienced drivers use the vehicle’.

European sales of the Fiesta ST start in 2013, and following a positive reception to the five-door ST concept at the 2011 Los Angeles auto show, Ford says it is evaluating whether to sell the Fiesta ST in other markets too.

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By Ben Pulman

CAR's editor-at-large, co-ordinator, tallboy

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