Science

New 2018 Ford Fiesta ST: Limited Slip-Diff, Launch Control and more

New 2018 Ford Fiesta ST: Limited Slip-Diff, Launch Control and more”

Ford has shed more light on the new Fiesta ST hot hatch ahead of its European launch. First of all, the final performance specs reveal some changes over what Ford told us past year.

Ford Performance also listened to feedback and tinkered with the Recaro driver's seat to offer better adjustment before and given the pew more tilt and seat-back movement.

The 2018 Fiesta ST goes on sale this spring in both three- and five-door body styles, and in ST-1, ST-2 and ST-3 equipment levels.

We expect Ford Australia to import a single, well-specified variant - perhaps only the three-door - fitted as standard with Europe's optional Quaife LSD. More grip is achieved by limiting distribution of the engine's torque to the wheel with reduced grip.

"Hot-hatch drivers are expecting big things from this small vehicle", European Ford Performance director Leo Roeks says.

"We've tuned the all-new Fiesta ST's mechanical LSD option to work seamlessly with enhanced Torque Vectoring Control to deliver the best possible natural traction without "burning away" excess torque with brake interventions". "We've applied what we've learned from recent Ford Performance models including the Focus RS and Ford GT to develop an all-new Fiesta ST that sets a new standard for driving fun in its segment, with a throaty three-cylinder soundtrack that will speak to petrol-heads whatever their language", said Roeks.

More importantly, the chassis has been optimized with new Ford-patented force vectoring springs that make the turn-in sharper, improve the rear end's responsiveness and provide a generally more connected feel of the vehicle.

The rear-twist beam stiffness has also been increased to 1400Nm/deg which is the firmest of any Ford Performance model.

Roeks said the new suspension configuration took a lot of trial-and-error to flawless. Add to these the Selectable Drive Modes (Normal, Sport, and Track), and you get the most technologically-advanced B-segment hot hatch on the market. Largely responsible for these numbers is Ford's all-new 1.5-liter EcoBoost three-cylinder engine that delivers 200 metric horsepower (197 bhp) at 6,000 rpm and 290 Nm (214 lb-ft) of torque from 1,600 to 4,000 rpm.

As in the Focus RS, the driver simply engages launch control, engages first gear, stomps on the throttle and then side-steps the clutch pedal.

Launch control also makes an appearance for consistent acceleration performance.

There's also a special graphical overlay in the instrument binnacle, which houses a 6250rpm-redline tacho.

In contrast, the Fiesta has been the most popular model bar none in the United Kingdom for the past eight years, and became the country's best-selling vehicle nameplate of all time in July 2014 with more than four million sold.

It's sometimes hard to fathom why it takes so long for some cars to arrive, and the 2018 Ford Fiesta ST is one such auto.



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