Ever since the Fiesta XR2 of 1981, affordable performance and sheer driving pleasure have been major characteristics of Ford’s small car range. Now the Fiesta ST brings those virtues to a new generation of drivers.
Fiesta ST is aimed right at the heart of the popular ‘junior hot hatch’ class and Ford’s engineers are confident it will take the class by storm. "Our goal was to make the Fiesta ST the best all-rounder in the class," explains Project Leader, Nick Collins, "but we believe we have created a car whose dynamics will be the best of the lot. Its ride handling balance is fantastic, and the grip is phenomenal".
Fiesta ST is also the first road car to come from Ford’s new TeamRS organisation. The Team was formed early in 2003 when the Company’s competition and performance road car engineers were pulled together for the first time to create performance road cars and new competition models.
Latest ST delivers performance and value
ST stands for ’Sports Technologies’, and the new Fiesta ST is the first of Ford’s Sports Technologies models to feature new style ST branding. Its new ’ST’ badge uses a central red stripe design inspired by Ford’s classic RS ’racing stripes’ logo and will be adopted by all new Ford ST models introduced from now on.
"The new style ST is more than just a badge, it is a whole new performance and design concept devised by TeamRS as an ongoing part of its road car programme," explains Jost Capito, TeamRS Director.
"ST should be synonymous with affordable, dependable performance and an ST model should reflect the character of the car from which it is derived," says Jost Capito. "Theoriginal Fiesta XR2 created a feeling of driving fun and youthful spirit that has been part of the Fiesta’s DNA ever since. The new Fiesta ST encapsulates that attitude once again. It aims to bring out the enthusiast in every driver while being enjoyable to live with as an everyday car."
Inside, Fiesta ST has been designed both to look good and to create the driving environment an enthusiast driver demands.
The special sports seats have been developed carefully to give maximum support to drivers of different sizes and builds. At the same time they have retained the excellent everyday comfort required of an ST variant.
The front seats themselves are trimmed in black leather with central cloth sections finished in either red or blue, depending on exterior body colour, and featuring the new ST logo. As an option the seats are available with full leather trim.
Fiesta’s ergonomically excellent driving position is given the special ST treatment with a thick, leather-wrapped steering wheel that has a bright steering wheel spoke design and ST logo, metal pedals and a unique gear knob design. It all creates a ‘cockpit’ that will not just look the part but will also be supremely functional.
Special ST interior detailing includes revised white on black instrument graphics and matt finish rings around the instruments themselves, added brightwork on the handbrake and door pull handles, and aluminium ‘ST’ scuff plates on the door sills.
"These elements are details the more enthusiastic driver looks for in a sporty car, the ‘jewels’ that advertise elegantly that you’re inside something special," says Ford’s Small Car Chief Designer, Ehab Kaoud.
The Fiesta demonstrates the latest design thinking for the ST brand, as defined by TeamRS. The look is more overtly performance orientated and the cabin benefits from the sporty detailing that is expected in this class.
The Fiesta ST clearly establishes the design aims for ST. As TeamRS Chief Designer, Chris Clements, explains: "Fiesta ST establishes a new style of ST ‘look’ for Ford. We have developed the key styling cues evident in the Focus ST170 and the Mondeo ST 220 and created a more recognisable performance variant with the Fiesta ST. It was important for us to get the design right. The Fiesta ST is an integral part of the Fiesta family as well as the sporty Ford family, and it has to take our ST range into a new realm."
The Fiesta ST is based on the three-door Fiesta model which, unusually among cars in its class, already has its own distinctively sporty appearance compared with its five-door counterparts. To achieve this, the three-door features a more sloping roofline and steeper angled tailgate, creating a youthful and lively look.
Faster from the outside
Fiesta ST develops this further and adds a strong performance flavour. At the front a new bumper and air dam moulding features a deeper, more sporty version of Fiesta’s hallmark trapezoidal grille. Either side of this are situated circular front fog lights with anodised matt metallic finish surrounds, similar to those seen in earlier ST models.
The grille opening has been tailored for optimum engine breathing, and the small lip spoiler under the front air dam is the result of detail aerodynamic tuning.
Subtle side skirts carry the lower body line of Fiesta ST through from the front bumper to the rear where there is a matching, deeper new bumper moulding. This has a large air diffuser opening and, like the front bumper, has its lower section finished in a charcoal grey colour. To complete the detailing, the exhaust tail pipe is finished with a half-round section, polished metal trim as it exits the bumper.
A rear roof spoiler has been fitted and the gap between this and the roof has been carefully tuned for optimum aerodynamics, reducing drag and improving downforce.
New body side mouldings angle down towards the front end of the car and further emphasise the urgent, performance stance of the Fiesta ST. Body side mouldings, door handles and newly designed door mirrors, powered and heated, are all body coloured.
The whole effect is complemented by the lowered suspension, wide tyres and large, wheel arch filling alloy wheels. These are available with a 9- spoke pattern on 16 inch diameter wheels and 11-spoke on 17 inch diameter wheels. These alloys were specially developed for the car and their look is another styling element that establishes the ST brand in the hierarchy of performance Fords.
Fiesta ST will be available as standard in eight colours, including a unique Performance Blue finish previously seen only on the Focus RS. The TeamRS design department has also created a very special edition colour scheme derived from the twin racing stripes that are such a big part of Ford’s competition heritage. This version is finished in Glacier White paintwork with twin wide ST-blue stripes running up the bonnet, along the roof and down the rear tailgate, in a style that echoes the famous GT40.
Fiesta ST is powered by a specially modified version of Ford’s 2.0 litre Duratec 16-valve engine, delivering 150PS and a wide spread of torque for flexibility and pulling power. The Fiesta ST gets from 0 to 60mph in just 7.9 sec and 0 – 100 km/h sprint takes 8.4 secs and maximum speed is 208 km/h.
Fiesta’s acclaimed chassis has been modified to deliver class-leading handling and roadholding for the ST. Steering is quicker acting and the brakes have improved in performance, with rear disc brakes fitted for the first time on Fiesta.
Transmission ratios in the five-speed manual gearbox have been revised and there is a new, short-throw gearshift for ultra-fast, precise gear changes.
Fiesta ST looks the part, too. A wider and deeper front grille, new bumper mouldings, discrete side skirts and a functional rear spoiler complement its low stance, and handsome multi-spoke alloy wheels with low profile, specially tuned Pirelli P Zero tyres to create a bold, performance look.
Inside, the cabin has also been given the ST treatment. Unique new front sports seats are trimmed in black leather with bold red or blue cloth centre sections and the distinctive new ST logo. ST interior detailing includes a thick, leather-wrapped steering wheel, unique gear lever, metal foot pedals and ST branded scuff plates.
At the heart of the new Fiesta ST is the 1999cc Ford Duratec engine, first seen in the Mondeo and also a cornerstone of the new Focus range. The 2.0 litre Duratec engine characteristics are ideally suited to the performance Fiesta as it combines free-revving performance and impressive low-end torque for excellent all-round driveability.
These characteristics also mean that the Fiesta ST’s Duratec 2.0 litre engine can be used in a relatively standard state of tune, adhering to the Sports Technologies principles of enjoyable performance achieved without sacrificing everyday driving capability or dependability.
In the Fiesta ST the engine develops 150PS at 6,000 rpm, compared with the 145PS at 6,000 rpm when installed in the new Focus. The increased output is the result of an all-new, low-loss intake system and a new sports exhaust system that has been developed specifically for the Fiesta ST. Maximum torque of 190Nm is increased from 185Nm and the torque delivery is exceptionally wide spread with 90 per cent of peak torque available from as low as 1,350 rpm, and more than 90 per cent per cent all the way from 2,200 to 6,150 rpm.
In performance terms this means that Fiesta ST has a highly competitive 0 – 100 km/h time of 8.4 seconds and is capable of a 208 km/h maximum speed. Even more important, though, is its mid range acceleration – the true measure of ‘real world’ performance. It can accelerate from 0 - 60 mph in 7.9 secs and 80 - 120 km/h in only 11.2 secs in fifth gear.
New variable intake system
The Duratec’s sophisticated variable intake system (VIS) is the secret to its impressive spread of torque. This system uses gas dynamic effects in the engine’s intake system to tune its performance through variable intake runner lengths. This technology improves the gas-dynamics inside the intake system.
The Duratec’s VIS intake manifold achieves this by using butterfly valves in the runners. These valves are operated by a vacuum motor and split the runners into a longer part and a shorter part. They are closed at low rpm to give a long runner length, and are opened at high rpm to join all the runners to a common air chamber, which sets up a standing wave effectively to generate a shorter runner.
The lightweight, all aluminium alloy construction of the Duratec engine is the key to its successful installation in the Fiesta. The Duratec engine has a gravity sand-cast cylinder block with cast-iron cylinder sleeves cast directly into the block. An aluminium alloy ladder frame structure which carries the bottom crankshaft bearing races and a ribbed aluminium oil pan contribute further to stiffness.
The aluminium alloy cylinder head has an asymmetrical four-valves-per-cylinder layout with twin overhead camshafts driven by a silent chain drive.
In addition to the new exhaust system, considerable detail engineering work has been done by TeamRS to install the larger power unit into Fiesta ST’s engine compartment. The engine, which is inclined backwards at six degrees, mates to the Durashift transmission via a new clutch housing. Its belt driven auxiliaries have been re-positioned with a rear mounted alternator and front mounted air conditioning pump.
A low inertia flywheel has also been fitted to provide faster throttle response. The Fiesta ST exhaust system incorporates a revised catalyst for reduced back pressure and a great deal of detail tuning work has been done to give the engine a suitably sporty note.
Fiesta’s Durashift 5-speed manual transmission has been extensively modified to suit its application in Fiesta ST. A short-throw gearshift is fitted to allow quick, accurate shifting, all the gear ratios have been changed, and the first, second and third gearsets have been shot-peened for extra strength.
The TeamRS target for Fiesta ST was to create a fun to drive, rewarding and safe handling car. After nearly two years of development work, on every sort of road from twisty English country lanes to the famous Nurburgring Nordschleife, the team’s engineers feel they have more than achieved their objectives.
The Fiesta range was engineered from the start with a chassis intended to provide high standards of driving quality, inspired by the class-leading dynamics of Focus and augmented a dash of small car fun.
An exceptionally rigid body structure with ultra-stiff mounting points for the suspension and steering was the solid foundation for the team’s work. A rigid front-sub-frame carries the MacPherson strut front suspension and steering system, while the Fiesta’s rear suspension is a twist-beam system that provides accurate control of wheel geometry, has strong lateral stiffness to aid handling and good longitudinal compliance for ride comfort.
All these qualities enabled TeamRS to develop the Fiesta ST without the need for any structural changes to the Fiesta’s core suspension layout.
"The latest generation Fiesta is solid as a rock. It was the ideal basis for a performance derivative," says Ford’s Chief Engineer, Small Cars, Mark Stanton. "Fiesta ST builds on that quality and we believe it extends the strengths of Fiesta as the unquestioned dynamics leader in the segment."
Developed for handling and grip
The ST’s handling set-up has been tailored to reward the enthusiast driver and in the same time enabling relaxed driving. "What I am particularly proud of is that we have achieved its high standards of handling and grip while keeping a really good ride quality," said Ian Hull, Vehicle Integration Manager, TeamRS.
For the ST the front springs have also been considerably stiffened from 16.5N/mm of the standard car to 24N/mm, and the dampers have been recalibrated. A revised design for the front suspension knuckle provides more negative camber to the front suspension to generate more front end grip.
The rear springs also have been stiffened, from 15 to 17 N/mm, and the dampers modified to suit the ST. The twist beam axle has also been stiffened from 520 Nm/degree on the standard Fiesta to 720 Nm/deg.
The steering rack ratio for Fiesta ST has been shortened by ten per cent and the toe-in reduced, to make the steering more agile whilst maintaining high speed stability and controllability. The front sub-frame has been stiffened to enhance suspension control and to create an even more precise steering feel.
Fiesta brakes have been upgraded to match the performance of Fiesta ST. The 258mm x 22mm front ventilated discs have been fitted with larger calipers and pads from the Focus ST170.
At the rear, Fiesta gains disc brakes. Additionally, the brake system has been tuned for optimum response, achieving good initial bite followed by firm, progressive stopping performance from fine tuning of the brake booster.
ESP tuned to complement the ST
Ford’s Electronic Stability Programme (ESP) traction control system is fitted as standard in some European markets on Fiesta ST. ESP uses the individual wheel speed sensors of the ABS system together with yaw rate, steering input and lateral acceleration sensors to constantly monitor the car’s dynamic behaviour and compare it to the driver’s inputs. If the system detects imbalances, it first uses the traction control system to reduce engine power and prevent loss of traction. If it detects understeer, ESP provides a braking impulse to the inside rear wheel to stabilise the car. If it detects oversteer, a braking impulse to the offside front wheel has a similar effect.
The system has been specially calibrated by TeamRS chassis engineers to allow the enthusiast driver to exploit fully the fun to drive of ST within the safety net of the Fiesta ESP system, without the feeling of being restricted by the system.
In order to encourage use of the fun-to-drive aspects of Fiesta ST and fully utilise its chassis dynamics, the system’s oversteer control was also evolved. The result is an ESP calibration that, even under track conditions, the performance driver enjoys exploiting.
Tyre choice has been a crucial part of development, and TeamRS engineers worked closely with Pirelli to develop a special version of the tyre company’s latest high performance P Zero Nero tyre. The P Zero Nero has an asymmetric tread pattern with longitudinal channels to disperse water, optimised for position and size. The central strip is made up of continuous semi-slick elements to increase rigidity and improve directional precision whilst avoiding wheel slip during acceleration.
Fiesta ST comes with a choice of two wheel and tyre sizes, 195/45 ZR16 or 205/40 ZR17, the larger size being optional for most markets. Alloy wheels are a unique and distinctive multi-spoke design.
During the development process of the Fiesta ST a great deal of time and effort was spent ‘balancing’ the controls to create harmony between the feel and responses of the brakes, clutch, steering and gearshift. The objective was to have all these controls feel that they are a coherent part of the same car, and that they all have that essential sporty Ford feel which enthusiasts recognise and appreciate.
Times and standards certainly have changed since the original Fiesta XR2 appeared back in 1981. However some things have remained the same. Based on the MkI Fiesta, the XR2 was the fastest Fiesta when it arrived – the first capable of more than 160 km/h in fact. It was also created by Ford’s specialist performance team of the day, Special Vehicle Engineering, the predecessor of TeamRS. Its look with large spotlights, side striping and drilled alloy wheels, emphasised it’s status as a key part of the Ford sporting family of the time.
With lower, stiffer suspension based on that of the Fiesta Challenge race series of the day, the XR2 was certainly fun to drive. However, with just 83 bhp (84PS) and four gears, the 1.6 litre XR2 was a very modest development of the base car compared with today’s Fiesta ST.
The Fiesta Mk II arrived in 1983 and the XR2 version a year later, by now with five gears and a 96bhp (97 PS) version of the overhead camshaft CVH engine. It sported low profile tyres, wheel arch extensions and spoilers and skirts, while gas dampers, bigger brakes and uprated brakes sharpened the handling.
Fiesta performance took a quantum leap forwards when the Mk III based XR2i was introduced in 1989. The ‘i’ of the name stood for fuel injection and, thanks to this, the new car had more power of 108bhp (110 PS) and a very competitive turn of speed. Though more subtle looking than its predecessors, it was the best handling sporty Fiesta yet and more than held its own in the hot hatchback market of the day, which it helped significantly to develop.
However, the horsepower race was hotting up. Ford then unveiled a car that, until the launch of the new Fiesta ST, remained the most powerful Fiesta of them all. This was the Fiesta RS Turbo of 1990. Thanks to a turbocharged version of the 1.6 CVH engine, it developed 133bhp (135 PS) and had ’genuinely impressive’ performance. However, by common consent, it was demanding to drive, with all the inherent problems of a turbocharged engine – turbo lag, aggressive power delivery and torque steer.
Its successor, the Fiesta RS1800 of 1992 was slightly slower but a much more enjoyable performer, using a 1.6 litre, 131bhp version of Ford’s new Zetec engine.
Since then Ford’s small car performance efforts have concentrated on cars like the Puma and Focus. But now the fast Fiesta is back.
ST 2.0i Duratec 16V (150PS) 5 speed manual - 11,388.94 £
- 16" 7-spoke alloy wheels -350.00£
- Bluetooth hands-free technology and Voice Control System -250.00£
- Climate Pack- 500.00£
- Aluminium gear knob and handbrake cover- 50.00£
- Bosch satellite navigation system- 1,000.00£
- CD 6006 (6 disc in-dash) with remote ilo CD - 200.00£
- Centre stack bezel in silver - 50.00£
- Delete leather trim -400.00£
- Electronic Automatic Temperature Control (EATC) - 250.00£
- Electronic Stability Programme (ESP) - 350.00£
- ST Exterior Styling Pack - both over the top and side door stripes - 200.00£
- ST Exterior Styling Pack - over the top stripes -150.00£
- ST Exterior Styling Pack - side stripes on doors -75.00£
- ST Interior Styling Pack -100.00£
- Leather trim - 500.00£
- Metallic paint -350.00£
- Perimeter alarm - 200.00£
- Portable Music Connection Socket - 20.00£
- Power-fold door mirrors (body-coloured) -100.00£
- Privacy glass - 100.00£
- Rain sensing wipers and automatic headlamps -100.00£
- Rear parking distance sensor - 250.00£
- Reflex Pack - 200.00£
- Second remote key - 20.00£
- Smoker’s Pack - 15.00£
- ST sport leather heated seats - 750.00£
- Manual tilt/sliding sunroof - 400.00£
- Tow bar - 250.00£
- Visibility Pack -200.00£
- Technology Pack - 200.00£
- Sports Pack -300.00£
- Trip computer - 75.00£
Fiesta ST features additional to Fiesta Zetec S
- 17" 11-spoke sports alloy wheels
- ST-branded partial leather sports front seats
- Uprated braking system
- Sports-tuned steering
- Body-coloured door handles and bodyside mouldings
- ’Quickclear’ heated front windscreen
- Power/heated body-coloured door mirrors
- Unique sports gear knob and ST leather-wrapped steering wheel
- Stereo radio / 6-CD 6006 with remote controls
- ST scuff plates, metal pedals and silver-effect door pulls
- Thatcham Category 1 alarm
- Engines available: 2.0-litre 150PS Duratec petrol engine
- Available in three door Bodystyle only
Fiesta ST features identical to Fiesta Zetec S
- Body-coloured sports ’aero’ kit
- Lowered and stiffened sports suspension
- Front fog lights
- Clear side indicators
- Black gear knob with silver insert and gaiter ring
- Trip Computer
- Electrically-operated front windows, one-shot-down drivers window
- Remote central/double locking
- Remote tailgate release
- Courtesy light with theatre-style dimming
- Illuminated entry and greeting lights
Fiesta ST optional pack’s
- Technology Pack
- The new Technology pack available in the first quarter of 2007 will consist of automatic headlights and wipers, body-coloured power-fold door mirrors, remote controls for Radio/CD Player and a second remote key.
- Reflex pack and ESP
- Electronic Stability Programme (ESP) includes front impact airbags and side curtain airbags (deployed from the headlining) and rear centre head restraint.
Features included in every Fiesta
- 4 star Euro NCAP rating
- Intelligent Protection System with ‘smart’ driver’s and front passenger’s airbags*
- Anti-lock brakes (ABS) with electronic brake-force distribution
- Power-assisted steering
- Immobiliser – PATS (Passive Anti-Theft System)
- Tilt-adjustable steering column
- Three-point inertia reel seat belts for all five seats