It’s not an RS, but it’s the next best thing.

Just last month at the launch of the new Ford Focus RS, CarAdvice reported that Ford Performance’s Chief Engineer, Tyrone Johnson, said that a Ford Fiesta RS was definitely not in any of Ford’s plans for the future. It was quite a bummer to hear, but that was before we heard about the vehicle you see here – the Ford Fiesta ST200. That’s right, Ford didn’t make an RS variant of the Fiesta, but it did come out with a high-performance model of the little hot hatch.

The Fiesta ST hit the market in 2013 with a power output of 179 horsepower and 177 pound-feet of torque from its 1.6-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder. The ST200 that is set to debut in Geneva is said to produce 10 percent more power and 20 percent more torque than the Fiesta ST. However, that isn’t all that comes with the ST200. It also comes with an exciting list of features not available on other Fiesta models.

Raj Nair, Ford’s Executive Vice President and Chief Technical Officer, said, “Whether it’s the new Fiesta ST200, or our game-changing all-new Focus RS, or the groundbreaking Ford GT supercar, our Ford Performance offering has never been so strong. Ford’s EcoBoost engine technology has enabled a Ford Performance model to suit every budget and lifestyle.” And Joe Bakaj, Ford Europe’s VP of product development, even said he thinks the new Fiesta ST200 is a “classic in the making.”

So will the ST200 live up to the hype that comes with this preview leading up to its debut at the Geneva Auto Show? Well, we won’t know until deliveries start in the summer, but we can take a closer look at it to see what sets it apart from the Fiesta ST.

Continue reading to learn more about the 2017 Ford Fiesta ST200.

  • 2017 Ford Fiesta ST200
  • Year:
    2017
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    inline-4
  • Horsepower @ RPM:
    197
  • Torque @ RPM:
    213
  • Displacement:
    1.6 L
  • 0-60 time:
    6.6 sec. (Est.)
  • Top Speed:
    143 mph
  • car segment:
  • body style:

Exterior

2017 Ford Fiesta ST200 High Resolution Exterior
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2017 Ford Fiesta ST200 High Resolution Exterior
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2017 Ford Fiesta ST200 High Resolution Exterior
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As you can see from the exterior, there are no physical changes to speak of, but Ford is offering the Fiesta ST200 with a unique Storm Grey finish. The black color of the front grille, air dam louvers, corner vents, mirror arms, and those 17-inch alloy wheels really come together to make a nice visual package. It’s commendable that Ford chose a darker color as opposed to something brighter and more eye-catching. In addition to the unique paint, the Fiesta ST200 also comes standard with red brake calipers and a “ST 200” badge on the rear hatch.

As part of the upgrades, Ford Performance also fine-tuned the suspension dampers and springs, both in the front and rear. This drops the ride height by 15 mm and therefore lowers the Fiesta’s center of gravity. The Fiesta ST200 certainly has a better stance than the ST. It’s nice to see less gap between the tires and the wheel arches.

Interior

2017 Ford Fiesta ST200 High Resolution Interior
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On the inside, Ford took the Recaro seats from the ST, but this time, they are partially wrapped in Charcoal colored leather that is held together by silver stitching. The seat belts have silver detailing and illumination has been added to the car’s scuff plates. There are also a couple of other changes to point out as well. The door panels on the current Fiesta ST have door handle toward the front, with mirror and window controls a little farther back on the trim.

It is a much cleaner look, and without the bulky pull handle toward the front, the cabin actually looks a little more spacious.

On the ST200, the door panel has been revamped, with the pull handle in the middle of the armrest, and the mirror and mirror controls toward the front of the panel. The storage pockets in the bottom of the trim look to be unchanged. It is a much cleaner look, and without the bulky pull handle toward the front, the cabin actually looks a little more spacious.

The steering wheel, instrument cluster, and dash all appear to be the same as the ST, but take a look at the infotainment control knob. On the ST200, the control knob is much larger. And, the other noticeable change is the ST200 badge that has been added to the center console, just in front of the shifter and below the climate control panel. They aren’t major changes, but they do help to differentiate the model. I suspect we’ll see the different door panels and infotainment control knob on other Fiesta models in the future.

Drivetrain

2017 Ford Fiesta ST200 High Resolution Exterior
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The 1.6-liter, EcoBoost, four-cylinder engine now pumps out 197 horsepower and 213 pound-feet of torque

The drivetrain department is where the purpose of the ST200 comes from. The 1.6-liter, EcoBoost, four-cylinder engine now pumps out 197 horsepower and 213 pound-feet of torque – that’s nearly 18 horsepower and 37 pound-feet of torque more than the Fiesta ST when in launched in 2013. Not a bad power upgrade right? Well, it gets even better. In addition to the tuning that helps create the additional horsepower and torque, the ST200 now has transient overboost. This allows the EcoBoost engine to deliver and additional 15 horsepower and 22 pound-feet for up to 15 seconds on demand.

Ford also changed up the Ratio of the ST200’s final drive gear. The gear has been changed to 4.08:1 as opposed to the 3.82:1 ratio found in the standard Fiesta ST. Ford didn’t release performance figures for the 0-to-60 mph sprint time, but it did say that the ST200 has a top speed of 143 mph – 13 mph higher than the Fiesta ST. Given the engine enhancements and smaller final gear, I expect the ST200 to hit the 60 mph sprint in 6.6 or 6.7 seconds.

Safety

2017 Ford Fiesta ST200 High Resolution Exterior
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The ST200 comes with enhanced torque vectoring control and three-mode electronic stability control. To help offer better corner and overall agility, the ST200 has a modified front steering knuckle and an adapted rear twist-beam. With a 13.69:1 steering ratio, and the shortened steering arm (made possible by the modified front steering knuckle) the ST200 can turn quicker than the ST and has less body roll – meaning you can power around your favorite corner just a little bit faster. To help bring the ST200 to a stop quickly and efficiently, the vehicle is equipped with an enhanced braking system that includes a larger tandem master cylinder and rear disc brakes.

Prices

Ford didn’t elaborate on pricing for the Fiesta ST200. We know the current Fiesta ST starts out at $20,970, so expect the ST200 to start out somewhere closer to $25,000. We’ll update you with official pricing information as soon as it becomes available.

Competition

Volkswagen Polo GTI

2015 Volkswagen Polo GTI High Resolution Exterior
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Volkswagen released its new Polo GTI; what would you give to get this hot hatch in the U.S.?

One of the more dominate vehicles in the “supermini” segment is the Volkswagen Polo GTI. The Polo has gone through 4 generational changes since its debut in 1975 and, in 2014, Volkswagen gave the fifth-gen model a much-needed facelift. Since the Polo is basically a smaller and cheaper version of the Volkswagen Golf, it should come as no surprise that the Polo GTI shares the same “GTI” design cues and qualities as its bigger brother. At the time of the writing, the Polo GTI comes in three- or five-door form and is offered with a 1.8-liter, gasoline-powered, four-cylinder that delivers 189 horsepower to the front wheels. Power can be channeled through a six-speed manual transmission or a seven-speed DSG unit. When equipped with the six-speed, the Polo GTI returns 47.1 mpg on the European cycle. With the seven-speed DSG, it promises 50.4 mph on the Euro scale. Pricing for the three-door model starts out at $24,678 while the five-door model starts out at $25,491.

Read our full review on the Volkswagen polo GTI here.

Conclusion

2017 Ford Fiesta ST200 High Resolution Exterior
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I must admit that I’m a little surprised to see that Ford decided to make a more powerful model of the Fiesta without giving it an RS badge, but maybe if consumers respond well to the ST200, Ford will reconsider making a Fiesta RS. I wouldn’t mind seeing a Fiesta that could actually compete with the likes of something like the Civic Type R. Just image how much fun the Fiesta would be with 300 ponies at its disposal. Ford really didn’t outdo itself with the ST200, so I have a feeling it will have consumers asking for more. This may lead the way for other factory options down the road that may provide more horsepower gains or more individual customizations. If nothing else, I can think of a few aftermarket tuners that will probably put together some decent programs for the Fiesta.

  • Leave it
    • * Not an RS model
    • * Doesn’t compete with models like the Civic Type R
    • * Could have had more exterior styling

Press Release

The acclaimed Ford Fiesta ST compact hot hatch is about to get even hotter.

Ford will today reveal ahead of the Geneva Motor Show a new Ford Fiesta ST200 model that delivers 10 per cent more power and 20 per cent more torque, with 200PS and 290Nm from a specially calibrated 1.6-litre EcoBoost petrol engine.

2017 Ford Fiesta ST200 High Resolution Exterior
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The most powerful production Fiesta ever, the Fiesta ST200 will sprint from 0-62mph in 6.7sec, and will feature an exclusive specification including a unique Storm Grey exterior, distinctive machined matt black alloy wheels and special interior detailing. Production of the Fiesta ST200 starts from June with customer deliveries this summer.

“The Fiesta ST is truly beloved by owners and critics. The ST200 takes this special drivers’ car to a new level of power and performance,” said Joe Bakaj, vice president, Product Development, Ford of Europe. “I think it’s a future classic in the making.”

Fiesta ST200

In addition to the exclusive exterior colour and 17-inch alloy wheel specification, Fiesta ST200 models also will feature red painted brake callipers and an enhanced interior with unique partial leather Charcoal Recaro front seats and contrasting silver stitching, alongside illuminated scuff plates and seatbelts with silver detailing.

The Fiesta ST200’s 1.6-litre EcoBoost engine can deliver an additional 15PS and 30Nm of torque for up to 15 seconds using transient overboost. A 4.06 ratio final drive – shortened from 3.82 in the Fiesta ST – further enhances in-gear acceleration for improved drivability and an even more fun to drive experience. Top speed is 143mph.

Like the Fiesta ST, the ST200 delivers optimised cornering and agility using:

2017 Ford Fiesta ST200 High Resolution Exterior
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Enhanced Torque Vectoring Control and 3-mode Electronic Stability Control
A specially modified front steering knuckle
An adapted rear twist-beam with increased roll-stiffness
Unique front and rear spring and damper settings with a 15 mm lower centre of gravity
Sharper 13.69:1 steering ratio and shortened steering arm
Enhanced braking system with a larger tandem brake master cylinder and rear disc brakes

The Fiesta ST launched in 2013, delivering 182PS and 240Nm of torque from a 1.6‑litre EcoBoost engine and 0-62 mph acceleration in 6.9 seconds – quickly establishing itself as the Europe’s leading compact performance hatchback and earning more than 20 awards around the world within its first year on sale. Ford has since sold 30,000 Fiesta STs in Europe, of which over 19,200 were in Britain.

Road- and race-car Ford GTs side-by-side

Ford earlier this month confirmed that four Ford Chip Ganassi Racing Ford GTs – two competing in the 2016 FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) and two in the 2016 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship –will race for GTE Pro class glory at the iconic 24 Hours of Le Mans endurance race on June 18-19.

Ford is returning to Le Mans 50 years after achieving a legendary 1-2-3 finish at the 1966 race with the original Ford GT40 race-car. The four cars will carry race numbers 66, 67, 68 and 69 in a nod to Ford’s four successive Le Mans victories between 1966 and 1969.

Accompanying the race- and road-car Ford GTs in Geneva will be four Ford Chip Ganassi Racing Le Mansdrivers; Stefan Muecke, Olivier Pla and Andy Priaulx from the WEC; and Dirk Mueller from the IMSA championship.

The pinnacle of the Ford Performance line-up, the all-new Ford GT serves as a technology showcase for EcoBoost performance, aerodynamics and lightweight carbon fibre construction.

The Ford GT will be one of the most exclusive Ford vehicles ever with limited volume sold around the world and production for customers in Europe starting late this year.

2017 Ford Fiesta ST200 High Resolution Exterior
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“Whether it’s the new Fiesta ST200, or our game-changing all-new Focus RS, or the groundbreaking Ford GT supercar, our Ford Performance offering has never been so strong,” said Raj Nair, Ford executive vice president and chief technical officer, Global Product Development. “Ford’s EcoBoost engine technology has enabled a Ford Performance model to suit every budget and lifestyle.”

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