When we first saw the Ford Fiesta ST as a concept car at the 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show and later in five-door form at the L.A. show, it seemed like a no-brainer that the small, go-fast hatch would be built. Not surprisingly, Ford has made it official with the reveal of the production-spec version of the 2013 Ford Fiesta ST debuting at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show in advance of its in European showroom launch early next year.
As was the case in the Fiesta ST concept, the motivating force comes from an EcoBoost turbocharged 1.6-liter inline-four engine, with 178 hp and 177 lb-ft of torque directed to the front wheels by way of a six-speed manual transmission. Ford says the Fiesta ST will hit 62 mph in less than seven seconds, with a top speed north of 136 mph. To help keep up with the power increase, the Fiesta ST also scores unique suspension tuning that is 0.6-in. lower than a regular Fiesta, Torque Vectoring Control, and a three-mode stability control system.
The Fiesta ST's mechanical upgrades are matched by a new body kit with a trapezoidal mesh grille, roof spoiler, new side skirts, lower front and rear fascias, and twin exhaust tips. Recaro seats with contrasting inserts that match the bodywork, metal sport pedals, and Sync voice recognition are all standard. The car looks like a scaled-down version of the Focus ST -- a move we're sure was deliberate.
Based on what Ford has told us so far, we have high hopes for the Fiesta ST's performance character. Ford director of Global Performance Vehicles Jost Capito claims drivers "will be blown away by the new Fiesta ST." An engineer with Ford's Special Vehicle Team previously told us that the new car is "designed to reward excellent drivers, and flatter novices." The car was tested and developed at the Nurburgring in Germany.
One big question remains: Will the Ford Fiesta ST be sold in the U.S.? The version shown here is a two-door model that likely won't arrive on our shores because the American market only gets four-door Fiestas at present. But Ford received strong response to the four-door Fiesta ST concept at the L.A. show last fall and "remains open to the idea" of selling the Fiesta ST in America. That sounds like tacit confirmation to us that the hot hatch is destined for American market in four-door form sometime after the two-door launches in Europe next year.