Feb 27, 2013 - 10:15 AM - by STdan
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by Antony Ingram, 19 Jul 2016
The Fiesta is 40 and quick ones have been around nearly as long - here are five of the best
The Ford Fiesta is forty. That it's reached the four decade mark is impressive on its own. That it's been one of the biggest-selling cars in the country for that entire time even more so.
But there's another side to the Fiesta: Performance. When it arrived in 1976, the concept of the hot hatchback was at an embryonic stage, but Ford quickly realised a sporty version would hold great appeal.
Forty years later and with the Fiesta ST200 hitting the streets, that's still very much the case. Below you'll find five of the best fast Fiestas, and we explain just what made them so special.
The Supersport wasn’t technically the first sporting Fiesta – that was the 1300 Sport – but it was very much the precursor to the XR2 that followed in the second generation.
With 89bhp from its 1.3-litre engine and a 775kg kerb weight it was certainly lively by the standards of early 1980s shopping cars, and like the XR2 the styling still looks great today – think stripes, spotlights,... [Read More]
To commemorate the 40th anniversary of the launch of the Ford Fiesta, we head off on a road trip to Geneva in a 1976 example
by Steve Cropley, 25 June 2016
It’s easy, having ideas. Carrying them out is more challenging. This was the direction of my thinking at 6am on a Sunday morning in March, when I pitched up at the London address of Mr Stan Papior, master photographer, to drive with him to Geneva for the annual car show, one of the better dates in the motoring year.
Our transport? A 1976 Ford Fiesta.
It wasn’t the novelty of the trip that created my concerns that morning. We’ve both driven the route many times – me most notably years ago in a 1912 Ford Model T. On that occasion, we took a leisurely three days to cover the 600 miles to the Swiss capital – and enjoyed it so much that as our destination drew near, we slowed so as not to end it.
No, my concern this time was the tightness of our schedule versus the Mk1 Fiesta’s capabilities. We needed to complete the trip in one long day of driving and this little car had just 45bhp from a 957cc four-pot engine under its bonnet. Its four-speed gearbox had an ultra-short top gear, which meant even when doing 65-70mph it had to sing for its supper. It rolled on 13in steel wheels and puny 145-section tyres. Its top speed was quoted at just over 80mph and its 0-60mph time at 17.8sec – but both were optimistic in the accepted way of ‘claimed’ manufacturers’ figures back in the day.
In any case, the car would have to cope with the non-standard weight of two blokes (one regular, one large) plus quite a bit of luggage and camera gear. There was no getting around it: it was slow.
Yet it was that fondly remembered Model T trip that had... [Read More]
by Mircea Panait, 21st June 2016
One year after Volkswagen brought the Polo into this world, Ford gave birth to the similarly sized Fiesta. The best-selling subcompact in Europe is in its sixth generation since 2008, making it just as old as the current SEAT Ibiza. All that is about to change sometime next year, probably in Geneva, with the advent of the seventh-generation Ford Fiesta.
This is not the first time our spy photographers caught the all-new Ford Fiesta in action. However, this is not your regular Fiesta. It is, in fact, an ST. The clues that give it away are the sporty wheels shod in low-profile tires, the two exhaust tips that stick out the right-hand side of the rear bumper, and the intercooler up front.
If I’m not mistaken, the 2018 Ford Fiesta ST employs twist-beam suspension at the rear, but I’m not surprised. This is the norm in the segment and, for what it’s worth, the current Ford Fiesta ST has a similar setup. The footprint of the new kid on the block, however, is a bit longer and a bit wider than that of its predecessor. This should help with carving corners, as will Enhanced Torque Vectoring Control.
The moment you realize that FoMoCo is benchmarking the 2018 Ford Fiesta ST against the current model is the moment you realize that the Blue Oval will not dare to alter the tried-and-tested recipe. As such, you’re looking at a FWD hot hatch animated by a four-cylinder EcoBoost engine and a six-speed manual.
It’s natural to assume that the hood hides a 1.6-liter turbo engine with more than 200 PS (197 HP) and 214 lb-ft (290 Nm). Not only does it have to be... [Read More]
by Mike Duff, June 17, 2016
A special edition ST, but is it actually special enough?
New car launches tend to be organized with the sort of relentless precision normally reserved for military operations, to ensure attending journalists don't have to do too much stressful thinking. We're a flock of pampered sheep: go here, do this, eat lunch, drive there, watch this presentation, eat dinner and then drink lots and lots of free booze until your thoughts turn appropriately positive.
Which is why Ford's free-form introduction to the Fiesta ST200 was such a refreshing change. I'm flown into Nice, given a map and a packed lunch and then chucked the keys to the uber ST with no more detailed instructions than a polite request that I get to the hotel near Castellane in time for dinner. There the chief project engineer, Matthius Tonn, will be on hand to answer any questions I might have, leaving me with four hours to kill in a part of the world packed with great driving roads.
On paper, it's hard not to be underwhelmed by the ST200. Or, more precisely, by what it offers over the standard ST in return for a chunky £3,000 supplement over an ST-3. There's more power - 218hp and 236lb ft on a 15-second overboost - but the only other significant mechanical change is the arrival of a lower final drive ratio to close up the gearing. Beyond that buyers will be paying for the black alloys, Storm Grey paintwork (which isn't offered on any other Fiesta variant, and which puts me instantly in mind of rattle-can primer) plus a couple of ST200 badges. There are red brake calipers as well, although the hardware is the same.
... [Read More]
by CJ Hubbard, 15 June 2016
► More power, shorter ratios, 6.7sec 0-62mph
► Subtle chassis enhancements, still great to drive
► Exclusive paint, exclusive seats, exclusive price
What we’re dealing with here is a timely reminder from Ford that the Fiesta ST is still the car to beat in the supermini hot hatch sector – no matter what kind of fancy paint job and limited-slip differential might be available from rivals. Though come to think of it, making the Fiesta ST200 exclusively available in a kind of gloss primer grey might just be a joke at the attention-seeking Peugeot 208 GTi’s expense.
The colour is officially called Storm Grey and contrasts nicely with the machine-finished 17-inch black alloys that the ST200 also comes with as standard. But the visual appeal here is most definitely secondary to performance upgrades, which include a revised chassis, shorter gearing and a nominal output of 197bhp.
Why does the phrase ‘nominal output’ make me suspicious?
Like the regular Fiesta ST, which puts the figure 179bhp down on its insurance form, the 197bhp Fiesta ST200 has an overboost function. Which means if you go the full Hulk smash on the accelerator pedal you’ll get an addition hit of 15bhp for up to 20 seconds, bringing the total to 212bhp. Ditto the torque, which rises from an already engorged 214lb ft (20% up on standard) to 236lb ft for the same maximum time period.
This brings the ST200’s actual potency up to the same level as the ... [Read More]
Significantly more entertaining than the office Cinco de Mayo party.
By ANDREW WENDLER, June 2016
Overview: We immediately warmed to the fun-to-fling Ford Fiesta ST when it emerged from the oven for the 2014 model year, and little has changed since then to curb our appetite for this hot hatch. Although it’s hewn from the standard Fiesta, Ford comprehensively reworks that version’s suspension for ST duty. In addition to applying the usual tricks of firming up the electrically assisted power steering and the dampers and increasing the spring rates (by about 20 percent), fitting 10.9-inch rear discs, and lowering the center of gravity by 0.6 inch, Ford also performed some comprehensive reengineering. For starters, it systematically reworked the attachment points of the front knuckles, fitted a thicker front anti-roll bar and a steering rack with a quicker ratio (13.6:1 for the ST versus 14.3:1 for the standard Fiesta), and last, but most definitely not least, incorporated a computerized pseudo torque-vectoring control that brakes the inside front wheel in turns, to help curb understeer and improve turn-in.
All of the chassis work would be pointless without an equally eager powertrain, so Ford fits the Fiesta ST with its 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder and a six-speed manual transmission as the only powertrain. Producing 197 horsepower and 202 lb-ft of torque, the Fiesta ST soundly trumps the 120-hp naturally aspirated four-banger and ... [Read More]
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