New Ford Fiesta ST hot hatch stars at Geneva with new 1.5-litre three-cylinder turbo engine. Watch the video.

Ford has revealed a new Fiesta ST hot hatch, based on the upcoming seventh generation version of the supermini. The new ST family member is the firm’s headline act at the 2017 Geneva Motor Show.

The biggest news is the move to an-all new engine configuration. The 1.6-litre four-cylinder turbo used in the current car is out, replaced by a lightweight, aluminium 1.5-litre three-cylinder turbo.

The new motor produces 197bhp. That’s 17bhp up on the standard output of the current Fiesta ST, but equal to its ‘overboost’ figure. Torque swells from 240Nm to 290Nm, and Ford claims that the new Fiesta ST can crack 0-62mph in 6.7 seconds – two tenths quicker than the current generation model and on par with the ST200. A top speed just above 140mph seems likely.

Naturally, the downsized motor will be cleaner and more efficient than the outgoing four-cylinder. Ford reckons CO2 emissions for the new model will tumble from 138g/km to 114g/km, and with cylinder de-activation technology on-board, fuel-economy should improve too.

Speaking to Auto Express last year, Ford’s head of small cars in Europe, Darren Palmer spoke up the prospects of a three-cylinder ST, calling the new engine “promising”.

“It’s a great engine – it sounds brilliant and there’s loads of torque when the turbo comes on boost”.

However, the improvement drive won’t just focus on what’s under the bonnet. According to Palmer, the European development team at the brand’s Lommel testing facility in Belgium has “obsessed over the car’s steering. They’ve fine-tuned the calibration to make sure it drives exactly how a Fiesta should”. Palmer told us Ford knows it’s got one of the most popular superminis and wants to build on the nameplate’s popularity, so it’s “going in hard with the new Fiesta”.

The seventh generation Fiesta is still based on Ford’s global B-car platform, but on top of the tweaks received by the standard car to improve grip, plus the new model’s wider track, the ST’s chassis has been further tuned by Ford Performance.

Like on the previous generation car, a torque-vectoring unit can step in to reduce understeer by braking the inside front wheel in corners, and the new Fiesta ST comes with three selectable driving modes – Normal, Sport and Track – altering traction control, throttle response, power steering and exhaust valve settings.

From launch the new Fiesta ST will be available in both three-door and five-door bodystyles. In terms of design, it cuts a close look to the standard new Fiesta in ST-line trim, but with a slightly more aggressive front bumper and grille, a painted rear diffuser, and exclusive 18-inch alloy wheels. A new paint colour option, Liquid Blue, also appears.

In the new cabin, Ford promises greater levels of personalisation than before. Interior styling packs will be available, offering alternative trim and finishes on items around the cockpit. In terms of technology, the new Sync 3 infotainment system appears alongside touchscreen displays up to 8-inches in size. In tune with the car’s hot hatch image, Recaro sports seats with chunky side bolsters appear up front, and a flat-bottomed sports steering wheel makes the cut.

Though the car has made its debut at the 2017 Geneva Motor Show, Ford won’t be launching the new Fiesta ST until early 2018. Order books should open at the end of the year though, and we expect a slight increase to around the £19,000 mark when it goes on sale.

All-new 2018 Ford Fiesta ST unveiled with 197bhp | Auto Express