Offered only as a three-door in Europe, that amount buys the base ST which comes with Recaro seats, 17” alloy wheels, a DAB radio, Ford’s Sync connectivity system, a large rear spoiler and a black honeycomb front grille.
Additionally available will be a more lavishly equipped ST-2 version that costs £17,995. Its extra spec includes keyless start, heating and part-leather upholstery for the seats, LED daytime running lights, a Sony audio system and privacy glass.
To help ensure that the handling lives up to the sporty image, both models feature lowered, stiffer suspension and retuned steering. Also fitted is enhanced Torque Vectoring Control (eTVC), which balances power delivery between the two front wheels when accelerating through a corner.
Not that the output from the ST’s 1.6 litre turbocharged EcoBoost engine is excessive. It produces 180 bhp (134 kW / 182 PS) with 290 Nm (214 lb/ft) of peak torque, enough for a decent 0-62 mph (100 km/h) time of 6.9 seconds and a 136 mph (218 km/h) top speed.
Complementing the performance is a very respectable average fuel consumption figure of 47.9 mpg (5.9 l/100km), while carbon dioxide emissions are 138 g/km.
Those figures mean that the Fiesta ST compares favourably with four of its current rivals: the Mini Cooper S Hatch, Škoda Fabia vRS, Vauxhall Corsa VXR and Volkswagen Polo GTI. And the Ford is less expensive than any of them:
|Fiesta ST||£16,995 (ST-2: £17,995)|
|Cooper S Hatch||£18,180|
|Polo GTI||£19,430 (3-door) / £20,050 (5-door)|
|Fiesta ST||1.6 litre petrol turbo||6-speed manual|
|Cooper S Hatch||1.6 litre petrol turbo||6-speed manual|
|Fabia vRS||1.4 litre petrol turbo with supercharger||7-speed DSG auto|
|Corsa VXR||1.6 litre petrol turbo||6-speed manual|
|Polo GTI||1.4 litre petrol turbo with supercharger||7-speed DSG auto|
|Fiesta ST||180 bhp (134 kW / 182 PS)||290 Nm (214 lb/ft)|
|Cooper S Hatch||181 bhp (135 kW / 184 PS)||240 Nm (177 lb/ft)|
|Fabia vRS||176 bhp (132 kW / 180 PS)||250 Nm (185 lb/ft)|
|Corsa VXR||189 bhp (141 kW / 192 PS)||230 Nm (170 lb/ft)|
|Polo GTI||176 bhp (132 kW / 180 PS)||250 Nm (185 lb/ft)|
|Performance||0-62 mph (100 km/h)||Top speed|
|Fiesta ST||6.9 secs||136 mph (218 km/h)|
|Cooper S Hatch||7.0 secs||142 mph (228 km/h)|
|Fabia vRS||7.3 secs||139 mph (223 km/h)|
|Corsa VXR||6.8 secs||140 mph (225 km/h)|
|Polo GTI||6.9 secs||142 mph (228 km/h)|
|Efficiency||Combined fuel consumption||CO2|
|Fiesta ST||47.9 mpg (5.9 l/100km)||138 g/km|
|Cooper S Hatch||48.7 mpg (5.8 l/100km)||136 g/km|
|Fabia vRS||45.6 mpg (6.2 l/100km)||148 g/km|
|Corsa VXR||38.7 mpg (7.3 l/100km)||172 g/km|
|Polo GTI||47.9 mpg (5.9 l/100km)||139 g/km|
However, it’s worth bearing in mind that the performance supermini segment is due to be further shaken up later this year with the arrival of two new French contenders. The Peugeot 208 GTi and Renault Clio Renaultsport 200 Turbo will, coincidentally, both have 1.6 litre turbocharged engines developing 197 bhp (147 kW / 200 PS), but performance stats and prices have yet to be confirmed for either.
2013 Shelby Focus ST
Top 10: UK car sales 2012
European Fiesta updated