In Sport mode, engine mapping and throttle pedal response are sharpened and there’s more “driving feedback”, says Ford. Sport mode also creates more noise, through Ford’s Electronic Sound Enhancement technology and the opening of the active exhaust noise control valve, both of which heighten the exhaust note and engine noise within the cabin.
In Track mode, Ford says all of the vehicle’s dynamics are tuned for the fastest possible lap times, traction control is disabled and electronic stability control is set to wide-slip mode for circuit driving.
ESC offers drivers a choice of three modes — full system intervention, wide-slip mode with limited intervention and full system deactivation.
The ST’s chassis also uses torque vectoring to improve roadholding and reduce understeer by applying braking force to the inside front wheel when cornering.
Tonn commented: "We have spent a lot of time on the suspension and chassis, and found a new way to set it up."
He added that there has been a lot of work to finesse the sound. "We have the active exhaust from the Mustang. On low rpm, the exhaust valves open. At higher rpm, there's a sound enhancement system that amplifies the sound. This used to be digital sounding, but faster processors now make it sound more alive."
"The benchmark was the old ST, then the ST200 came long. It has been a very good basis for this."
Ford Fiesta ST design details
Available in three-door and five-door versions, echoing the current ST, the car’s exterior design includes a “race car-inspired” mesh grille, large rear wing and exclusive 18in alloy wheels, as well as a new Liquid Blue paint colour.
Inside, there are Recaro seats and a flat-bottomed steering wheel. Customers can choose from a range of trims for the gearlever, steering wheel and door pulls, as well as a number of styling packs.
Ford’s latest infotainment system, Sync3, also features. It uses a tablet-like touchscreen up to 8.0in in size that can be operated with pinch and swipe gestures. The ST will also offer a high-end B&O Play sound system, first announced on the standard Fiesta late last year.
The new Fiesta ST goes on sale early next year and is expected to be priced slightly higher than the outgoing model, which starts at £18,145.