We know that the new Ford Fiesta ST is good. The pertinent question to address here is: exactly how good is it?

Has Ford promoted its hot Fiesta to a status worthy of as many superlatives as cars such as the original Focus RS and the Puma Racing? Has it eclipsed every prevailing dynamic standard of a dynasty of Renaultsport Clios

Is it possible that Ford has done all that and still left room for a Fiesta RS? Nothing provides illuminating answers quite like a comprehensive Autocar road test.

Ford's hot-hatch recipe certainly looks to have a lot of the right ingredients. Under the Fiesta's bonnet sits a turbocharged 1.6-litre EcoBoost petrol engine, which drives the front wheels through a six-speed manual gearbox.

Satisfyingly, the box-ticking doesn't end there. The Fiesta ST also receives upgraded suspension and steering, a torque vectoring system that emulates a limited-slip differential, a three-stage traction control system and myriad cosmetic tweaks.

Two very exciting and very commendable hot hatchbacks – the Peugeot 208 GTI and Renault Clio RS 200 Turbo – already sit subordinate to this fast Ford after our group test. That test was carried out on the country roads of south Wales, mind you – roads that this Ford three-door lit up with consummate ease.

If this new Ford Fiesta ST emerges with as much unequivocal credit after our full complement of tests – not to mention a whole lot more road driving and much debate – the Blue Oval could have a cult smash hit on its hands.

Save money on your car insurance

Compare quotesCompare insurance quotes

First drives

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Hyundai Nexo FCEV
    This is the new Hyundai Nexo FCEV
    First Drive
    20 February 2018
    The new Nexo SUV is a showcase for both hydrogen power and autonomous tech. Does that make it an appealing purchase?
  • Vauxhall Insignia GSi Sports Tourer
    This is the Vauxhall Insignia GSi Sports Tourer
    First Drive
    19 February 2018
    The Insignia GSi is Vauxhall's new performance flagship. Can this diesel estate version offer both pace and practicality?
  • Honda Civic Type R
    First Drive
    19 February 2018
    It’s a warm welcome to this steaming hot hatch. But is it too fiery for Britain’s roads?
  • Aston Martin DB11 Volante
    The DB11 Volante chassis' torsional rigidity is 22kN/deg, down from 34kN/deg on the coupe – but substantially more than the 14.7kN/deg of the DB9 Volante
    First Drive
    19 February 2018
    The DB11 Volante is the first convertible variant of Aston Martin's new model generation. How does it compare to the likes of the new Ferrari Portofino?
  • BMW 6 Series Gran Turismo front
    The new BMW 6 Series Gran Turismo
    First Drive
    16 February 2018
    The top-of-the-line 6 Series Gran Turismo has arrived in the UK, but does a more potent engine increase its unusual appeal?