What is it?
How can you improve on perfection? Simple, you can’t, or so the theory goes. Only in the exuberant, make-believe world of X-Factor does 110% exist; for the rest of us, 100% is as good as it gets. And the Fiesta ST is near-as-damn-it 100% perfect in driving terms. So, beyond its grey paint and matt-black alloys, can the Ford Fiesta ST200 really be any better?
Of course, there’s more to it than just fancy paint. It has 197bhp where the standard ST has 180bhp. There's also more torque from the 1.6-litre four-cylinder engine - 214lb ft of it. If that’s not enough, in the words of Irish jokester Jimmy Cricket, "There's more."
It's that oh-so-common overboost magic that gives you another 15bhp and 22lb ft for 20secs on full throttle. If you think about it, rarely is your foot down in one gear for more than 20secs, so you have the overboost pretty much whenever you need it and if you're worried about running out of the extra puff just lift off and put your foot down again.
There’s been fettling elsewhere, too. To compliment the extra power the final-drive ratio is shorter, giving more in-gear zip. The front anti-roll bar and rear twist-beam are stiffer to tighten body control, while the damping force has been reduced to give a smoother ride – arguably one bone of contention with the standard car.
Finally, tweaked ESP software and a revised steering knuckle aim to improve steering feel, particularly around the straight-ahead.