There are twin worlds of involvement to be found at opposite ends of this car. In many of the ST’s £20,000 hot hatch opponents, you feel lucky to strike up a relationship with one axle that’ll keep you coming back for more, corner after corner. But in the Fiesta, you can be at once totally engrossed in the adhesive tenacity of the car’s front wheels and also in the jocular handling adjustability granted by the rear ones – all at the same time.
The Fiesta puts its extra-direct steering to good use, changing direction with real immediacy. Thankfully, it comes partnered with useful steering weight and a fixed ratio, both of which ultimately make it possible to process, albeit also with a hint of elasticity and compliance about the rack’s tactile feel.
This is, just as the first Focus RS was, a front-wheel-drive car you can steer on the throttle. Keep your foot into the accelerator travel and it will dive keenly into bends just as you turn away from dead centre, as if an invisible passenger had just given the wheel an extra positive tug.
Leave the car on a balanced throttle and it turns in less aggressively, but still with enormous keenness and good stability. Turn in on a trailing throttle, meanwhile, and you can tease the kind of controllable liftoff oversteer from this car that its predecessors traded on 25 years ago – although doing it takes just a touch more provocation than it did in the last-gen ST.