What is it?
As well it might: it has 179bhp, which, although around 10 per cent less than the class’s fastest, should prove sufficient in a four-metre supermini that will weigh around 1100kg (official kerbweight hasn’t been released at the time of writing).
That power output – strong but not outstanding – should give you an idea of where Ford intends the Ford Fiesta ST to sit in its range.
Unlike Renault or Peugeot, Ford doesn’t have one sporting line, it has ST and RS badges to use, with ST the daily drivers and RS the hardcore models. So, like the latest Focus ST, the Fiesta is meant to be enjoyable but not uncomfortable, fast but docile.
It costs from under £17,000 and is available in two trim levels – ST1 and ST2, imaginatively, with the latter £1000 more expensive and adding heated, part leather seats, DAB radio and a few other extras.
Power comes from a 1.6-litre turbocharged four-pot and drives the front wheels through a six-speed manual gearbox. There’s no flappy paddle option, and neither is there a mechanical limited-slip differential – the preserve of RS models, you feel.
Instead, the Ford Fiesta gets Torque Vectoring Control, an extension of the stability control that brakes a spinning inside wheel, replicating some of the effects of an LSD.
Suspension is 15mm lower than regular Fiestas, spring and damper rates are appropriately a mite stiffer, as is the rear torsion beam, while there are 17-in alloys wearing 205/40 Bridgestone Potenza all round.
The power steering is electrically assisted, and is a different, faster (2.4 turns) rack than on regular Fiestas, though remains linear: unlike a Servotronic, system it doesn’t get faster as you wind on more lock to increase agility.