This is the 2014 Ford Fiesta ST:
While someone might think, “Pfffft, that’s just an econobox with some fancy aero add-ons,” that thinking will change rapidly when that someone takes a look at this, the Fiesta ST in action:
John Davis is Ford North America's chief engineer for the Focus, Fiesta and C-Max. And one of the programs he recently had the opportunity to work on, with colleagues in the European Team RS and the U.S. SVT organization, is the Fiesta ST. (He also had a similar experience with the Focus ST program.) Which probably means that he has a lot of fun doing what he does. Or at least the opportunities to develop cars like those and behave like a hoonigan while sorting them out.
The Fiesta ST comes with a 1.6-liter, four-cylinder EcoBoost engine.
And someone might think, “Pfffft, the standard Fiesta has a 1.6-liter, four-cylinder engine. What’s the big deal with that?”
The big deal with that is this: whereas the engine in the non-ST Fiesta produces 120 hp and 112 lb-ft of torque, the Fiesta ST’s EcoBoost boosts those figures to 197 hp and 202 lb-ft of torque. Realize that both cars have essentially the same curb weight (<200 lb. difference), so that power goes right to the 17-in. wheels as you wend your way through the gate of the six-speed manual transmission (that’s right: only a manual).
As Davis explains to John McElroy and Peter DeLorenzo, co-hosts of “Autoline After Hours,” and me, the car not only had the aforementioned cosmetic changes (as well as options like Recaro seats that will hug your bottom like a cushioned vise), but they tuned the electric power steering and the suspension (MacPherson struts in the front, twist-beam in the back) and put discs all around on their way to achieving the Fiesta ST.
You can learn about that as well as McElroy’s, DeLorenzo’s and my observations on last week’s developments in the auto world here: