The hottest production Fiesta ever – the ST200 – has been launched, and Perrys motoring journalist, Tim Barnes-Clay, was invited by Ford UK to check it out.
The Blue Oval’s Fiesta ST200 is a more potent version of the automaker’s existing small hot-hatch – the Fiesta ST. The big difference is that Ford has given it a shot-in-the-arm so that it has 17 more horses than usual – producing 197bhp rather than 180bhp.
You can ratchet clout up even further, albeit briefly, to 212bhp. It is only enhanced for 15 seconds by utilising the Fiesta ST200’s overboost feature, but, behind the wheel, it’s noticeable – and huge fun.
As with the regular Fiesta ST, the ST200 comes equipped with a six-speed manual transmission. The gear shift action is smooth and positive, and the quick changing cogs help to propel the car from zero to 62mph in just 6.7sec. Top speed is a sizzling 143mph. That makes the ST200 0.2sec quicker than the normal Fiesta ST on the 0-62mph dash and 4mph faster at the top end of the dial.
Official fuel economy is 46.3mpg, with CO2 emissions of 140g/km. The standard ST’s figures are 47.9mpg and 138g/km.
Aesthetically, the Ford Fiesta ST200 radiates masculinity with a special grey paint job – or ‘Storm Grey’ to give it its hotter name. The spicier than usual hot-hatch is also furnished with smart brightware in the cabin and it comes fitted with 17in matt black alloy wheels and sporty red brake calipers. Other factory-fitted kit comprises semi-leather front sports seats and an infotainment system that can be operated with your voice.
As with the Fiesta ST, Ford’s ST200 provides optimised cornering and dexterity using up-to- the-minute technology. This includes: Enhanced Torque Vectoring Control and three-mode Electronic Stability Control; unique front and rear spring and damper settings with a 15mm lower centre of gravity; a sharper steering ratio and an enhanced braking system.
The Fiesta ST200 can be ordered now and is making its way to UK Ford showrooms as you read this. Pricing for the ST200 starts off at £22,745. That’s £5,000 more than the standard Fiesta ST.
The Fiesta ST is still up there with the best in the hot-hatch segment, making it a tough car to beat. The ST200 is the one enthusiasts will go for – if they have the cash. It brings a grin to your face when it accelerates and embraces corners warmly and tightly. What’s more, the Fiesta’s sports seats keep you in place securely when tackling the bendiest bits of blacktop.
The Fiesta ST is truly beloved by owners and critics. “The ST200 takes this special drivers’ car to a new level of power and performance,” said Joe Bakaj, vice president, Product Development, Ford of Europe. “I think it’s a future classic in the making.”