...and launch control.
Ford has released more details of its sporty upcoming Fiesta ST, which will go on sale later this year, but unfortunately not in the United States. The eagerly awaited new car will come loaded with tech aimed at making it one of the most engaging hot hatches to drive.
Headlining the new model will be an optional Quaife mechanical limited-slip differential which will improve cornering grip in the front-wheel-drive car. But that's not all, because the new Fiesta ST will also come with what Ford says is a world first – patented force vectoring springs, which the company says will deliver sharper turn-in and responsiveness for an "engaging, fun-to-drive experience." Not only will it keep the front pointing the right way, but the fancy springs will also keep the rear in check too.
The new ST will also come with a launch control function. In hot hatches, that kind of this is usually reserved for the top-end, four-wheel-drive models such as this car's bigger brother, the Focus RS.
"Hot-hatch drivers are expecting big things from this small car," said Leo Roeks, performance director for Ford Europe. "We’ve applied what we’ve learned from recent Ford Performance models including the Focus RS and Ford GT to develop an all-new Fiesta ST that sets a new standard for driving fun in its segment, with a throaty three-cylinder soundtrack that will speak to petrol-heads whatever their language."
Other features include an all-new three-cylinder, 1.5-liter EcoBoost engine which puts out just short of 200 horsepower. The engine note will also be amplified by a new exhaust which will feature active valve technology. For the first time ever on a Fiesta ST, there will be selectable driving modes which will alter the engine, steering and stability controls between normal, sport and track modes. There will also be cylinder deactivation – an industry first for the three-cylinder engine.
The new ST will be available with Sync 3 connectivity, a Bang & Olufsen Play high-end audio system and sophisticated driver assistance technologies such as lane keep assist and traffic sign recognition too.
Additional details are available in the press release section below, after the photos.
2018 Ford Fiesta ST
ALL-NEW FORD FIESTA ST OFFERS LIMITED-SLIP DIFFERENTIAL AND DEBUTS PATENTED TECHNOLOGY FOR ULTIMATE DRIVING DYNAMICS
Mechanical limited-slip differential to enhance cornering traction of all-new Ford Fiesta ST for the first time
Patented force vectoring springs deliver sharper turn-in and responsiveness for engaging, fun-to-drive experience. Launch Control delivers consistently fast standing starts on track
200 PS 1.5-litre EcoBoost engine delivers uniquely exhilarating three-cylinder soundtrack; features cylinder deactivation contributing to 11 per cent fuel efficiency improvement
Selectable Drive Modes shift all-new Fiesta ST character from flexible everyday hatchback to track-focussed sports car, flattering novice drivers and rewarding experts
COLOGNE, Germany, March 12, 2018 – Ford today revealed further details of the sophisticated Sports Technologies that will deliver the most responsive, engaging and fun-to-drive Fiesta ST experience ever, including:
An optional mechanical limited-slip differential (LSD) for optimised cornering grip
Segment-first, Ford-patented force vectoring springs for sharper turn-in, better rear-end responsiveness and a more connected feel
Optional Launch Control for consistently fast standing starts on track, supported by a dedicated graphical display in the instrument cluster
Ford last year revealed the all-new Fiesta ST, powered by an all-new, 200 PS, three-cylinder, 1.5-litre EcoBoost engine, and for the first time featuring selectable Drive Modes that enable engine, steering and stability controls to be configured to Normal, Sport and Track settings – shifting the vehicle’s character from flexible everyday hatchback to track-focussed sports car at the push of a button.
The all-new Fiesta ST also features:
Ford’s industry-first cylinder deactivation system for a three-cylinder engine for further improved fuel efficiency*
Active exhaust valve technology to amplify the uniquely exhilarating and naturally sporty three-cylinder engine sound
Available equipment including SYNC 3 connectivity, B&O PLAY high-end audio, and sophisticated driver assistance technologies such as Lane Keeping Aid and Traffic Sign Recognition
“Hot-hatch drivers are expecting big things from this small car. We’ve applied what we’ve learned from recent Ford Performance models including the Focus RS and Ford GT to develop an all-new Fiesta ST that sets a new standard for driving fun in its segment, with a throaty three-cylinder soundtrack that will speak to petrol-heads whatever their language,” said Leo Roeks, Ford Performance director, Europe.
Developed by Ford Performance to provide everyday usability and fuel efficiency alongside an exceptional driving experience that flatters the novice while rewarding the expert, the all-new version of Ford’s acclaimed hot-hatch goes on sale this spring.
Get a grip
The third-generation Fiesta ST is the first to be offered with an optional Quaife LSD, helping to optimise front-end traction for enhanced cornering ability – in particular delivering more grip on the exit of corners.
The mechanical system works to limit distribution of engine torque to a wheel with reduced grip – for example, the inside wheel during a cornering manoeuvre – to reduce wheel spin, and improves distribution of engine torque to the wheel with more grip to fully exploit engine performance.
The new LSD option works alongside Ford’s enhanced Torque Vectoring Control technology that improves road-holding and reduces understeer by applying brake force to the inside front wheel when cornering.
The balance between the two features has been fine-tuned by Ford Performance engineers to deliver optimal grip on dry surfaces and smoothness on wet surfaces.
“Performance car drivers will be familiar with the dreaded ‘one-wheel peel’, where a fast corner exit is hampered by an overload of torque to the inside wheel,” Roeks said. “We’ve tuned the all-new Fiesta ST’s mechanical LSD option to work seamlessly with enhanced Torque Vectoring Control to deliver the best possible natural traction without ‘burning away’ excess torque with brake interventions.”
Spring into action
Developed by Ford engineers, Ford-patented force vectoring springs improve the stability, agility and responsiveness of the all-new Fiesta ST’s twist-beam rear suspension – delivering a more connected feel and contributing to an exceptional fun-to-drive experience.
The all-new Fiesta ST is the first compact hot-hatchback to benefit from the technology that uses non-uniform, non-interchangeable, directionally-wound springs to apply vectoring forces to the rear suspension and enables cornering forces to travel directly into the spring, for increased lateral stiffness.
Advantages offered by the unique suspension configuration include:
Sharper turn-in and response to steering inputs and directional changes
A saving of 10 kg compared with a Watt’s linkage solution typically used to enhance stiffness
Compatibility with traditional suspension dampers
No compromise on comfort, ride quality or refinement
Ford’s force vectoring springs are cold-formed for greater durability and strength, with the varying pitch and diameter properties throughout the spring uniquely developed for the all-new Fiesta ST application.
In addition, the sophisticated suspension system features Tenneco twin-tube front and mono-tube rear dampers that use RC1 valve technology to deliver frequency-dependent damping – enabling enhanced body control while retaining high-speed driving refinement. Rear twist-beam roll stiffness of 1,400 Nm/deg is the firmest of any Ford Performance model.
“We went through three times the normal number of suspension iterations to find a set-up that delivered the exciting driving experience demanded of an ST model, but also comfort and refinement for everyday driving,” Roeks said. “The car’s sophisticated dampers self-adjust to tune out high-frequency road imperfections when there is limited demand for damping – like on the motorway, but adjust again to deliver optimised road-holding performance when driven hard.”
Ultimate standing-start performance
Developed for use on track only, optional Launch control will enable all-new Fiesta ST drivers to achieve maximum satisfaction with consistently fast standing starts.
Designed to be simple to use, drivers can select Launch Control using steering wheel controls, activating a dedicated graphical display in the 4.2-inch instrument cluster. Holding the throttle fully open will instruct the system to build engine rpm and automatically hold at the rev limit – filling an on-screen gauge that indicates when the car is prepared for launch.
Releasing the clutch fully then enables an optimised standing start with electronic stability control (ESC), traction control, Torque Vectoring Control and Torque Steer Compensation systems managing power and torque delivery.
Selectable Drive Modes add even more versatility for the all-new Fiesta ST, enabling drivers to optimise the driving experience to suit scenarios from school run to the race track:
In Normal mode, engine mapping, traction control, ESC, active exhaust valve and electronic power assisted steering (EPAS) are configured to deliver natural responsiveness and a connected feel
In Sport mode, engine mapping and throttle pedal response are sharpened, and EPAS settings adjusted to deliver more feedback and finer control for fast road driving. The active noise control valve opens to intensify the sporty exhaust note
In Track mode, all vehicle dynamics features are tuned for the fastest possible lap times, traction control is disabled and ESC interventions are set to wide-slip mode for hard circuit driving
Three-mode ESC enables drivers to choose between full system intervention; wide-slip mode with limited intervention; and full system de-activation.
The Ford Performance model’s sporty character is further enhanced using a bespoke steering knuckle design; unique EPAS calibration with 12:1 steering ratio – the fastest of any Ford Performance model and 14 per cent faster than the previous generation Fiesta ST200; and high performance braking system with 278 mm vented front and 253 mm solid rear discs.
Drivers can exploit the all-new Fiesta ST’s technologies to their fullest from a driving position painstakingly developed by Ford Performance for optimal control and vehicle balance. The driver’s seat offers a unique-to-segment combination of seat-back angle and seat-base tilt adjustment.
More power, more options
Ford’s all-new 1.5-litre EcoBoost engine uses turbocharging, high-pressure fuel injection, Twin-independent Variable Cam Timing and a three-cylinder architecture to deliver 200 PS at 6,000 rpm, and 290 Nm of torque from 1,600 to 4,000 rpm, for 0-100 km/h (0-62 mph) acceleration in 6.5 seconds and a top speed of 232 km/h (144 mph).
A new combination of port fuel injection and direct fuel injection works alongside Ford’s innovative cylinder deactivation technology to improve fuel efficiency and CO2 emissions by 11 per cent according to Ford data, compared with the previous generation Fiesta ST200.*
Available from launch in both three-door and five-door bodystyles with sporty ST exterior styling and standard 17-inch or optional 18-inch alloy wheels , the all-new Fiesta ST will offer customers a greater degree of choice with ST-1, ST-2 and ST-3 equipment levels.
Exterior colours include Frozen White, Magnetic, Moondust, Performance Blue, Race Red, Shadow Black, Silver and Silver Fox, and interiors feature as standard supportive Recaro seats, ST gearknob, and flat-bottomed steering wheel with stitching that is replicated on the leather handbrake lever and gear-lever gaiter.
A standard SYNC 3 communications and entertainment system with 6.5-inch screen or optional 8-inch screen will enable Fiesta ST drivers to control audio, navigation and connected smartphones using simple, conversational voice commands. A high quality B&O PLAY Sound System for a high-end audio experience is also offered.
Standard driver assistance technologies include Lane Keeping Aid, Lane Keeping Alert and cruise control with adjustable speed limiter, while features including rain-sensing wipers, automatic headlamps, auto-highbeam and Traffic Sign Recognition also are available.
“Drivers need look no further than the all-new Fiesta ST to understand what Ford means when we explain that ST stands for Sports Technologies,” Roeks said. “Every performance function of this car has been enhanced with innovation.”