Written by: Calvin Chan
Photography by: Calvin Chan
And a spicy one it is. There has been lots of hype surrounding this little hot hatch. The Fiesta is the smallest and cheapest vehicle in Ford's new line-up, and the testosterone overdosed ST version claims to be a track-ready pocket rocket that's reasonably light on the wallet. It's got all the things you would want in a souped up car - mean front bumpers, a rear spoiler, and better yet, a manual transmission. Does it live up to the hype? We took the 2014 Ford Fiesta ST for a spin to see if it's as good as they say, and boy, they were right. Don't stop making cars like this Ford (not you, Mayor).
So what's making this rocket fly? Let's start off with the engine. The ST is mounted with a potent 1.6L turbocharged inline-four engine that spews out 197 horsepower and 202 lb-ft of torque, enough for this volcano to burst from 0-60 mph in 6.7 seconds - similar numbers to a Fiat 500 Abarth that also weighs 200 pounds less.
The ST's compact proportions makes for an incredible drive too. It feels quicker, lighter, and stiffer than a MINI. Better yet, it's easy to drive. The ST doesn't have all those fancy computer gadgets to correct our steering or to change into an optimal gear. You get a steering wheel, a gear shifter, and three pedals. It's the bread and butter of purists.
One of the admirable traits of the Fiesta ST, is that it not only looks like a small car, but it feels like a small car. It weighs just 2720 lbs and thus takes off like a .50 caliber bullet. The ST is one of those rare cars that don't need a race track to prove what it's capable of. Sure one can argue that on street limits you cannot exploit its full potential, but run the ST through 2nd and 3rd gear at low speeds and I would beg to differ. With a short wheelbase, a sport-tuned suspension and Ford's Torque Vectoring Control, the ST feels planted in the corners, and even when you feel like you've lost it, it somehow manages to find an insane amount of grip to keep you chugging on. The ST does suffer from quite a bit of torque steer however, and likes to squirble around when you hammer down the throttle, but it is easily managable and the traction control will always kick in as a last resort.
The four-pot engine is bursting with revs, and reminds us of the bombastic VTEC engine in the Civic Si. Hammer through to 3000 revs in second gear and the engine will start to synthesize audio notes through the interior car speakers to create a fake, but persuasive exhaust noise that leaves you wanting more and more.
We're constantly bracing our wallets. This car is going to get us into deep trouble with all these speed traps lying around.
With all this performance packed into a car, you'd expect the fuel economy levels to soar above the clouds. But then you'd be forgetting it weighs 300 pounds less than a 2-door Golf GTi, and kid you not, after a week of everlasting red-lining, blistering red-light take-offs and milking out each possible gear, we achieved a fuel rating of 7.3 L/100km. 7.3! Even when we try to conservatively drive our 2012 Mercedes C250 4MATIC, we still end up with an abysmal rating of 12.3L/100km. Keep in mind the ST only needs regular fuel too, and with eco-friendly driving, Ford says the ST can net an average of around 6.8 L/100km. What more could you ask for? This is the weekend beater car I want in my garage.
Our test vehicle wore Molten Orange paint, and if you thought this hue wasn't enough to scream out Fast & Furious, check out the Green Envy colour available for the ST that transforms it into the Hulk, unless that's what you're going for - Tokyo Drift anybody? Wabaki. And while the folks overseas get the two-door Fiesta hatch equivalent, in Canada we get four, five if you include the trunk.
Minor adjustments over the regular Fiesta include a tweaked front bumper, rear diffuser, a hatchback-style rear spoiler, and bulky 17-inch alloys rims. Oh, and there's no shortage of ST badging either.
The orange colour palette of the exterior makes its way inside as well. The ST's interior plays the lackluster role and is short of any grandiosity. Just a simplistic cabin, and that works just fine for me. You wouldn't buy a Fiesta ST to nourish in soft leather and fancy pop-up navigation displays. Besides you'd be too busy watching that tachometer, this thing builds up some fast revs.
You'll find racing-inspired Recaro bucket seats for the front two passengers, and are a must-have. Canadians will be delighted to hear that these actually come standard in the ST (costs an extra $2000 in the U.S.). The tight side bolsters kept us snug and comfortable when turning through sharp corners, and helped to minimize any sense of bodyroll at the bends.
Standing 6 feet tall I have no problem finding a comfortable driving position, though the clutch pedal is a bit too deep for my liking. Can't say the same about the rear passenger seats. They prove to be more practical as a storage compartment rather than actual useable seats. The seats aren't exactly comfortable either, and in our opinion should have a warning label like your prescription medications: may cause nausea and vomiting.
Pro tip: keep your best friend sitting at the front
Speaking of hot peppers, the heated front seats (also comes standard in the ST) really want to barbeque your bum. It gets hot within seconds, and I mean hot. Ford really knows how to get things heated. We tested the Ford Fusion Hybrid a few weeks earlier, and the heated steering wheel was up and warm within a mere 7 seconds of pushing the button. Other vehicles took at least 20-30 seconds to feel any decent warmth. Though, the ST seats do suffer from one drawback - there's only one heat setting. We found ourselves playing Goldilocks, constantly switching between on and off to get our butt temperature just right.
The MyFord infotainment display is ripped straight from Ford's other vehicles and downsized for the Fiesta. The system is fairly intuitive, and though the touchscreen design worked well in the Fusion due to its larger size, the one in the ST is tiny and placed out of arms reach, and I have pretty long arms. In fact, for me to hit the navigation bar, I have to actively lean off the seats and stretch my arm out as far as it will go. Luckily there are enough audio control buttons on the wheel so when I hear Justin Bieber come on the radio I can quickly change stations.
Yes we were picky about the interior. That's only because there was nothing negative we had to say about the engine, chassis, or exterior. The ST certainly lives up to its hype - it's just that brilliant. There are no lavish interior distractions, no fancy blindspot technology or auto-rev matching. The ST is only focused on the essentials, and that's what makes it such a simplistic and delightful hatch to drive. As the saying goes, great things come in small packages, and the Ford Fiesta ST is no exception.
型号 Model: 2014 Ford Fiesta ST 5-Door Hatch
顏色 Body Paint: Molten Orange ($400)
廠方建議售價 Base Price: $24,999
試車售價 Price as Tested: $28,027
軸距 Wheelbase(mm): 2489
長闊 Length/Width/Height (mm): 4067 / 1453 / 1976
車重 Weight (kg): 1233
引擎 Engine: 1.6L 16-valve Ti-VCT Turbocharged Direct Injection EcoBoost® I-4
最大馬力 Horsepower-HP: 197 / 6000 rpm
最高扭力 Torque-LB-FT: 202 / 4200 rpm
波箱 Transmission: 6-speed manual transmission
擺佈 Engine & Drive Configuration: Front engine, FWD
前懸 Suspension-Front: MacPherson strut
後懸 Suspension-Rear: Twist beam
煞制-前 Brakes-Front: 4-wheel disc with high-performance brake pads
煞制-後 Brakes-Rear: 4-wheel disc with high-performance brake pads
循跡操控系统 ABS/Traction Control: Standard w/AdvanceTrac® Electronic Stability Control and Torque Vectoring Control (TVC)
油耗 Fuel Consumption (City/Highway/Combined)- L/100 km: 7.8 / 5.6 / 6.8
(we achieved an average of 7.3)
輪胎尺碼 Tires: Bridgestone Potenza 205/40 R17
Check out the ST hit up 222km/h: