All-new Ford Fiesta ST offers limited-slip differential and ultimate driving dynamics


March 13, 2018 By Mike
Last updated on March 13, 2018

Ford 2018 Fiesta ST

  • 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
  • 200PS 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

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, 200PS, 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, European Ford Performance director.

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 10kg 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 200PS at 6,000rpm, and 290Nm of torque from 1,600 to 4,000 rpm, for 0-62mph acceleration in 6.5 seconds and a top speed of 144mph.

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 Silver, Performance Blue, Race Red, Shadow Black, 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.”

*Officially homologated fuel-efficiency and CO2 emission figures will be published closer to on-sale date.

The declared Fuel/Energy Consumptions, CO2 emissions and electric range are measured according to the technical requirements and specifications of the European Regulations (EC) 715/2007 and (EC) 692/2008 as last amended. Fuel consumption and CO2 emissions are specified for a vehicle variant and not for a single car. The applied standard test procedure enables comparison between different vehicle types and different manufacturers. In addition to the fuel efficiency of a car, driving behaviour as well as other non-technical factors play a role in determining a car’s fuel/energy consumption, CO2 emissions and electric range. CO2 is the main greenhouse gas responsible for global warming.

From 1 September 2017, certain new vehicles will be type-approved using the World Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP) according (EU) 2017/1151 as last amended, which is a new, more realistic test procedure for measuring fuel consumption and CO2 emissions. From 1 September 2018 the WLTP will fully replace the New European Drive Cycle (NEDC), which is the current test procedure. During NEDC Phase-out, WLTP fuel consumption and CO2 emissions are being correlated back to NEDC. There will be some variance to the previous fuel economy and emissions as some elements of the tests have altered i.e., the same car might have different fuel consumption and CO2 emissions.