Ford is not only betting on the growing small-car market in the U.S. with the Fiesta but it is also testing the waters with a new performance variant of the hatch named the Fiesta ST that will make its North American debut at the LA Auto Show.
The highlights of the five-door only (in North America, as Europe also gets a three-door version) Fiesta ST include a pumped up 1.6-liter turbocharged EcoBoost engine producing 197 ponies and a reworked chassis with sports suspension and brakes.
Handling is said to be further enhanced with an electronic Torque Vectoring Control system and a specially developed electronic stability control with three available modes, standard, sport and off.
The Fiesta ST will be offered exclusively with a six-speed manual gearbox that drives the front wheels.
“This is a rewarding car to rev,” says Mark Roberts, Fiesta calibration supervisor. “With 177 lb.-ft. of torque available from just 1,600 rpm and 214 lb.-ft. by 3,500 rpm, Fiesta ST gives the performance and feel of an engine twice its size. There’s no waiting at all for the power to just push you back in your seat.”
Pricing and a sales date have not yet been announced.