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FORD FIESTA ST EDITION CAR PHOTOGRAPHY

Towards the end of 2020 Ford gave us some good news, a limited edition Fiesta ST, the Edition model picks up where the Performance edition left off, a change of colour and limited to just 300 coming to the UK. In Azura blue with 18” gloss black free flow alloys the ST has never looked meaner and ready for the track, or in todays case some Kent B roads...
26/01/2021
The ST Edition gets the Quaife limited-slip differential as standard. Crucially, it also gets the same manually adjustable coil-over suspension, which drops the ride height by 15mm at the front and 10mm at the rear. Meanwhile, the engine is the same 1.5-litre three-pot as before, developing 197bhp and 214lb ft - all of which is deployed to the front wheels via a six-speed manual gearbox.

Now it is priced at £27,075, which is rather a lot when the base ST-3 - already a fantastic hot supermini in its own right - costs £24,575. The car does come with all of the goodies though to make the cabin a special place to be, super comfy and snug fitting Recaro’s in half leather trim, Bang and Olufsen hi-fi, climate control, Apple car play and the super slick Sync 3 infotainment system.

So whats it like to drive, thanks to that new suspension it is perfectly poised on a twisty B road as I set up for a journey from Haynes in Maidstone who loaned me the car for the day, back to Canterbury for some static photos. There are 12 bump and 16 rebound settings, with the former being adjusted using a rotary knob at the bottom of each shock and the latter via knob at the top of each shock. You can reach the tops of the front struts by lifting the bonnet, but you’ll have to lift the car up and take the wheels off to get at the rest, it seems a bit of hassle but i’d imagine if you do the odd track day it would be worth getting it set up for this, you’ll just need access to a ramp (or ask your friendly Ford dealer?).

For me the sweet spot of a hot hatch has been between that 200-250 bhp mark, its all the power you’ll ever need and on a stretch of motorway its got plenty of power to overtake with ease. The Michelin Pilot Sport 4 tyres are super sticky, even on a cold Winters day when the temperature didn’t get above 5 degrees, once the tyres are warmed up, heated seats and steering wheel on your ready to go a spirited drive.

For me the overall balance and ride of the car is sublime, the steering is direct and precision is the key to this cars USP. I can only imagine that on a track it will be real hoot, and once you play around with the suspension settings you would have a corker of a car that on a short and twisty circuit very few cars will be able to keep up with.

What is interesting about driving this hot ST edition now is that a certain Japanese company famous for its hybrid technology has brought out what for many was the car of 2020, the GR Yaris. Priced from £30,000 it has 4WD, 1.6 litre 3 cylinder 256 bhp, and is based on a homologation WRC car. The circuit pack version is priced at £33,000. So for the extra £6,000 and being produced in a much bigger number (25,000), is it better than the ST?

It is close, much closer that I expected it to be. The Fiesta is a nicer cabin, it feels more direct due to its various driving modes, on the Yaris you can switch the bias to the rear if you want to have some tail happy action. But the Fiesta has that little bit of extra flair and is more of a hoot a lot of the time, no question the GR Yaris is quicker and has the looks of a serious bit of kit, but for me the blue oval badge has always been the king of the hot hatch market and its individuality and price point make it the winner of this battle.

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