With a fierce new competitor gearing up to jump onto the field, Ford has bolstered the level of specification on its most affordable sports car.
Ford has brought the Fiesta ST in for a mid-life facelift that aims to increase the level of performance and daily driveability when it goes on sale in early 2022.
The extensive list of incremental upgrades will come in handy as Hyundai prepares to launch the i20 N at the end of this year, a rival expected to offer similar levels of usability and fun at a similar price.
Continuing in a single grade, the price of the 2022 Fiesta ST has yet to be announced but we expect it to rise slightly above the current $32,290 (before on-roads) asking price.
While the Fiesta ST has always been about fun more than sheer performance the level of capability on offer has been stepped up in a number of ways.
This starts with the 1.5-litre four-cylinder engine under the bonnet which now produces an extra 30Nm of torque, giving it a total of 320Nm from 1,600rpm to 4,000rpm but power remains the same at 147kW from 6,000rpm.
Power is fed through a six-speed manual to the front wheels where ford has fitted a mechanical limit-slip differential as standard, that can now switch to a ‘wide slip’ configuration via the selectable Track Mode.
Engineers have also tinkered with the handling, swapping in force vectoring springs and Tenneco twin-tube front dampers to give the Fiesta ST an even sharper turn in.
What’s changed on the inside?
Ford has bolstered the Fiesta ST’s ability as a daily driver by adding more technology that most notably includes the 12.3-inch digital driver’s display in place of the traditional analogue dials.
The integrated screen allows drivers to display the navigation system right in front of them, along with other notifications, in a range of configurable options.
It sits next to the existing 8.0-inch centre touchscreen with wired Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, allowing occupants to play music through the 10-speaker B&O sound system.
Ford has developed new seats that it says offer better support to drivers when thrashing about on a bumpy B-road and generally increase the level of comfort on the daily commute.
Drivers receive 14-way power adjustment in their seat along with a new flat-bottomed steering wheel designed with red stitching.
It builds on other existing goodies such as wireless phone charging, keyless entry and safety tech such as blind-spot monitoring cross-traffic alert and lane-keep assist.
The facelifted Fiesta ST receives subtle changes to the overall appearance but the most noticeable addition is the new Matrix LED headlights.
Ford’s Matrix LED headlights have the ability to restrict the highbeam globe in certain places as to not blind oncoming cars, and create provide better visibility during heavy rain and low speed maneuvering.
Ford has raised the nose of the hot hatch and places the grille lower down on the honeycomb grille, flanked by Chrystaline Grey inserts for the side pods.
The rear of the car remains largely identical, but the standard 18-inch alloy wheels, finished in dark grey, feature a more aggressive design.
Buyers in Australia can also now choose between two new colours known as Boundless Blue and Mean Green, the latter of which is seen above.
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