The European hot hatch subcompact segment is getting a new addition – the first three-cylinder engine that seeks fan glory – inside the latest generation Fiesta ST.

After no teasers at all – thank you Ford! – the well known Fiesta ST is official as the automaker took the virtual wraps off the model ahead of the worldwide public premier later on during the Geneva Motor Show. The new hot hatch looks just as awesome as always – taking the new generation’s cues and inserting some boldness – but it’s also eschewing the trend of getting a family-sized five door version only. So, in Europe you can get both the three and five-door versions – to satisfy all preferences. What Ford is doing is enlisting the hot subcompact hatch in the downsizing trend – by slapping under the hood a turbocharged 1.5-liter three-cylinder. It comes with 197 horsepower (147 kilowatts) and 214 pound-feet (290 Newton-meters) of torque, so it will suffice for the ST to sprint to 62 miles per hour (100 kilometers per hour) in 6.7 seconds.

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The model comes after the predecessor ran on a 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder good for 180 hp (134 kW) and 177 lb-ft (240 Nm) in the regular Fiesta ST or 197 hp (147 kW) and 202 lb-ft (274 Nm) inside the North American version. And believe it or not – the three cylinder features… cylinder deactivation! When light loads are detected the mill will use just two of its cylinders to further save fuel and lower emissions. Ford even claims you won’t feel the procedure because it only takes 14 milliseconds to switch back to full power. Drive modes are also available – Normal, Sport, and Track settings go hand in hand with the Electronic Sound Enhancement and active exhaust noise control valve to make the little powerplant sound better than it really is. Of course they can also impact throttle mapping, steering, and stability control. Ford has even opted for torque vectoring.

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Inside the cockpit, the lucky owners will get Recaro seats and a flat-bottom steering wheel, while comfort creature options are also a go – eight-inch Sync 3 infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. “Our next generation Fiesta ST is true to the philosophy of delivering cutting-edge technology to enhance every facet of the responsive Ford Performance chassis and powertrain,” said Joe Bakaj, vice president, Product Development, Ford of Europe. “Our ST models are designed to make a Ford Performance driving experience accessible to customers regardless of lifestyle,” adds Matthias Tonn, Fiesta ST chief programme engineer. “With three- and five-door bodystyles and distinctive styling options that complement the model’s performance characteristics available from day-one, the next generation Fiesta ST will deliver a broader appeal.” Among the distinctive options for the Fiesta ST we can note the race-car-inspired mesh grille and bespoke 18-inch alloy wheels. The model will become available in Europe early next year after making its debut during the Geneva Motor Show.


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