When I had a chance to drive the 2014 Ford Fiesta a few weeks back, I found it to be, more or less, a delightful econobox. Thrifty, spry and unhindered by the polite manners that can make much larger cars a chore to drive, it was missing only one thing: power.
While I realise that more power flies in the face of economic sensibilityówhich is really what these cars are all aboutómy head still harbours more than a few brain cells left over from adolescence. Those cells demand stimulation by things that donít necessarily make sense, and I doubt Iím the only one affected in this way.
Enter the Ford Fiesta ST. Itís everything the base Fiesta is, only faster. It wears 17-inch alloys, gets its grunt from a 197-horsepower turbocharged 4-cylinder gasoline engine and it is available with leather Recaro sport seats and aluminium pedals.
Ford offered some journalists and several hundred members of the general public a chance to drive ST-level Fiestas on a road course set up in a parking lot at Citi Field in Queens. Thatís when I got some time behind the wheel of a fully outfitted Fiesta ST. Naturally, the hot-lap cars were equipped with the 6-speed manual transmission, although the course was laid out so that drivers would never have to leave second gear. The Fiesta ST did everything it was supposed to do, and the potent little EcoBoost engine scooted the 2,742-pound car ably out of turns and onto straightaways. It cornered well with the bigger wheels, although I really didnít have much complaint about the stock Fiestaís cornering ability to begin with.
Building up a Fiesta on Fordís website with roughly the same features as the car I sampled would set me back just under $24,200. Compare that with a bone stock, Oxford white Fiesta S equipped with a 120-horsepower engine and a 5-speed manual transmission, which costs about $9,000 less. Is that $9,000 worth of fun, or would a potential buyer want to drop just over $2,000 more and get the Fiestaís more powerful sibling, the Focus ST?
Ford had a couple of Focus