Orange is so last year… Blue (with gloss black accents) is the new hue of choice for the latest limited-edition version of what is by common consent the best little hot hatch, the Ford Fiesta ST.
In 2019 we had the (orange-only) Performance Edition and now the Fiesta ST is back with a colour change and new badges that read ST Edition. The newcomer costs from £27,075 and Ford says it will close the order book after 300 of them have been sold, half as many as it made of its predecessor. But, like last year’s special, it promises to be just as much fun to drive.
Proving that special-edition models can be more than just colour and trim jobs, the new ST Edition gets a range of enhancements aimed at drivers more fascinated by rebound rates than the pattern on the seat fabric.
Adjustable coilover suspension, lightweight 18-inch alloy wheels (that save 2kg a corner), Quaife slippery diff, direct-access Sport button on the steering wheel, switchable stability control and launch control all feature here, and all are suggestive more of supercar than shopping car.
Setting up your ST with unique damper rates – there are 12 bump settings and 16 rebound clicks – should certainly appeal to enthusiasts who thrive on handling experimentation. Adjusting the suspension in this way is a rarity in a new car at this end of the market, but nothing new to the custom car crowd where swapping the regular struts for coilover units is regarded as the best way to lower a car’s suspension.
The ST Edition’s coilovers, finished in fetching Ford Performance blue, lower the car by 15mm at the front and 10mm at the rear. Like the other changes, this is exactly as featured in last year’s Performance Edition – a car that road-testers at the time said was gilding the lily somewhat but none the worse for that.
You can see the appeal: a lower centre of gravity, less unsprung weight, a little more body stiffness and more front end grip. Ford is sold on it, calling its newcomer “the most rewarding, agile and confident Fiesta driving experience yet.” Plenty of promise then but with the proviso that over-enthusiasm with the damper rates on less than billiard-table roads could see the ride suffer.
Mechanically nothing else is new and, fans will say, that’s fine because nothing needed to change. Few performance cars have won as many awards and group tests as the Fiesta ST. In ST Edition form it still has 200PS from its three-pot motor driving the front wheels via a six-speed manual ‘box, and the 0-62mph time of 6.5 seconds is the same as before. Also unchanged are the ST-branded Recaro heated sports seats.
It’s a special edition though so inevitably there are cosmetic enhancements. Look out for the gloss black trim (on the upper grille, fog light surrounds, rear diffuser, rear spoiler, alloy wheels and door mirrors) and, on the inside, some carbon-fibre effect details and blue stitching.
Chances are though you’ll spot it first by that Azura Blue paintwork…