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Ford Fiesta 2.0 ST

Broadcast dates : 28th August 2005
3rd September 2005

It seems like ages since Ford has made any major performance statement in South Africa. But there’s a spirit of change issuing from the Silverton factory near Pretoria.

The Fiesta ST has all the visual attributes needed to a cut a dash at Melrose Arch or Camps Bay Drive. 

The special performance issue of the Fiesta brings to life the clean, crisp essence of the basic design.

Standard go-faster fair includes roof spoiler, seventeen-inch alloy wheels and low-profile tyres, and enlarged air intakes on the restyled bumper.

To nudge the handling towards the Ferrari – rather than Minardi - direction, the suspension has been lowered and firmed up, and the ST gets a two-litre engine to move it closer to the front of the grid.

The vast expanse of plastic on the air-bag-equipped steering wheel has the effect of making the entire ST cabin look too ordinary.
This is a pity because there are some nice touches, like the bright metal trim on the gauges and console, the high-quality STY rally seats, and the dual-tone upholstery.

Dynamically the Fiesta is also a bit of a mixed bag. It offers exceptional race-track-like handling and the performance is good. 

Marrying the two-litre Duratec engine to the Fiesta has certainly resulted in a great value-for-money package. At its price of just under R170 000, it’s way ahead of its competitors on a bang-for-buck basis.

The main criticism of the engine is that it sounds so ordinary, emitting a flat drone rather than a raucous scream. The handling package, though, is at the opposite end of the spectrum.

The billiard-board smooth surface of Zwartkops Raceway shows up the tenacious grip of the ST. But it also masks the fact that the ST lacks the compliance of a truly sorted hot hatch such as a Volkswagen GTi. The harshness could prove irritating on a daily basis.

Ford Fiesta 2.0i ST
  • Engine: Four-cylinder petrol, 1 999cc
  • Power: 110 kW@ 6000 rpm
  • Torque: 190 Nm @ 4 500 rpm
  • Transmission: Five-speed manual, front-wheel-drive
  • 0-100 km/h: 8,65 seconds
  • Top speed: 203 km/h
  • Fuel consumption: 9,1 litres/100 km
  • Price: R169 500

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