Monday, February 29, 2016

Ford Fiesta ST200: Bringing Europeans Up to America’s Level

2016 Ford Fiesta ST200

Typically, when a special-edition variant of a performance car sold here is offered to Europeans, it’s more powerful or better in some way, inciting jealousy on this side of the Atlantic. This isn’t such a case. The Ford Fiesta ST200, making its debut at the 2016 Geneva auto show, is more powerful than the standard Euro-market Fiesta ST—but that car isn’t as powerful as our standard-issue Fiesta ST. With the Euro-only ST200, Ford has more or less brought American power to its sportiest Fiesta model for overseas customers.

2016 Ford Fiesta ST200

Measured in metric horsepower, the ST200’s turbocharged 1.6-liter four produces 200 ponies—hence its name—which means it squeezes out the same 197 horsepower as does the U.S.-spec Fiesta ST and 17 more than the standard Euro ST. Ford managed to milk 214 lb-ft of torque from the ST200’s engine, a mighty 37 lb-ft increase over the Euro Fiesta ST and 12 lb-ft beyond the U.S.-market Fiesta ST. (For fun, an overboost function can deliver up to 212 horsepower and 236 lb-ft of torque for 20 seconds at a time.) We’d never turn down the extra torque, but we’ve found the regular ST perfectly balances its power with its handling limits—it’s simply one of the most well-rounded performance cars available at any price. If we were to pluck anything from the ST200, it would be the shorter 4.06:1 final-drive Ford fits in place of the stock 3.82:1 gearing, just for a little extra pep off the line.

2016 Ford Fiesta ST200

Other ST200 enhancements include standard red-painted brake calipers, Storm Grey paint, charcoal-colored partial-leather Recaro front seats with special silver stitching, and ST200 badging. Could we see the ST200 in this exact form in the U.S.? That’s unlikely, especially given the Geneva debut car’s three-door body style (which isn’t sold in the U.S.), but there’s little reason Ford couldn’t extract the same oomph from the American-market Fiesta ST’s 1.6-liter four.

2016 Geneva Auto Show Full Coverage

from Car and Driver Blog

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