Fans of affordable and sporty hatchbacks have another car to look forward to this summer, when the 2014 Ford Fiesta ST is slated to arrive. In the latest episode of Ignition, host Carlos Lago travels to France to find out if the small hatch is a shrunken-down version of the bigger Focus ST.
The Fiesta’s ST formula essentially mimics the Focus. The hot hatch gets upgraded brakes, a sportier suspension, and interior and exterior tweaks that hint at its sporty intentions. Last but not least, the Fiesta is powered by a 1.6-liter turbo-four putting out an estimated 170-193 hp, depending on the amount of turbo overboost. Lago points out that it’s down on horsepower compared to the 252-hp Focus, but makes up for it by being 500-600 pounds lighter.
The car Lago drove was a European-spec vehicle, but the only major difference will be the number of doors offered: Europe gets a two-door option, but Americans will only get the four-door. Still, his initial impressions are good. Steering response is quick and the engine feels just as eager as the Focus. The Fiesta was perfectly matched for France’s tight city and mountain roads, but will Americans enjoy it as much as the Europeans? We’ll find out once it arrives in U.S. showrooms this July.