With the official confirmation that the Fiesta will be discontinued in June 2023 we decided to call Ford Italia and ask for a Fiesta ST press car to celebrate the end of an iconic car.
While traditional light and small passenger cars are gradually being replaced by midsize SUVs, even hot hatchbacks are less appreciated and probably nearing their end. The Ford Fiesta has been on sale for 47 years over nine generations, with more than 18 millions cars sold worldwide.
The production currently takes place in Cologne and Ford says that this plant, the most important of their factories outside the USA, will be transformed into the “Cologne Electrification Center”, where a new midsize battery-powered crossover will be manufactured starting next year.
To celebrate this iconic hot-hatch we decided to put it together with one of its most thrilling predecessors, the 1990’s Ford Fiesta RS Turbo.
Born in the golden age of hot hatchbacks, the Fiesta’s rivals were nothing less than the Peugeot 205 Gti, the Renault Clio 16v or the Fiat Uno Turbo, and the Rs Turbo was one of the most powerful of them all. Landing in showrooms in mid-1990, compared with the XR2i, this new version had the engine of the Escort RS Turbo dropped into its stubby nose. The 1.6-litre CVH four-cylinder, with a smaller Garret T2 Turbo, was now developing a power output of 133 hp. 0-100 km/h was covered in 7.5 sec with over 200 km/h of maximum speed!
Other performance upgrades on the Fiesta RS Turbo included stiffer suspension, larger brakes, and sportier tires. The exterior of the car also received a number of modifications, including a larger front bumper with integrated fog lights, side skirts, and a rear spoiler. Over 30 years separates the black RS Turbo and the new Fiesta ST, but the philosophy is still the same: a fun and fast hatchback that is also practical for everyday use.
This 2023 model is the seventh generation of the Fiesta, introduced in 2017 and that just received its last restyling. The old model’s 182hp 1.6-litre four-cylinder engine leaves is replaced by a new 1.5-litre three-cylinder with 200hp and 320 nm of torque. Thank God it is still fitted with a 6-speed manual gearbox that contributes to the fun provided by this ST, whether you’re accelerating from a standstill or punching down a couple of gears on a nice twisty road. The dynamics are not changed much in this ST facelift, but driving it you are immediately reminded how well it handles corners. The suspension helps floating over bad tarmac and absorbs bumps, while a good amount of torque is delivered by the highly tenacious front wheel drive traction. True driving pleasure!
The 90’s RS Turbo is a rare example of a time when pocket rockets delivered lightweight, pure and genuine entertainment. The 2020s ST represents the latest, and probably the last, evolution of this successful philosophy that conquered legion of fans all over the world for almost four decades. Goodbye Ford Fiesta, and thank you for everything!