2011 LA Auto Show: Ford Fiesta ST Concept shows us that five-doors are still sexy

Article by Christian Andrei, on November 17, 2011

Ford unveiled a new 5-door version of the Fiesta ST Concept in Los Angeles. It had previously introduced its 3-door version at the Frankfurt Motor Show. Ford clarified that it will soon be making these vehicles available worldwide. It’s believed that the 3-door version will be launched in Europe but it’s likely that the 5-door is intended for the U.S. market.

Hot hatches are a favorite among tuning firms but just in the compact class, particularly in North America.

Ford now implies that it will decrease its output, with a 180-hp variant of the Fiesta that’s powered by a new 1.6-liter EcoBoost turbocharged 4-cylinder with 177 lb-ft of torque. The Fiesta WRC rally cars inspire its styling. It comes with an aggressive front end, aero kit and 17-inch wheels.

Derrick Kuzak, Ford group vice president, Global Product Development, said that the Fiesta is associated with a large number of high-performance models. This is why it makes sense that a new ST performance model is the next step in its performance vehicle strategy for its global small cars. Its racing silhouette takes inspiration from the global Fiesta race and rally cars that have been seen participating in races worldwide. In addition, it is influenced by the distinctive look of the all-new Focus ST.

Ford's ST models represent the American carmaker’s most accessible performance vehicles. It mixes exciting performance with detailed refinements that give you a vehicle that is perfect for daily use but is also a fun drive.

The ST models is at the center of Ford’s performance strategy that rolls out the DNA for the carmaker’s performance models worldwide as well as acting as the basis for better performance vehicles. This design philosophy is the brainchild of the Ford Performance Vehicles group that includes the Special Vehicle Team of North America and Ford Team RS in Europe. The group used their individual performance insights and expertise to come up with the appropriate characteristics for all of the carmaker’s future performance vehicles.

Like the human DNA, the Ford design DNA spells out the characteristics that are needed to make a Ford vehicle, especially in how it sounds, looks, and most importantly, in how it feels to drive. Every ST model Ford will highlight its fun to drive characteristics that customers would want. But every aspect is highly balanced, ensuring that the driver feels perfect harmony behind the wheel each time. It does not matter whether one drives off road or on road, the Ford ST will give the driver utmost enjoyment.

Press Release

Ford unveils the bold new five-door Fiesta ST Concept at the Los Angeles Auto Show, indicating the direction for a high-performance Fiesta

Fiesta ST Concept features a specially tuned 180-horsepower 1.6-liter Ford EcoBoost® engine to deliver spirited performance combined with fuel efficiency and low emissions
Dynamic exterior styling inspired by Fiesta RS WRC promises driver-oriented interior features

DEARBORN, Mich., Nov. 3, 2011 – Ford is unveiling its vision for a future high-performance Fiesta ST at the Los Angeles Auto Show this month. The Ford Fiesta ST Concept signals the next step in Ford Motor Company's global performance vehicle strategy and hints at how a future Fiesta ST model might look when it joins the Focus ST in the global small car portfolio.

The Fiesta ST Concept combines eye-catching, muscular and sporty styling with a dynamic sports chassis and a high-performance powertrain capable of delivering impressive fuel economy with low emissions.

A global Fiesta ST would extend the proud, 35-year Fiesta history of delivering high- performance thrills to small car customers. Iconic past models include the European Fiesta XR2 and XR2i, Fiesta RS1800 and RS Turbo, and the more recent first-generation Fiesta ST. The five-door Fiesta ST Concept shows the promise for a globally available performance model.

Bold and distinctive, the five-door Fiesta ST Concept embodies the spirit of Fiesta's high-performance history with an infusion of dynamic, futuristic looks and innovative technology.

"The Fiesta has a rich history of high-performance models so a new ST performance model is a logical next step in our performance vehicle strategy for our global small cars," said Derrick Kuzak, Ford group vice president, Global Product Development.

The Fiesta ST Concept continues that tradition by showing how a global performance version of Ford's best-selling B-car can be both technologically advanced and dramatically styled.

"With a racing silhouette inspired by global Fiesta race and rally cars currently competing on the world stage, and influenced by the unique appearance of the all-new Focus ST, the new Fiesta ST Concept is an exciting demonstration of the road-going Fiesta's potential," Kuzak added.

Rally car-inspired, EcoBoost-powered
With the Fiesta RS World Rally car and Fiesta Rallycross cars currently demonstrating the potential of Ford's global small car in the toughest of international motorsports events, there could be no better time for Ford to offer customers a glimpse of what is technically possible with the road-going Fiesta.

Like Ford's World Rally Championship contender, Fiesta RS WRC, the Fiesta ST Concept uses a 1.6-liter Ford EcoBoost® gasoline engine to deliver high-level performance.

The use of a 1.6-liter turbocharged unit in the Fiesta ST Concept and Ford's EcoBoost downsizing strategy in general reflects not only the current WRC engine guidelines but also the trend within international motorsports to deliver greater fuel economy through technological advancement.

As with all engines in the EcoBoost family, the Fiesta ST Concept's advanced engine combines turbocharging and direct injection to deliver the powerful performance of a larger-capacity, traditional gasoline engine.

Like the 2.0-liter EcoBoost engine that will power the production Ford Focus ST, the 1.6-liter EcoBoost in the Fiesta ST Concept also features twin independent variable camshaft timing (Ti-VCT) and has been specially developed to provide power and torque worthy of the ST badge.

In the Fiesta ST Concept, the 1.6-liter Ford EcoBoost engine achieves a target output of 180 horsepower with 177 lb.-ft. of torque.

Yet the advanced design of the turbocharged four-cylinder engine – connected to a six-speed manual transmission – means the Fiesta ST Concept also delivers lower emissions.

Improving fuel economy and emissions remains one of the driving factors behind Ford's continuing development of the EcoBoost engine family, with the Fiesta ST Concept proving that responsible and attractive fuel economy need not come at the expense of performance.

Bold design
The Fiesta ST's bold and assertive styling makes an immediate impression and drives home the high-performance message with a number of striking features and design themes. The large, distinctive trapezoidal grille echoes a key feature of its larger sibling, the new Focus ST, and incorporates a honeycomb mesh design.

At the rear a dramatic diffuser design leaves no doubt as to the sporting credentials of the Fiesta ST Concept. The diffuser also envelops a twin-exit exhaust.

A lowered stance, widened wheel arches filled with 17-inch alloy wheels and full ST body kit mirror the styling of the Ford Fiesta WRC competition car – an alluring form that also delivers racing functionality.

Motorsports-influenced performance and handling
Taking inspiration from Ford's competition Fiestas in the World Rally Championship, Global Rallycross Championship, European Rallycross Championship and X Games, the Ford Global Performance Vehicles group has developed the Fiesta ST Concept to deliver uncompromised sports performance and handling.

Tuned suspension geometry ensures dynamic and competent handling that can flatter less-experienced drivers while rewarding those seeking to push the limits of the Fiesta ST's sports performance.

"With the Focus ST we promised to deliver uncompromised sports performance and styling to a truly global audience for the first time, without sacrificing Ford's key values of Quality, Green, Safe and Smart," said Jost Capito, Ford director of Global Performance Vehicles. "With the Fiesta ST Concept, we are demonstrating that our global performance plan has legs.

"The Fiesta ST Concept shows in the most dramatic way possible that the qualities that define an ST are not limited to one model," he added. "The potential for delivering the ST experience to an even wider audience is laid bare by this exciting new concept."

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