Don’t let the Ford Fiesta ST’s size fool you. This diminutive hot hatch is deceivingly quick, and not to be underestimated.
With a 1.5-litre turbocharged three-cylinder engine under the bonnet, 147kW and 290Nm is sent to the front wheels via a six-speed manual transmission (yes, three pedals!).
Priced at $31,990, the Fiesta ST was not only the cheapest car at the 2021 running of Performance Car of the Year, but the least powerful. To be fair, this year’s field included the most powerful vehicle to ever tackle PCOTY.
Fighting out of a diminutive weight class, the punchy Ford is shockingly good on track, which should come in handy when it comes to the MOTOR Shootout.
Driven by Karl Reindler the little hatch lapped Winton Raceway’s 3.0-kilometre layout in a stout 1:43.7.
While that time isn’t threatening the top of the scoreboard, Reindler praised the Ford’s on-track performance – as a former Supercars ace he knows a thing or two about going fast on track.
“I’ll tell you what, this thing is so much fun,” he said after his two-lap run.
“It is obviously not the most powerful thing, but the bit that I most enjoyed is it is just so compliant.
“I wasn’t afraid to attack some of the kerbs, and it just recovers so well off them. It is nice linear power delivery which I like, and I love a manual gearbox so that gets me going.
“There is a rawness about this car which just adds to the fun factor.
“The only criticism, if any, is off the corners – being front-wheel drive – you really need to be patient picking up the throttle.
“If you have that patience the diff and front-end really puts the power down well.”
Watch the video above to see the Fiesta ST’s full lap, where Reindler ekes everything the hatch has to offer.
You can click here for a full rundown of the Motor Shootout leaderboard, and check back every Wednesday for a new hot lap – next week is the Herrod SM17 Ford Mustang.
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