Little and large: two performance Fords hit LA
Another classic feature from the last 20 years of TG mag: can a 'world car' work for passionate performance sub-brands?
Posted: 18 Oct 2013
Then, just as you've got used to that, the corners tighten and ask more. And the Fiesta answers. This is where the little Ford suddenly burns bright. The standard Fiesta always felt like it could handle significantly more power, and 180bhp really isn't enough to trouble it unduly. This 1.6-litre all-aluminium four-cylinder EcoBoost features direct injection and a low-inertia turbocharger to cut lag, and there's an ‘overboost' feature under full load that can pump peak power up to 195-ish bhp, but it also has twin independent variable-cam timing to fatten delivery while maintaining efficiency. It's linear and strong, but never particularly characterful. In fact, it tends to change tone, but not pitch, meaning that it enters the cabin as a pleasantly encouraging drone rather than anything notable. Similarly, you can hear the faint sneeze of a dump valve in there somewhere, but it's very much in the background. It's not particularly... naughty. And you have to work it. There may be 214lb ft available - and the ST will pull smoothly on the motorway from remarkably low revs in high gears - but it's not a car that you can leave to itself and hope for the best.