For the Ford Motor Company the Fiesta has been a huge success story. In 2013 it topped the list of cars sold in the UK at a staggering volume of 121,929. It also won the greatest share of the supermini market according to figures released by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders.
So when the opportunity arose to drive the Ford Fiesta ST-2 I wanted to see what all the fuss was about. The ST has a 4 cylinder 1.6 litre ecoboost turbocharged engine producing 180bhp and a huge 214 lbs/ft of torque. It was the torque delivery that dominated the driving experience, but more of that later.
The model I drove was the Ford UK press car which was finished in an optional Spirit Blue metallic paint. The interior was standard Fiesta with some nice touches such as body hugging half leather Recaro seats and a well finished leather trimmed steering wheel both branded with the red ST logo.
As standard there was a good level of kit including a Sony DAB stereo with SYNC. One option worth having on the exterior is the style pack which features 17 inch Rado grey alloys, illuminated scuff plates and red calipers for £275.
The ST is very much a get in and drive it car. There is no sport button or fuss playing around with settings. Everything is set up automatically in a driving sweet spot from the moment you start the engine.
With this car the money has been spent on elements Ford know will impact the driving experience such as chassis and suspension components.
So what was the ST like to drive? The answer was excellent. Above 2,500 rpm and due to the engine torque the car had a lovely urgency that you want from a supermini. The Fiesta's 0-62 mph time is 6.9 seconds.
The front of the car was something to savour and linked to such a nimble chassis I was able to put the lock on, pin the throttle and the car just dragged itself out of corners. Steering, handling and responsiveness is just sublime.
The ST had an outstanding six speed manual gearbox with a silky smooth short shift that added greatly to the driving experience.
It is worth remembering that the Fiesta ST also has an interesting option for more performance as Mountune offer an upgrade for around £599 through your Ford dealership.
Not only does this add a special yellow Mountune badge to the boot of your Ford, but also increases the power to 212 bhp and 236 lbs/ft of torque. It is amazing when you remember this is more power than the Ford Sierra RS Cosworth used to have (201 bhp & 204 lbs/ft).
Economy wise the Fiesta ST has a excellent combined mpg of 47.9 which when aligned to its performance is a real bonus.
The Fiesta ST-2 is an accomplished professional that truly etches itself on your soul and feels such a compelling package. It is priced at a very competitive £18,250 on the road.