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Ford skips Fiesta ST five-door

Power of three: No five-door Ford Fiesta ST will make it to Australia, since the German-built models destined for Down Under do not come with such a configuration.

Only three-door version of German-made Ford Fiesta ST coming to Australia

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Ford logo11 Dec 2012

FORD has announced that its much-anticipated German-built Fiesta ST hot hatch will be available in Australia only as a three-door when it hits local showrooms around the third quarter of 2013.

The company had been weighing up whether it could offer the Mexican-made US-market five-door version – revealed in Los Angeles last month – considering the vast majority of light vehicle sales here are five-door models.

As reported, the 132kW/240Nm 1.6-litre turbo pocket rocket will give the Blue Oval a potent one-two hot hatch punch alongside the larger Focus ST.

Following this week’s confirmation of bodystyles, the Fiesta ST will line up against a range of rivals with an extra set of doors.

Chief among these is the forthcoming new 149kW/240Nm Renault Sport Clio 200 Turbo – due a few months after the Fiesta towards the end of 2013 – plus the existing 132kW/250Nm Skoda Fabia RS and the cheaper and lighter 100kW/160Nm Suzuki Swift Sport.

When the Fiesta launches, only Volkswagen with its 132kW/250Nm Polo GTI (also sold with five doors) and Peugeot with its forthcoming 147kW/275Nm 208 GTI (due around July 2013) will offer comparable three-door rivals.

Ford Australia brand communications manager Neil McDonald told GoAuto the decision was down to the car’s European origins – the Mexican-built version is not available with three doors and the German model (built in Cologne, not Saarlouis like the Focus ST) does not come with five.

According to Mr McDonald, the decision follows the trend laid down by the Fiesta XR4 (badged ST overseas) of 2007 and the recently revealed Fiesta Metal ‘warm’ hatch, both of which were also three-door only, “so we think there’s a continuity here for the sports enthusiast market”.

The production ST will be powered by a turbocharged 1.6-litre EcoBoost engine producing 132kW of power at 5750rpm and 240Nm of torque between 1500 and 5000rpm, matched exclusively to a six-speed manual gearbox.

This is said to be enough for a 0-100km/h sprint time of less than seven seconds and a top speed of around 220km/h.

Despite gains of 22kW and 50Nm over the XR4, Ford also promises a 20 per cent reduction in carbon emissions to below 140g/km and a fuel consumption figure of about 5.8L/100km.

Ford claims ride and handling improvements over the normal Fiesta courtesy of its RS performance division. The ST sits 15mm lower than the standard model and also gets an enhanced torque-control system.

Ford’s electronic Torque Vector Control system, which sends different braking pressure to the inside front wheel, debuted on the bigger Focus ST and is similar to systems such as Volkswagen’s XDL.

Ford engineers have also tuned the car’s electro-mechanical power steering system and redesigned the steering arm, giving the ST claimed sharper responses and better levels of feedback, as revealed through more than 5000km of testing on the Nurburgring Nordschliefe circuit in Germany.

The diminutive ST’s sporting credentials are signposted by Recaro sports seats and muscular body enhancements, including a rear spoiler, a black mesh rear diffuser, and honeycomb front grille and five-spoke graphite-coloured alloy wheels.

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