When Ford showed off the next-generation Fiesta, the company was tight-lipped about the subcompact’s performance version. Now, ahead of the Geneva motor show, Ford has finally shed light on what we should expect with the future Fiesta ST. The upcoming hot hatch will have a 1.5-liter EcoBoost three-cylinder under its hood, which is 50 percent larger than the 1.0-liter EcoBoost engine found in non-ST versions of the 2018 Fiesta. That engine happens to net this Fiesta an unexpected first — it’ll be the first Ford Performance vehicle to sport only three pistons.
Engine output, at least in European trim, is 197 hp — exactly the same as the current model despite the cylinder loss. Helping you keep all 197 hp under control, the 2018 Fiesta ST will have three different drive modes that control engine response, traction control and steering characteristics. For those familiar with Ford Performance vehicles, these modes won’t come as a surprise. They are normal, sport and track.
Ford includes cylinder deactivation in the new ST, which kills fuel and shuts the valves on one cylinder in an effort to help the small hot hatch sip more fuel. The Fiesta ST will also have Electric Sound Enhancement and an active exhaust valve to help compensate for the missing cylinder from your previous ST.
The Fiesta ST will be available at its European launch in both three-door and five-door bodies. We don’t know if the sporty three-door will survive the ST’s Americanization, so you might keep your eyes planted on the five-door. Besides that, we don’t think Ford will water down too many of the Euro spec’s features. Of course, we’ll find out as the Fiesta ST gets close to reaching American shores.