Freshly Forbidden Fruit: 2019 Ford Fiesta ST Performance Edition

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky
freshly forbidden fruit 2019 ford fiesta st performance edition

To our collective horror, Ford decided not to sell the new Fiesta ST in North America. Instead, the automaker chose to cull its passenger car lineup during a period of declining demand and profitability in order to focus on higher-margin trucks, crossovers, and SUVs. No one in this office is particularly excited about the idea, but most of us could rationalize our hurt by trying to see things from Ford’s perspective and focusing on the bottom line. However, Ford is just rubbing salt into our wound at this point.

While the 2019 Ford Fiesta ST has abandoned its turbocharged 1.6-liter four-banger for a more Euro-friendly 1.5-liter triple boasting the same 197 horsepower and more torque, the United Kingdom also receives a limited-run Performance Edition that would have made a nifty little runabout/track day hooligan. Sure, it probably wouldn’t have been a hit here. But we would at least like to have the opportunity not to buy it.

Ford only plans on building 600 of these little bastards, all of which will be sold within the UK. Upgrades include a Ford Performance coilover suspension setup, which consists of new stainless steel damper housings and springs powered coated in blue, plus a set of lightweight alloy wheels coated in sharp-looking/durable magnetite film.

Tweaked at the Nürburgring, the suspension lowers the Fiesta’s ride height by 15mm in the front and 10mm in the rear. However, if you’re not satisfied with the Ford Performance settings, the undercarriage can be tailored further — with 12 manually adjustable bump settings and 16 rebound states.

Meanwhile, the 18-inch wheels manage to shave off over 15 pounds of unsprung weight, collectively. While that’s not going to result in the car publicly shaming Italian exotics, it should create a slight uptick in dynamics against the standard ST. Nobody outside the car is going to notice without a stopwatch, but you might sense something from behind the wheel.

The rest of the Fiesta ST Performance Edition’s magic comes via its relation to the top-tier ST-3, which incorporates launch control, shift indicators, and a limited-slip differential. It also comes with an enhanced Bang & Olufsen audio system.

Ultimately, that means it’ll be the most expensive Fiesta money can buy. While Ford hasn’t released any pricing details yet, we expect it to come in a few grand higher than the current ST-3. But, since its MSRP is unlikely to ever be calculated into U.S. dollars, it’s a little difficult for us to care. The Edge ST is fine but we’re going to miss its smaller brethren, who are, honestly, more deserving of the ST badge.

[Images: Ford Motor Co.]

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  • Cimarron typeR Cimarron typeR on Apr 12, 2019

    I've always been a fan of the ST branded HBs.The 3 cyl is intriguing. I've considered a 3 cyl. Mini, to commute in, but that's way too much of a risk to have 2 British cars in the garage.It's a shame that Mazda think it's Acura/Infiniti now and pricing the 3 with a 6mt way too aggressively.

  • WallMeerkat WallMeerkat on Apr 15, 2019

    A strange world when US motoring enthusiasts are lamenting the loss of the Fiesta

  • Nrd515 I bought an '88 S10 Blazer with the 4.3. We had it 4 years and put just about 48K on it with a bunch of trips to Nebraska and S. Dakota to see relatives. It had a couple of minor issues when new, a piece of trim fell off the first day, and it had a seriously big oil leak soon after we got it. The amazinly tiny starter failed at about 40K, it was fixed under some sort of secret warranty and we got a new Silverado as a loaner. Other than that, and a couple of tires that blew when I ran over some junk on the road, it was a rock. I hated the dash instrumentation, and being built like a gorilla, it was about an inch and a half too narrow for my giant shoulders, but it drove fine, and was my second most trouble free vehicle ever, only beaten by my '82 K5 Blazer, which had zero issues for nearly 50K miles. We sold the S10 to a friend, who had it over 20 years and over 400,000 miles on the original short block! It had a couple of transmissions, a couple of valve jobs, a rear end rebuild at 300K, was stolen and vandalized twice, cut open like a tin can when a diabetic truck driver passed out(We were all impressed at the lack of rust inside the rear quarters at almost 10 years old, and it just went on and on. Ziebart did a good job on that Blazer. All three of his sons learned to drive in it, and it was only sent to the boneyard when the area above the windshield had rusted to the point it was like taking a shower when it rained. He now has a Jeep that he's put a ton of money into. He says he misses the S10's reliablity a lot these days, the Jeep is in the shop a lot.
  • Jeff S Most densely populated areas have emission testing and removing catalytic converters and altering pollution devices will cause your vehicle to fail emission testing which could effect renewing license plates. In less populated areas where emission testing is not done there would probably not be any legal consequences and the converter could either be removed or gutted both without having to buy specific parts for bypassing emissions. Tampering with emission systems would make it harder to resell a vehicle but if you plan on keeping the vehicle and literally running it till the wheels fall off there is not much that can be done if there is no emission testing. I did have a cat removed on a car long before mandatory emission testing and it did get better mpgs and it ran better. Also had a cat gutted on my S-10 which was close to 20 years old which increased performance and efficiency but that was in a state that did not require emission testing just that reformulated gas be sold during the Summer months. I would probably not do it again because after market converters are not that expensive on older S-10s compared to many of the newer vehicles. On newer vehicles it can effect other systems that are related to the operating and the running of the vehicle. A little harder to defeat pollution devices on newer vehicles with all the systems run by microprocessors but if someone wants to do it they can. This law could be addressing the modified diesels that are made into coal rollers just as much as the gasoline powered vehicles with cats. You probably will still be able to buy equipment that would modify the performance of a vehicles as long as the emission equipment is not altered.
  • ToolGuy I wonder if Vin Diesel requires DEF.(Does he have issues with Sulfur in concentrations above 15ppm?)
  • ToolGuy Presented for discussion:
  • Kevin Ford can do what it's always done. Offer buyouts to retirement age employees, and transfers to operating facilities to those who aren't retirement age. Plus, the transition to electric isn't going to be a finger snap one time event. It's going to occur over a few model years. What's a more interesting question is: Where will today's youth find jobs in the auto industry given the lower employment levels?