By on April 11, 2019

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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23 Comments on “Freshly Forbidden Fruit: 2019 Ford Fiesta ST Performance Edition...”

  • avatar
    Art Vandelay

    “But we would at least like to have the opportunity not to buy it.”

    I can say 100 percent, as a Fiesta ST Owner that I would have purchased this car (or at least the normal ST) were it to be sold here. I would have probably played the stupid Shelby type games with the dealer to get it. I would have probably paid an 80’s Honda style Market Adjustment to get it.

    I love my 18′. It occupies a spot among the top tier of cars I have owned to include a nearly new E30 chassis BMW and a string of European Forbidden Fruit cars back in the 90’s. The 2019 addresses my 2 quibbles the car (the 4 door styling looks odd and it could really use a limited slip).

    I may keep it at lease end. I had hoped to replace it with this one at some point, even though that seemed unlikely. But life is short so I will hope something else comes out or I’ll have to look at VW.

    • 0 avatar
      Art Vandelay

      I’d have paid extra for that color too

    • 0 avatar

      Agree that it should’ve been a 3 door, but there was a 3 door of the previous gen in Europe as well, even if the new Fiesta made it here it would’ve been 5 door only

      • 0 avatar
        Art Vandelay

        Maybe, but at least I’d get the LSD and rear end looks better on this. Plus I bet the 3 cylinder is a riot to drive. I seriously considered getting the Ecoboost 3, adding a crazy tune (couldn’t find out if you could get them here or not), and bolting on the ST suspension. The shifter wasn’t up there with the ST though and price wise it wasnt worth it.

      • 0 avatar

        sheesh, you people are incredible. 5 door hatches are a tough enough sell, a 3 door would be lot poison.

    • 0 avatar

      Based on experience with the “current” one, I’d get the regular. 15mm chopped off the suspension, is a step too far for me on US roads. The one available here, was darned near perfectly tuned.

      At car RPMs, the three cylinder Triumphs sounds plain awesome! Not sure if that would translate to a turbo, but it just might. Cars this side of S2000s, never really rev to where I4s get to sing their intoxicating vail.

      • 0 avatar
        Art Vandelay

        Agree on that. The suspension is perfect. I’d just like the new gen one Europe gets. Even if we only got the 4 door.

        • 0 avatar

          I agree too, the current car is low enough for me.

          Re: 3 Cyl, I took a friend’s 3 Cyl ecoboost (not the ST) out for a spirited drive while we swapped cars. The engine sound was more interesting than the 4, but the rest of the car (and the top end of the torque curve) wasn’t as exciting. The ride was more comfortable though. Given how much I liked that engine, I would consider a more fun tuned version of the 3 a potential upgrade in character and economy over the 4. Not sure if it would be as lively to drive.

    • 0 avatar

      Funny to see you reference the E30; I’ve got a similar brand/era reference point (but never the privilege of driving an E30). The Fiesta ST is the only car I’ve driven that gives me the same kind of driving fun that my dad’s old BMW 2002 did when I was learning to drive. No matter what happens with it, I will think back on it as only the second car I’ve actually enjoyed driving.

      If the next generation were still that good, I might buy one in addition to the current one I have. I’m not sure if I’m joking.

      Pinning my hopes on the Miata being available and being that fun when I go back on the car market, because this new Ford option will probably not be there. I’m not a convertible guy, but I like small and light cars. Will check out the Hyundai Veloster N, but it is bigger and I previously ruled out the GTI/Focus/Mazda3 as too huge for me.

  • avatar

    Back after Ford made the announcement that they were going to stop building/selling cars in North America I was angry. These days I’m mostly over it. As the author points out, no one would have bought this great car simply because it has the gall to not be a 3-ton behemoth. So my current position is that we fat-asses in North America just don’t deserve interesting cars like this.

    Who really needs a Fiesta ST? Bring on the F150 Platinum Lariat Raptor Harley Davidson ST!

    (As an aside, earlier this week we had a spring snowstorm. One thing that seriously bugs me is that with so many people driving trucks and SUVs that also means that many vehicles on the road are so tall that mere mortals can’t properly clear the snow off them. So what’s the solution? Ignore the snow! One of two things will happen to that foot of snow on the roof. It’ll either blow off the back striking vehicles behind you, which is, in the SUV driver’s case is no big deal. Or, it’ll slide forward over your windshield as you slow in traffic thereby obscuring any view of the outside world. But, in the SUV driver’s case that’s also no big deal because if you’re lucky you’ll run into some idiot who was dumb enough to buy a Fiesta and he or she will cushion the crash for you.

    Seriously, I am soooooo looking forward to the day when this truck craze ends.

  • avatar

    They finally get the styling right and we can’t have it. Sonofasnitch.

    When will we get to turbocharging 2 cylinder engines. That feels like it’s next.

  • avatar

    This makes me realise how much I miss the hot hatch. We have the ancient GTI which is pretty much identical to the one I bought at the dawn of the decade, the semi hot Elantra GT N Type or whatever they call it, and the $55,000 Civic Type R and that’s it yes? Well, there’s the Veloster N but I have no idea whether to call it a hatch, sportabout, coupe or what.

    • 0 avatar

      Who is paying $55k for a CTR? Plenty are going before the $35k sticker.

      • 0 avatar
        Art Vandelay

        I heard they were going for crazy prices when they came out, but I’d imagine they are going for somewhere around MSRP now. They are really good driving cars, but come on…55k is way over Golf-R money.

    • 0 avatar

      Ancient GTI? The GTI selling today has the modular architecture – the first of its kind in 2015 – and one of the best, still. Great combination of light weight and space utilization. Some leading brands, including the Japanese, are adopting modular platform architecture only just now.

      I have a 2011, and it’s nothing like the new ones – totally different – almost nothing shared from Mk6 to Mk7.

      Today’s GTI is still considered the overall best of its type – due for replacement next year.

  • avatar

    No worries, there is always “sporty” Corolla available in your friendly Toyota dealership. But seriously how about zoom-zoom brand?

  • avatar
    cimarron typeR

    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.

  • avatar

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

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