ROAD TEST: Ford Fiesta ST 200

ROAD TEST: Ford Fiesta ST 200

Precise steering and improved handling make for a dynamic drive.

If I was in the market for a car that makes me feel special and knew within seconds that I was driving something different, getting my hands on the limited-edition Ford Fiesta ST 200 would then be a very smart choice.

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While we’re waiting for the seventh instalment of the Fiesta, this ST 200 aims to be the last one in the Mk6 family, so you should by now at least understand why it’s a special car.

Let me clear off the dust first. The 200 insignia expresses the amount of horsepower the engine churns out. Ford managed to fiddle with the engine to give it 200hp (149kW) which makes it the most powerful Fiesta ST yet.

The rather sad news about this car is that Ford SA only introduced 160 units for our country, so should you want one after reading this, you have limited time to lay your hands on one. It does look good. People driving standard STs will likely distinguish it by the ST 200 badge, of course, an exclusive ‘Storm Grey’ metallic colour and some matt black 17-inch five-spoke alloys.

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Jump inside the car, Recaro heated sport seats greet you with partial leather. The seats provide optimal support, especially during cornering.

Talking about numbers again, you also get 290Nm of torque (up by 50Nm from standard ST’s 240Nm) all accessed through an enhanced six-speed manual gearbox.

But here’s the thing, when the “overboost” kicks in, it gives you an extra 11kW and 30Nm for up to 20 seconds, similar to what we have seen in the Volkswagen Golf GTI Clubsport.

So, in short, you could try flaming out the 162kW Golf GTI, but only for 20 seconds. Attaching our road test equipment to the car and heading off to the Gerotek testing facility, I was eager to find out if it is indeed quicker than its direct competitors, like the Polo GTI and Renault Clio RS Trophy.

It isn’t the fastest in the segment, being able to return a nottoo-bad sprint to 0-100km/h in 7.38 seconds, crossing the ¼ mile mark at 15.29 seconds before hitting a true top speed of 231km/h.

This is not a racing car but one that suits your every day driving. Its direct rivals were quick off the line, with most of them reaching 100km/h from a stand still under 7 seconds.

However, with the precise steering and improved handling, the ST 200 is one of the most dynamic small cars you’ll ever drive. On paper, it’s capable of returning 6.1 litres per 100km. With some economical driving, expect the fuel consumption to drop below our 8.3 litres per 100km.

The out-of-date centre console that features a bunch of small buttons and a small four-inch screen that was a bit of a hassle to operate while on the go.

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Considering that rivals offer something a bit more practical to use, Ford should up its game here, and will with the new generation car. Like most limited-edition cars, you get the top safety equipment as standard.

It is fun and fabulous to look at and it will fall into the collector’s items in the long run.

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