With the launch of the new Fiesta ST looming, Ford has supplied us with some tasty new technical details. The most interesting one? It’ll have an optional limited-slip differential.
It’s a geared ATB (Automatic Torque Biasing) differential from UK-based firm Quaife, which can send anything up to 80 per cent of available torque to one driven wheel. The old Fiesta ST wasn’t a car that was crying out for an LSD, but we can’t wait to see what the part will do to the driveability of the new one.
Next up, there’s the Launch Control system, which is also - I’m afraid - optional. Once selected via some buttons on the steering wheel, you simply put your foot down, wait for the engine speed to hold, and when the car tells you it’s ready, you dump the clutch. Then, the ST performs an “optimised standing start” which is achieved via help from the ESC, traction control plus the Torque Vectoring Control and Torque Steer Compensation systems.
Something which all Fiesta STs will come with is Ford’s ‘force vectoring springs’. In the company’s own words, these are “directionally-wound springs,” that, “apply vectoring forces to the rear suspension and enables cornering forces to travel directly into the spring, for increased lateral stiffness.”
Benefits including a sharper turn-in, better steering response and a lower weight figure, all without ruining ride quality, Ford claims. Nice.
The biggest change of all with the ST? That’s one we’ve known about since last year - it’s received a downsized 1.5-litre inline-three turbo, in place of the outgoing generation’s 1.6-litre inline-four. With 197bhp on tap it won’t be wanting for poke, but have Ford done enough to make sure it’s as responsive as the old four-banger? We’ll find out when we have our first drive in a few week’s time.