Following the latest-generation Ford Fiesta‘s debut, the hotter ST variant has been unveiled, this time with a 1.5 litre turbocharged three-cylinder engine. With 200 PS and and 290 Nm of torque, the new car may be one cylinder down on the outgoing model, but it’s no less potent – its output figures are identical to last year’s hardcore ST200 variant.

This makes the new car 20 PS and 50 Nm stronger than the standard B299 Fiesta ST. Headline figures include a 0-100 km/h time of 6.7 seconds, and with its new engine technologies, carbon dioxide emissions of just 114 grams per kilometre.

The all-aluminium engine in the new ST features an integrated exhaust manifold for improved efficiency thanks to reduced warm-up times, while also helping improve torque delivery by minimising the distance traveled by exhaust gases between the turbocharger and the cylinders. An exhaust gas particulate filter technology is also fitted to reduce soot emissions.

In terms of efficiency, the EcoBoost engine features cylinder deactivation, first announced for the new 1.0 litre version. In its operation, fuel delivery and valve operation is paused for one of the engine’s three cylinders when the engine is under partial load conditions, such as when coasting or cruising under part-throttle. The single cylinder can be deactivated and brought back online in just 14 milliseconds.

The powerplant is mated to a six-speed manual transmission, sending drive to the front wheels. Torque steer is a key challenge with front-wheel drive layouts in charge of considerable torque outputs, and on that front Ford has outfitted the Fiesta ST with brake-applied torque vectoring, where an inside front wheel is slowed in order to reduce understeer when cornering.

As with the Focus RS, the Fiesta ST now features driver-selectable drive modes, Normal, Sport, and Track – although unlike its big brother, there’s no Drift mode. In the first mode, parameters such as traction control, stability control, electronic sound enhancement (ESE), active exhaust valve and electronic power assisted steering are set up to “deliver natural responsiveness and a connected feel,” says Ford.

Sport mode sharpens engine and throttle mapping, while the power steering is set up for more feedback and finer control. The ESE, which is said to amplify the “naturally sporty sound” of the 1.5 litre mill, also steps the aural aggression up a notch, while the exhaust valve is opened to pump up the volume.

Finally in Track mode, the Fiesta ST is “tuned for the fastest possible lap times,” with traction control disabled and ESC set to a ‘wide-slip’ mode for hard driving. The stability control can be set in three levels – fully switched on, wide-slip mode with partial intervention, and complete deactivation.

Where the previous Fiesta ST was intially available in only the three-door body, with the five-door following much later in its lifecycle, the 2018 Fiesta ST will be available in both three- and five-door guises right out of the block. “Our ST models are designed to make a Ford Performance driving experience accessible to customers regardless of lifestyle,” said chief programme engineer Matthias Tonn.

Distinguishing the ST from the standard Fiesta is a more aggressive front end with a motorsport-style grille, side skirts and a body-coloured rear diffuser with twin tailpipes; the 18-inch alloy wheels are an inch larger than before. Inside, there are Recaro seats and a flat-bottomed steering wheel, and Ford promises greater customisation options and styling packs.

On the infotainment front, the Fiesta ST will be offered with Ford’s SYNC 3 infotainment system, which includes an eight-inch touchscreen with pinch and swipe gesture support, as well as support for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. A 675 W, 10-speaker B&O Play sound system will be offered as an option.