FORD is turning up the heat with a super-fast Fiesta that takes Britain's top selling model into the high performance zone.
Pushing the boundaries of the Fiesta ST to a new level, the newcomer has red hot hatch credentials with a 0 to 60 time of just 6.7 seconds and a maximum of 143mph.
Revised suspension and a slick, short-throw six speed manual box make the new Fiesta ST200 much more compliant than the regular ST cars - and it's even more fun on the road.
The 1.6-litre EcoBoost turbo engine - made in Britain at Ford's engine works in Bridgend, South Wales - has been pushed to 200bhp and that is 10 per cent more power than in the standard ST.
Take it into overboost and 215bhp is on tap for a quick burst of power. On paper that shaves its 30 to 60mph time down to 5.2 seconds from 6.4 seconds in other STs - and that's in fourth gear.
Priced from £22,745 the ST200 slots into the fast Ford line up between the hot Fiestas and their Focus counterparts.
The Fiesta ST200 is a limited run model and available only in a Storm Grey paint job - a finish underscored by matching grey bands on the seatbelt webbing.
It's a love it or loathe it colour and certainly makes the car different. Ford says to make the ST200 even more special it will never be used on another model.
Put the ST200 through its paces - as we have just done with a run up the famous Goodwood Hill during the Festival of Speed - and the satisfying growl from the exhausts and some pin-sharp handling come to the fore.
That's not to mention its very lively take off and power throughout the rev range - demonstrated not just on the Goodwood track but also on the surrounding roads.
Even so, mid-30s economy is realistic with Ford claiming an official fuel return of 46.3mpg with emissions of 140g/km.
Interior tweaks include Recaro sports seats - stitched in red and white - a black headlining and an ST200 legend on the centre panel in front of the gear lever.
There's also a sports steering wheel with an ST plate fixed to the bottom and special ST kickplates on the door sills.
Outside, there's a honeycomb grille at the front, a meaty roof spoiler at the rear and five-spoke matt finish alloys.
It's 40 years since the Fiesta first hit the scene and the ST200 - as the most powerful of the current crop - is kicking off Ford's celebrations in style.
The Fiesta is a car which has changed the nation's motoring landscape and some 4.33 million have been sold since 1976 and it is a model which has dominated the sales charts since 2008 notching up an average of 135,000 sales a year.
However, the ST200 is on a limited production run and will be made in its hundreds rather than thousands and while it is a special car for a special occasion some of its features will linger on.
The new suspension set up and the revisions Ford has made to the triple-mode traction and stability systems which make the ST200 such a great car to drive will be incorporated in all future versions of the Fiesta ST. Sadly, the added grunt will not.