FOR the first time in its history the Ford Fiesta ST hatchback is being made available as a five-door alongside the three-door model.
Applied wisdom in the motor industry has usually dictated that hot hatchbacks should come with three doors, but the decision by Ford to add the five door makes good marketing sense and will make this higher performance version of the Fiesta more attractive to family drivers who still want to get an extra kick out of their motoring.
It will provide additional practicality thanks to easier access to the rear seats for passengers and for parents with small children, while retaining the performance and driving dynamics that earned the Fiesta ST more than 20 awards around the globe during its first year on sale.
The model's 1.6-litre EcoBoost petrol engine delivers 182PS and 240Nm of torque, enabling 0-62mph acceleration in 6.9 seconds alongside 46.3mpg fuel efficiency and 141g/km CO emissions.
The performance-tuned chassis features optimised suspension, steering and brakes, supported by enhanced Torque Vectoring Control - which applies brake force to the inside front wheel when cornering to improve road holding and reduce understeer without affecting speed - and three-mode Electronic Stability Control.
Exclusive exterior styling features on the ST include 17-inch alloy wheels, unique grille, dynamic headlight design, and a rear diffuser. Recaro seats and unique ST detailing feature inside.
"Growing numbers of customers have been asking us for a five-door version," according to Roelant de Waard, Ford of Europe's vice president, of marketing, sales and service. "The Fiesta ST with five doors makes an affordable Ford Performance driving experience accessible to an even greater number of customers."
Priced from £19,495 in the UK on ST-2 and ST-3 series from October, Ford predicts the new five door model will account for 25 per cent of Fiesta ST sales in Europe.