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Why the Ford Fiesta ST is one of the most significant cars of the last 25 years

To mark our 25th anniversary we name the 25 most significant driver's cars launched in the last 25 years. Deputy Editor James Taylor presents the case for the Ford Fiesta ST

Ford Fiesta ST200 – front

If we’re talking about the most significant driver’s cars of the last quarter century, then cars at a price point that have made the thrill of driving available to almost everyone are as significant as cars at the cutting edge of development.

I love mid-engined supercars and flyweight sports cars more than I do hot hatches, but some of my most enjoyable drives have been in Ford Fiesta STs. I know that 90 per cent of the time the Fiesta is as much or more fun than a Lamborghini Aventador, and easier to live with than 90 per cent of sports cars.

The original, Lego-blockish ST in 2004 was great but it was the 2013 ST, based on the sixth-generation Fiesta, that really moved the game on: deceptively fast and gleefully agile, happy to corner on three wheels at will and tail-happy to the point of wondering how on earth it was signed off for sale to customers. Thank goodness it was.

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The next ST, launched in 2018 and which ended its production run this year, kept much of the previous car’s blueprints while switching to a characterful three-cylinder engine that proved downsizing didn’t mean downtrading. And, if anything, it was even more tail-happy.

It’s the Peugeot 205 GTI of its generation. Hopefully its used values won’t orbit out of reach in the same way, but don’t bet against it happening one day.

This story was first featured in the 25th anniversary edition of evo. James also voted for the Alpine A110, Ferrari 458 Speciale, McLaren 720S and Porsche 911 GT3 RS (991.2) to round out his five most significant cars of the last 25 years.

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