Ford is celebrating 100 years in Ireland and throughout the year there will be highlights and treats for its customers. The launch of a range of ST Line cars is not quite a giveaway but it is a welcome occurrence. Ford at the ST Line launch also teased at a potential ‘Tolls courtesy of Ford’ giveaway – watch this space.
ST Line is following a trend in the car industry to deliver great sporty good looks without the high power that pure Ford STs deliver. These more insurance friendly ST Line Fords still get good power and sports suspension, but they are more usable and running cost friendly. Ford says they will have a broad appeal that new and old Ford customers will appreciate.
Ford Ireland has also dropped its budget entry models, so across the range the better equipped Zetec is now the entry point or in the case of Kuga Titanium.
These days Ireland’s economy is very used to foreign direct investment but back in 1917 Henry Ford’s new business was a massive investment in our little country. The motivation behind his decision was to ultimately regain control of the boardroom of Ford in the US but it also gave hope to those Irish families who’s children had been forced to leave the island for a better life across the Atlantic. Ford’s new factory in Cork was the first of its kind built from scratch outside The States – anywhere in the world.
The ST Line range is available on Fiesta, Focus, Mondeo and Kuga passenger cars. They share common features, special ‘Rock’ alloys, sporty exterior colour coded trim pieces and of course sports suspension that is surprisingly comfortable. Inside ST Line delivers sport seats, a black headliner, a sports steering wheel and sporty alloy pedals.
Fiesta starts off with ST Line from €21,350 for the 100hp EcoBoost 1 litre, for a few euros more you an get the 125hp version for €22,000 in the striking Red and Black edition. There is a new Fiesta on the way this year so I’d wait for it – unless the deal you get offered is too good to pass up.
Focus starts from €24,875 (125hp EcoBoost) and features a broad range of engines and ST Line is also available in estate form. Ford expects the 1.5 litre diesel to be the most popular with 120hp and a starting price of €25,950.
Mondeo ST Line starts with the 2 litre TDCi with 150hp from €34,295.
Kuga already is well equipped in its standard Titanium specification but ST Line add a bit of aggression with its tasty black alloys. The popular 1.5 diesel starts off the range with its 120hp starting from €36,145.
“With our new ST-Line range even more customers can experience sporty style and driving dynamics inspired by our most exciting Ford Performance line-up ever, that includes models such as the Focus RS, Fiesta ST200 and Ford GT supercar” said Ciarán McMahon, Chairman and Managing Director of Ford Ireland. “With its sporty looks, extra powered engines and good value, I am sure our new ST-Line range will appeal to a broad range of buyers.”
ST Line is a nice lift for the Ford range and I think the Focus gets the best enhancement. I tested a blue 150hp 2 litre diesel (from €27,350) and it had the right amount of torque that would suit a GTD type of driver or high mileage commuter who likes to occasionally take the long way home.