that is one slow 197 hp, 2500 lbs car my pre-Fiesta 124 hp, 2400 lbs car ran 16.2 in the quarter mile. but seriously the specs listed in that article have the specs wrong. The Fiesta ST curb weight is 2742 lbs. A non-ST Fiesta is 2537 lbs. Also the Fiesta ST compression ratio is 10.0 to 1, not 10.5
I think it's the brakes on the "vectoring" to combat the torque steer that slows 1 and 2nd gear down. You tune that out and put a good differential in the front and you'll get better times even at the same power.