The car maker has refrained from providing comment, but Autocar understands a hotter version of the Fiesta ST is on its way, sold under the name ST Plus.
The faster Fiesta, one of seven new Fords planned for this year, will be a powered-up, more focused version of the Fiesta ST rather than a full RS model.
More power and torque are expected from the ST’s turbocharged 1.6-litre engine, which has so far been tuned to 212bhp and 236lb ft in its most potent Mountune form. A sharper chassis and more extreme bodykit are other likely additions to the car.
Rumours that a Fiesta RS would be produced appear to have lost momentum, possibly because there’s no room for such a model in Ford’s tightly compacted hot hatch line-up.
The Focus ST, for example, produces 247bhp from its turbocharged 2.0-litre engine and is priced from £22,745. But the Fiesta ST is only 35bhp down on this once the Mountune kit has been added, and in its top-spec form it’s barely a couple of thousand pounds cheaper.
The four-wheel-drive Focus RS has set a trend that a Fiesta RS would have to follow, but such a car would likely tread on the toes of the Focus ST. A slightly less hardcore Fiesta ST Plus model would therefore squeeze more neatly into the available line-up.
Ford does want to produce more RS models at a later date, however. The firm's global sales and marketing chief, Stephen Odell, said at the recent Detroit motor show that RS “was a really valuable brand” and that the company had “an opportunity to keep it fresh”.
Just yesterday, Ford announced it will be unveiling a new model, its latest in-car technology and the latest Ford Smart Mobility developments at this month's Mobile World Congress event in Barcelona. Though nothing more has been revealed, we expect the updates to come part of a Kuga facelift.