A Ford Fiesta ST concept has been launched at the Frankfurt motor show this morning - and is set to go into production next year.
The turbocharged baby hot hatch stars alongside the all-new Focus ST range, which includes an estate version for the first time.
The Fiesta ST is a thinly veiled concept that confirms Ford’s intentions to launch a global performance version of its hit supermini. It will follow in a long line of baby fast Fords that include the XR2, XR2i, RS1800, RS Turbo and the previous-generation ST.
Ford has previously played down speculation that a Fiesta ST would be launched, claiming that the model would lack the global appeal needed for it to be signed off under the One Ford strategy.
But the success of the Fiesta in North America — alongside strong demand from Europe for a faster Fiesta and a factory Fiesta RS competing in the World Rally Championship — has convinced the decision makers in Detroit to sign the car off for production next year.
The Fiesta’s class-leading chassis has always given the impression that it can handle more power. At the heart of the front-drive concept sits a 178bhp, 177lb ft 1.6-litre, four-cylinder Ecoboost petrol engine mated to a six-speed manual gearbox. The most powerful factory Fiesta at present is the 132bhp 1.6 in the special-edition Fiesta S1600.
The Fiesta ST concept can cover 0-62mph in less than seven seconds and reach 137mph, compared with the Renault Clio 200’s 6.9sec and 141mph. Ford claims CO2 emissions will be lower than 140g/km and the fuel economy figure will be “attractive”.
Styling inspiration is taken from the Fiesta RS WRC car and the Focus ST production car. It has a large, trapezoidal grille with a honeycomb mesh, a large rear diffuser, twin exhaust system, 17in alloy wheels and a full ST body kit. It is finished in a vibrant Molten Orange paint, a colour also seen in the interior, which features Recaro sports seats.