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”.