13 May 2004

Ford has picked the British Motor Show to introduce the third and final entrant in its hot Fiesta family – the Fiesta Zetec-S. It will become the Blue Oval’s first diesel hot hatch.

Sitting below the ST and RS performance models, the Zetec-S is designed to be the most affordable of the small hatch’s sporting breed. In a return to the strategy that gave us the last Fiesta Zetec-S in 1999, the new model will mix at-the-wheel thrills with reasonable running costs and an attractive forecourt price.

Back in ’99, Ford simply squeezed in a 1600cc engine borrowed from the Focus – a unit that is already available in today’s Fiesta in standard Zetec trim. But this time round there is a choice of either a 98bhp 1.6 Duratec petrol or a 1.6 Duratorq TDCi diesel, pumping out 88bhp and close to 150lb ft of torque.

Although prices are as yet unconfirmed, a Ford spokesman hinted that, when they go on sale in December, the entry level warm hatches would cost between £12 and £13k – just as the car’s namesake did five years ago. That premium over the standard Zetec buys styling tweaks, with ST-style 16in alloy wheels and spoiler, as well as that car’s sports-tuned suspension.

However, that means that the 150bhp ST (right) will cost more than expected at around £14k, while the range-topping 200bhp RS would come in at £16,000.

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Dallara Stradale
    The Stradale is the first road-legel car from Italian motorsport constructor Dallara
    First Drive
    16 March 2018
    The motorsport constructor's first road car is inspired by Lotus minimalism. Does it thrill on road and track?
  • Hyundai i30 N
    Standard spec is good so paint colour is our car’s only option
    First Drive
    16 March 2018
    What’s Hyundai’s first hot hatch and N-brand debutant really like? Let’s find out
  • Porsche Boxster GTS
    This is the new GTS version of the Porsche Boxster
    First Drive
    15 March 2018
    The 718-generation Boxster is our favourite roadster of the moment – so is this new GTS variant worth the extra outlay?
  • BMW 5 Series
    First Drive
    15 March 2018
    The BMW 5 Series is top of the mid-exec pack, but is there still room for a diesel saloon in everyday family life?
  • Audi A7 front
    First Drive
    14 March 2018
    The new Audi A7 Sportback looks the part, but how does the new Mercedes-Benz CLS rival cope on UK roads? We find out