Ford sprung one of the biggest surprises at this year’s Geneva show: a red-hot Fiesta RS. The Blue Oval hopes to repeat the success of the hottest Focus with its second Rallye Sport model in as many years.
Although dubbed a concept, the Fiesta RS you see here will barely change when it arrives in showrooms in less than two years’ time. Ford claims that nothing on the show car is unfeasible for production and Team RS director Jost Capito told Autocar: ‘This is not a way-out-there concept car. It can be very similar in production form.’
Powering the RS will be a tuned version of the 2.0-litre Duratec HE four-cylinder engine that sees service in the Mondeo and will be shared with the 148bhp Fiesta ST warm hatch, which was also unveiled at Geneva.
In the Fiesta RS, it will breathe naturally rather than by the forced induction of the turbo Focus RS. At this stage, Ford will only say that power will be ‘in excess of 180bhp’: our sources suggest the final figure will be between 190 and 200bhp.
Capito said: ‘Why no turbo? We wanted to keep the RS insurable and costs down. Besides, we can do a lot with a 2.0-litre engine in a B-segment car without needing a turbo. Don’t forget the Focus RS isn’t as powerful as some rivals – it’s about how it drives as much as how it goes in a straight line.’
However, Capito went on to explain that the cooling package was designed to accommodate a turbocharger – a hint that a blown version could be offered by aftermarket tuners, or a possible Cosworth range-topper. Hence the dominating front air scoops are functional, not just for show.
Boasting performance figures years in advance of a car’s launch is a dangerous game – just ask Bugatti – so Ford is keeping it vague at this stage, preferring to quote a 0-60mph target of ‘around 7.0sec’.