We firmly believe that Ford is developing a hotter, faster version of the Fiesta hatchback. We spied what appeared to be a Fiesta ST testing on Germany’s Nürburgring last month, and now our colleagues at Motor Trend have dished up another spy photo of the feistier Fiesta.
The tester appears to be based on the pedestrian Fiesta SES -- witness the tell-tale badges on the hatch -- but a restyled front fascia portends more performance. The car’s wheels seem wrapped in tires with extremely skinny sidewalls, and it almost looks as if an intercooler is peeking out from beneath the front bumper. As Motor Trend notes, this car also benefits from rear discs brakes, whereas all current Fiestas are offered with rear drum brakes.
It’s expected that Ford will soon launch the Fiesta ST as a small, high-performance option that will slot underneath the upcoming Focus ST. It’s expected to use a turbocharged 1.6-liter EcoBoost engine rated for about 180 hp and 160 lb-ft of torque. That engine is debuting in the European-market C-Max. For the ST, it will be coupled to a six-speed manual transmission.
It goes without saying that stickier tires, more aggressive suspension, and hefty brakes will all be on board to help the Fiesta ST handle curves. Based on these photos, we can be sure the chassis has been tuned on the challenging Nürburgring.
The Fiesta ST should debut sometime in 2012, around the same time as the big-brother 247-hp Focus ST. While the latter car has been repeatedly confirmed for American consumption, there is no official word as to availability of the Fiesta ST. Our belief is that the go-fast Fiesta will arrive stateside -- in part because Ford previously told us, “There are future performance-oriented [Fiesta] models intended for North America.”
What say you? Does this test mule hint at a faster Fiesta ST? And if so, will it come to the U.S. market? Have your say in the comments section below, and be sure to check out the full set of spy photos at Motor Trend.
Source: Motor Trend