The arrival of the new Ford Fiesta brought with it four feisty options: the Active model, the sporty ST-Line (pictured here), the luxury-focused Vignale, and the stylish Titanium. The four combined wrangle as much as 138 horsepower (102 kilowatts) from a 1.0-liter EcoBoost three-cylinder engine – but it won’t be until the end of 2017 that we see a full-blown ST trim.
According to AutoRai, development boss of Ford ST and RS models, Tyrone Johnson, said "production will start in January 2018," but that we’ll see the car a few months early in late 2017, and that it will be available in both three- and five-door variants at launch.
The looks of the ST will build upon the already upscale design of the new Fiesta hatchback with a set of sporty features; wheels, fascia, side skirts, and more. Johnson said that the design team will borrow elements from the Focus RS, but execs say that there are no plans for a four-wheel-drive RS version version the Fiesta… yet.
"Ultimately, it comes down to making money and setting priorities," said vice president of product development, Joe Bakaj. "Focus RS was more important to develop than Fiesta RS. We can’t really do anything. But in the future: never say never."
The Fiesta ST, meanwhile, is expected to get a more powerful version of the already-available1.6-liter turbocharged unit. Power will increase from 197 horsepower (146 kilowatts) to north of 200 horsepower (149 kilowatts), and safe 0-60 mph (0-96 kmh) estimate would be around 6.5 seconds. Of course, we anticipate Ford will keep the six-speed manual as standard, but could offer the option of a sporty version of the six-speed dual-clutch to appeal to a wider range of buyers.
We’ll know more definitive details closer to the 2018 Fiesta ST’s release date.