Ford's Fiesta launched into the US market with a splash thanks to a very well-orchestrated pre-launch PR campaign, but sales haven't proven all that robust over time, with Ford selling just 47,474 examples through October of this year (down 22.6 percent versus 2011).
Ford will be looking to reignite some of that early excitement with a new performance model, the 2014 Fiesta ST, and thanks to some leaked specs made available to Autoblog, we now have a very complete picture of what the tiny terror will look like.
Powered by a 1.6-liter EcoBoost four wearing a single turbocharger, our source says the ST will deliver 180 horsepower and 177 pound-feet of torque, with a temporary overboost mode to extend peak twist. Both figures represent very healthy increases over the standard Fiesta's 1.6-liter Duratec engine, which chips in 120 hp and 112 lb-ft of torque. Like its Focus ST big brother, the new model will feature a so-called "Sound Symposer" to deliver a proper enthusiast's soundtrack. Shifting duties will fall to a six-speed manual, and the front-wheel drive five-door will also feature torque-vectoring technology and a three-mode stability control system for more entertaining handling antics.
The Fiesta ST will ride on a uniquely tuned and lowered sport suspension paired with 17-inch alloys (an inch larger than those available on the lesser Fiestas) wrapped in 205/40R17 Bridgestone Potenza rubber, and braking will be augmented by four-wheel discs with high-performance pads instead of the disc/drum combination on lower models.
Aesthetically, the Fiesta ST will receive a full performance rework, with a gaping trapezoidal grill with a mesh honeycomb insert that's a close kin to that of the Focus ST, along with a body kit said to mirror Ford's World Rally Championship racer (interestingly, Ford has already announced it will exit the series after 2012). Other additions include a rear spoiler, dual chrome exhaust tips and blacked-out headlamp surrounds.
When the hot hatch launches sometime in 2013, it will arrive in the buyer's choice of seven colors: Green Envy Metallic, Molten Orange Metallic, Ingot Silver Metallic, Oxford White, Performance Blue, Race Red or Tuxedo Black Metallic.
Given that Ford debuted the Fiesta ST in concept form at the Los Angeles Auto Show last year, we'd be surprised if the production model didn't surface in the City of Angels later this month. No word yet on pricing or availability, but logic suggests it will need to come in well under the reasonably priced Focus ST, which starts at $23,700.