Although the outgoing Ford Fiesta ST had its loyal fan base, its bland styling never did it any favors. So while we wait for the Blue Oval to decide on what Fiesta body-style should make it to American shores, the real litmus test over on the British Isles will be what sort of performance derivatives the dynamically-styled new Fiesta will spawn.
One of the principal rivals to any new hot-hatch Fiesta will be the Abarth variants of the Fiat Grande Punto. And like the two-stage Abarth models, the Fiesta is expected to follow Ford's double-barrel formula for a warm ST and, if the fantasies of Ford performance fans are fulfilled, a Fiesta RS as well. The Fiesta ST is anticipated to use a 1.6-liter turbo, which could get an upgrade to 200hp for the Fiesta RS. Add to that an aggressive aero kit, bulging wheel arches, a stripped-out cabin with racing buckets, tightened suspension, beefed-up rolling stock and potentially a dual-clutch transmission and Ford could have a real barn-burner in the Fiesta RS. If projections are accurate, the Fiesta ST should bow next year and the RS a year after that. Whether Ford deems us worthy of seeing them Stateside, however, remains to be seen.