Sizzling 250bhp Ford Fiesta RS on the horizon

17 Mar, 2015 11:55am Jack Rix

New Ford Fiesta RS hinted at by company bosses for release in 2017, and it could get 4WD

Ford has dropped its biggest hint yet that a ballistic Fiesta RS hot hatch will join the range in 2017. Company bosses have strongly suggested to us an RS model is on the horizon for this generation, before the all-new model appears in 2017. 

Forming an integral part of the brand’s plan to build 12 globally developed performance models by 2020, it’s tipped to take on the Audi S1 and forthcoming VW Polo R, and will join the new Focus RS – revealed next week – at the most extreme end of the hot hatch spectrum.

“The current Fiesta has another two- and-a-half years before it’s replaced. We’ll update the ST within that period, and after that there could be something else,” Tyrone Johnson, senior vehicle engineer for Ford Performance told us. Johnson’s hint seems to tally with Ford’s strategy of introducing RS models towards the end of a car’s lifecycle, and suggests a 2017 launch for the Fiesta RS.

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Our exclusive image shows how Britain’s best-selling car could be transformed into a boy racer’s dream, complete with a trio of gaping intakes, bonnet vent, blistered arches and big wheels with a wider track.

The most interesting changes are expected to take place under the skin, where the Fiesta’s front-wheel-drive layout could be swapped out for four-wheel drive, boosting traction significantly. It would also mirror Audi and VW’s strategy with the powertrains of the S1 and Polo R, and draw closer links with the RS-badged Fiesta WRC car. 

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As for power output, Peugeot has already proven it’s possible to extract 270bhp from a 1.6-litre turbo, so expect the Fiesta to stick with its 1.6 EcoBoost engine, but tuned to at least 250bhp. 

While Ford no longer financially backs the Fiesta WRC effort, it maintains a technical relationship with the M-Sport team, so will look to it for tips on building a reliable, highly tuned, small-capacity turbo engine and converting the Fiesta chassis to all-wheel drive. 

Ford has flirted with the idea of a Fiesta RS in the past, when it introduced the Fiesta RS concept at 2004’s Geneva Motor Show, but the business case fell apart. However, it’s believed that with the global success of the current Fiesta ST and two confirmed petrolheads at the helm of the company – Jim Farley (chairman and CEO, Ford of Europe) and Raj Nair (Ford group vice president, global product development) – the project has been given the go-ahead this time around. As always with Ford, price will be key. 

The ST’s success has been underpinned by its £17,395 starting figure, so the RS should undercut the S1 by kicking off from about £22,000. 

And don’t expect it to be a stripped-out track special, as Johnson explained: “It’s not hard to build a car that’s extreme in one direction; it’s getting the whole package right that matters.” 

Johnson also offered some interesting insight into the hierachy of Ford’s performance car product plan. “There will be three categories that each of these 12 cars will fall into,” he said. “Enhanced technology – models like the Fiesta ST and Focus ST. High performance – things like the F150 Raptor, Mustang GT350R and Focus RS. And then Ultra high-performance, which is the new GT.”

We asked if a new Fiesta RS could fall into the second bracket, and he smiled, saying: “Theoretically, it’s a possibility.”

Do you like the sound of a hot Fiesta RS? Let us know in the comments below...

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Why do they always release RS's at the end of the models lifecycle? If I'm going to buy the most expensive version of a model then I don't want it to go out of date within a year or so when a new model is released!

Surely it would make more sense to release the top of the range early in the lifecycle to act as a halo model to help drive sales of all versions of that model?!

yah thats really boring ford. no wonder you have to work hard on the business case. if it came out with other models it would probably sell much better too!

Jesus, that is ugly! If my dog looked like that, I'd shave its butt and make it walk backwards!

I don't think that the front end will be that bad when the real car released just look at the images of the new Focus, it should be a fantastic car to drive but i agree with Ben, why on earth bring out the 'halo' model when the standard model is about to be buried , that is not what the buying public want.

I hope that ford makes this happen because i love my 2012 Fiesta the one will so perfect sign me up…

What a great looking thing! A bit chav-tastic but any mad little hatch should be.

this will never happen. Just AExpress wasting our time again. Look back on all the other RS scoops over the years. Sells them a few mags I guess

I get what you're saying Ben, obviously that's the last thing someone want's when they buy a car, instant depreciation because it's an old model, but you've answered you're own question there really..
Ford do this because that is exactly what they want, you paying them top dollar for a car that will lose it's value in a month or two, and with it being the most powerful in the range, there will still be demand for it, even if just for the guys who want to be better than everyone else, there's a lot of them out there, and Ford knows this, as long as people carry on buying them, they'll carry on releasing them right before it becomes old news.

It looks like a fat girl gasping for air. No doubt Essex chav's are are beating their chest in delight.

Next time you denigrate the inhabitants of Essex you might want to check the grammar of your sentence Lagoya.

But how is it better for Ford to sell you a car that immediately loses value?

If they made them earlier in the lifecycle then they'd obviously sell more of them. They are losing potential customers (Me being one example) by leaving it right to the end of the cars life.

How many Gs in "aggressive", chaps?

Also, £23k seems a lot when a £17k Fiesta ST can have 212bhp with the £600 warranty-preserving Mountune pack. Sure, it's more upgrades than just a bit of engine tuning, but is it over £5k's worth of them?

woT ere yu talkin aboot baad grama?

Ford should be upping it's game in all-gear acceleration; A focus RS should be aiming sub 5 sec 0-62mph; Fiesta RS sub 6 secs; ST's: Focus sub 6 and Fiesta sub 6.6 (supercar level of 1970's and as fact a a Sierra Cosworth!); Top speeds should not be a goal for Ford's, handling,comfort & acceleration should be!

My best friend has just ordered a brand new Fiesta ST, I'll bet he's sick now that this is coming out!

Id love to know who these Ford insiders are!! The images you show show way too many unique body parts for Ford to even contemplate at such low volumes that this would be at. So as much as the pictures do look great, do you really think Ford would pitch some pretty basic tin at £23000 and expect so many people to buy it that it would repay all that investment. Highly unlikely for a brand that really is extremely capable of making a dam good job of such a product, but alas is well and truly governed by the mother ship in North America - If it were a truck it'd be given the green light!

Agree - as I said id love to know who sold this story! 23k for a fiesta is absurd. Complete piffle.

I completely agree with you to be honest, I personally wouldn't buy one either, All I mean is that as long as people go out and buy them - because they're the top end.
And they're doing it on purpose, if they released it early, everyone would choose that one, and they wouldn't sell the others as well, this way they get to make sales on the RS and then straight away they're got the next big thing to keep customers wanting the next model in a constant cycle.

I'm not disagreeing with you that's it's unfair on customers, but it's a smart marketing technique and i've got to appreciate that too!

Ford you have to make this. If you do I promise I will do something I thought I would never do again. (Buy a brand new car)

Ford makes RS cars at the end of production model life because it's when the model become profitable because of benefits

Oooooh 2k more for a focus RS. The fiesta is just way too expensive. It needs to be a quattro for this money. It needs to be kitted out like a fully loaded AMG for this money.