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Ford Preparing Fiesta RS For 2017 Debut?

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On: Sat, Jan 31, 2015 at 12:57PM | By: Carl Malek

Ford Preparing Fiesta RS For 2017 Debut?

While the upcoming Ford Focus RS has taken the majority of the spotlight for Ford's Ford Performance Division these days, rumors regarding the possible addition of an RS-spec Fiesta hatchback have surfaced once again, thanks to several crucial hints that were dropped by Ford Performance executives in a statement to the publication Auto Express.

Ford Performance manager Tyrone Johnson, the man responsible for all RS-related engineering, used the brief interview to officially reveal that the company is indeed working on a brand new high performance version of the Fiesta that could serve as a step up from the very popular and equally capable Fiesta ST. "The current Fiesta has another two-and-a-half years before it is replaced," Johmson revealed. "We'll update the ST within that period, and after that there could be something else." Johnson did not eleaborate on whether the unknown offering would be a next-generation version of the ST, or if it is indeed a full-fledged RS model, but he did reveal that the latter is theoretically possible from a technological standpoint. Such a move would provide a potentially attractive business case that such a model would boost Ford's ongoing effort to coax more young enthusiasts to consider its performance models. Prior reports regarding the Fiesta RS seem to hint that the car would be powered by a heavily upgraded version of the familiar 1.6-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder engine, which would produce an impressive 230 horsepower, and promise to be a compelling alternative to rivals such as the MINI Cooper John Cooper Works hot hatch.

Handling hardware would also be heavily revamped for the RS: bigger brakes, a stiffer suspension, and a limited slip differential are among the possible upgrades that would be right at home on an RS-spec FIesta. Also expect heavily revised exterior and interior styling cues that would differeniate the RS model from its slightly tamer ST sibling. This would also play into the theme of the upcoming Focus RS, which will bring its own unique blend of styling revisions to make that model stand out from the entry-level ST, while also offering a stylish alternative to buyers who may have otherwise gone to rivals such as the Mazdaspeed3 and the Volkswagen GTI.

Overall, it sounds like a compelling package, but if an RS model is indeed in the works, Ford would have to make sure that pricing for the model does not balloon too far out of reach of its target market. This trend is most noticeably seen in MINI's lineup with options and other extras easily pushing the spirited hatchback well over $30,000 when fully equipped. Look for the Fiesta RS (if it gets the green light for production) to make its official debut sometime in 2017.



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