Potent performance and dinky dimensions make the Fiesta RS super hatch one of the maddest cars this year – read everything you need to know
Sign up to our newsletter
Get notified on the latest car news, reviews and videos
If the prospect of the new Ford Focus RS has already got you excited, then a 250hp Ford Fiesta RS could well push you over the edge. Far from the stuff of fantasy, company engineers have hinted at its arrival and test cars have been spotted in public.
It’s thought to be one of 12 new performance models (including the new GT and the Focus RS) currently under development by the blue-oval brand. An RS model would give the likeable Fiesta the power to compete with super hatchbacks such as the Audi S1 and the rumoured Volkswagen Polo R.
As our exclusive pictures show, you can expect the Fiesta RS to get a Focus RS-aping grille design, with a shiny intercooler poking out from behind an all-new ground-hugging bumper. Flared wheel arches house huge split-spoke alloy wheels and big brakes. The back of the RS – something other drivers will get used to seeing – will doubtless sport a diffuser and twin big-bore exhausts. A large roof spoiler provides the icing to Ford’s super hatch cake.
Fast Fords of the past give us a good idea of what to expect of the interior in this latest model and a pair of body-clutching Recaro sports are bound to be one of the first features you’ll notice when you open the RS’s driver’s door. The standard Fiesta’s dashboard is stylish enough, if not hugely exciting, but expect the RS to ramp things up significantly with additional dials, flashes of RS blue, and an RS-badged sports steering wheel.
As with all good hot hatches, the Fiesta RS should be no less practical than its more humdrum namesakes.
Engine and specs
Ford will need to turn up the wick significantly to keep pace with the competition and word is the RS will use a heavily reworked version of the 1.6-litre EcoBoost engine from the Fiesta ST, wound up from 180hp to around 250hp. That should be enough to fling the unhinged Fiesta from 0-62mph in about 5.5 seconds and on to an electronically limited top speed of 155mph. Don’t expect to see the CO2 rating suffer too much either; it should cost no more than £175 a year to tax – pretty good for a car with this performance.
Potential buyers are less likely to be interested in the CO2 figures and more concerned with the high possibility that the RS will come fitted with sophisticated four-wheel drive. It’s bound to share similarities to the system in the new Focus RS, which (if teaser videos are anything to go by) can offer power slides at will courtesy of a ‘drift’ button. That impressive 0-62mph time will come with a little help from standard launch control and talon-like grip off the line from the four-wheel-drive system.
Ford Fiesta RS price and release date
Ford will want to keep the Fiesta RS below the £25k mark to nibble at sales of the Audi S1 and yet-to-be-released VW Polo R. The brand has a plan to release 12 performance cars globally by 2020 and the first four – the Focus RS, Shelby Mustang GT350R, F-150 Raptor and the new GT supercar – are marked for a 2016 launch date.
This puts the Fiesta RS at the leading edge of the second wave and we probably won’t see it hitting showrooms until the very end of 2016 or early 2017. That gives us all the more time to ogle it over the next few motor shows.
Viva la Fiesta RS
If you love the idea of a fast Fiesta but can’t wait for the RS, why not check out the much-praised Fiesta ST or, if you must have ludicrous amounts of power, the Focus RS is the ultimate fast Ford. Don’t forget to head over to our car configurator to see how much you could save on your next Fiesta – whether it’s hot or not.