Ford Fiesta RS is ‘wishful thinking’ says Ford Performance boss

It would seem reports of a Fiesta RS revival are too good to be true

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THE director of Ford Performance in Europe has poured cold water on rumours that his division is cooking up an even hotter Fiesta variant, saying reports that describe a Fiesta RS as being “on the way” have misinterpreted his reaction to questioning on the subject.

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“Everybody is free to write what they like and how they interpret my smile, but it’s all rumours,” Ford Performance chief Leo Roeks said to Wheels. “I cannot, and I will not speak about future products.”

“I think it may be wishful thinking – or wishful hearing – but if I say ‘I can’t speak about it’ some people might interpret that as a yes,” said Roeks, inferring that the mention of ‘future product’ is sometimes mistaken as tacit admission of a rumoured vehicle’s existence when it should not be.

Wheels understands that there’s little-to-no inertia behind the idea of bringing another Fiesta RS to market. Ford put an RS badge on the back of a Fiesta back in 1990 with the Fiesta RS Turbo to create a faster, gruntier version of the Fiesta XR2, but it hasn’t revisited a two-tier Fiesta hot hatch strategy since 1994. Why? The cost of engineering a compact AWD driveline and higher-output engine would surely demolish profit margins, and there’s also the issue of ensuring enough separation between performance versions of the Fiesta and the next-generation Focus ST.

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What’s more, after having driven the new Fiesta ST in anger, the argument could be made that the new ST performs the way many punters would expect a Fiesta RS to drive. Dialling things up may simply be unnecessary.

And so it appears that the new-gen 147kW/290Nm Fiesta ST, which arrives here around March 2019, will be the only hi-po model in the Fiesta family for the foreseeable. But while dreams of a four-pot turbo, all-wheel drive Fiesta may be dashed, there’s still hope for those yearning for an even more muscular Ford compact.

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With Roeks predicting that 147kW per litre could become the new norm for performance cars, there’s potential for the wick on the 2019 Fiesta ST’s turbocharged 1.5 litre three-cylinder to be wound up further. Just don’t expect it to get an RS badge.

 

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