Ford's performance Fiesta ST would get a 1.6-liter, four-cylinder engine
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If Ford Motor Co.'s concept version of the Fiesta ST performance subcompact goes into production, it would get would get a 1.6-liter four-cylinder direct-injection turbocharged EcoBoost engine expected to generate 175 to 180 hp.
The vehicle, unveiled earlier today at the Frankfurt auto show, has a six-speed manual transmission.
Ford has not yet decided whether to build the car or, if it does, whether it will be sold in North America. But executives say if the car is built, North American sales wouldn't begin before 2013.
The ST is to the current Fiesta lineup as the looming Focus ST is to more ordinary variants such as the Ford SEL. Its brakes are upgraded to match the extra power. Its suspension is tuned in more sporting fashion, its rims are larger with more aggressive tires, and its electronics are upgraded to help manage torque steer and understeer.
The Fiesta ST is finished with more aggressive body tweaks and flashy jewelry.
Despite the ST's concept label, Ford's presentation -- and the finished quality of the car itself -- suggest that production is a done deal. Executives say that the current Fiesta, which required a massive investment on Ford's part, has achieved a critical mass of profitability worldwide. That means the company can afford some small volume off-shoots, and it likely will seek to maintain interest in the broader line with new variants.
J. P. Vettraino writes for AutoWeek, an affiliate of Automotive News.
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