Hot hatch on the cards

Herald Sun - Motoring - - First Drive -

ADRAGON-SLAY­ING hatch (above) is in the mak­ing at Ford. A street ver­sion of its Fi­esta RS World Rally Cham­pi­onship weapon for 2011 is ‘‘un­der con­sid­er­a­tion’’ — the first sign that the Blue Oval is pre­pared to rekin­dle mem­o­ries of the XR4 edi­tion of the early 2000s.

‘‘We would love a high-per­for­mance Fi­esta,’’ says Ford Aus­tralia gen­eral mar­ket­ing man­ager David Katic.

‘‘We’re look­ing at al op­por­tu­ni­ties the WRC car can bring.’’

He de­scribes the XR4 as a ‘‘great car’’. But no one at Ford Aus­tralia is talk­ing about tim­ing, pric­ing or even the name.

It is pos­si­ble it could wear the ST moniker to share with the hot Fo­cus hatch that is also a pos­si­ble for Aus­tralia, though the talk in Europe about a hot Fi­esta is stronger.

Spy shots show a three-door hatch with twin ex­hausts and an in­ter­cooler peek­ing through the front bumper in­lets.

It is be­lieved that adding the tur­bocharger and in­ter­cooler to the 1.6-litre en­gine will pro­duce up to 130kW.

That should be suf­fi­cient for a 0-100km/h time of about six sec­onds.

The hot Fi­esta would be built in Europe, along­side the ECO­netic diesel.

Other Fi­esta mod­els for Aus­tralia are now made in Thai­land.

NEIL DOWL­ING

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