Hot­ter Fi­esta St-plus pos­si­ble, but no RS

Auto Car (UK) - - GENEVA MOTOR SHOW -

FORD HAS RULED out an RS ver­sion of the new Fi­esta. Speak­ing to Au­to­car at the Geneva mo­tor show, the Fi­esta ST’S chief pro­gramme en­gi­neer, Matthias Tonn, said of an RS ver­sion: “There was al­ways room in the range, but it isn’t be­ing de­vel­oped.”

A Fi­esta RS was fre­quently ru­moured through­out the pre­vi­ous gen­er­a­tion to sit above the ST model, but it never ma­te­ri­alised. Tonn was em­phatic that the same will be true for the new Fi­esta, too.

Tonn said a model sim­i­lar to the pre­vi­ous Fi­esta ST200 is pos­si­ble in this gen­er­a­tion of Fi­esta to­wards the end of its life­cy­cle, but it is not in the plan yet. In­deed, the Fi­esta ST it­self, which made its world de­but in Geneva, is still one year away from pro­duc­tion, ac­cord­ing to Tonn, and de­vel­op­ment work on the car is on­go­ing.

Ford will also main­tain its close re­la­tion­ship with tun­ing spe­cial­ists Moun­tune, but Moun­tune has yet to be in­volved in devel­op­ing its own ver­sion of the new Fi­esta ST.

Tonn said the new 197bhp 1.5-litre Eco­boost three­cylin­der petrol en­gine made the lat­est Fi­esta ST “so much more re­spon­sive and more agile” than the out­go­ing Fi­esta ST.

“It’s a very agile en­gine and has great re­spon­sive­ness, new cal­i­bra­tion, a new way to ig­nite the fuel. The en­gine is more di­rect and lively,” he said. “We have spent a lot of time on the sus­pen­sion and chas­sis and found a new way to set it up.”

When de­vel­op­ment of the new Fi­esta ST be­gan, the bench­mark was the pre­vi­ous­gen­er­a­tion ST, but that tar­get moved after the cre­ation of the Fi­esta ST200.

Fur­ther work has gone into en­sur­ing the car makes the right kind of sound and, to that end, it gets the ac­tive ex­haust from the Mus­tang that opens its valves at low revs.

The Fi­esta ST will also of­fer a choice of three driv­ing modes, in­clud­ing a Track mode that’s still in de­vel­op­ment.

New-gen Fi­esta ST won’t be joined by a hard­core RS ver­sion

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