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The Ford Fiesta ST will go on sale in Australia in around 18 months’ time, giving the blue oval a flagship hot hatch to rival the Volkswagen Polo GTI and the Suzuki Swift Sport.

The production version of the Fiesta ST has been revealed in Geneva in three-door form for the first time. The racy light hatch will hit the European market in 2013, and is set to land down under around mid to late 2013.

Although considered a no-brainer, today’s unveiling of the Fiesta ST production car is our first official confirmation that Ford will build the car. A three-door Fiesta ST concept premiered last September in Frankfurt, and was followed by a five-door concept in November.

Like the concepts, the Ford Fiesta ST is powered by a turbocharged 1.6-litre EcoBoost petrol engine that produces 132kW and 240Nm of torque – putting it just 10Nm off the pace of the Polo GTI.

Ford promises acceleration from 0-100km/h in under seven seconds and a top speed in excess of 220km/h, while fuel consumption and emissions are also 20 per cent lower than the previous Fiesta ST.

Developed by Ford’s Team RS, the Fiesta ST gets a specially tuned chassis that sits 15mm lower than the standard Fiesta. Torque Vectoring Control and three electronic stability control modes contribute to significant ride and handling improvements, proven over more than 5000km of testing on the Nurburgring.

Along with the go-fast exterior design, the Fiesta ST comes with Recaro sports seats, SYNC voice-activated in-car connectivity system, and MyKey, which allows owners to limit the car’s performance when less experienced drivers are behind the wheel.

Ford Australia’s Sinead Phipps says the local manufacturer has not yet finalised if it will offer the Fiesta ST in three-door or five-door form, or both. As there are no three-door models in Ford Australia’s standard Fiesta range, the Fiesta ST five-door appears most likely for our market.

Although it’s still more than a year away, the Ford Fiesta ST is likely to be priced around $25,000 when it arrives in Australia.

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