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A senior engineer has given hope to those hanging out for a Ford Fiesta RS, but cautioned that a self-shifting petrol Focus ST was a technical challenge.

Tyrone Johnson, senior vehicle engineer at the newly merged Ford Performance division, spoke to members of the British press about the company’s plans to grow its performance portfolio.

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Regarding Ford’s plans for the Fiesta, Johnson is quoted in Auto Express as saying: “The current Fiesta has another two-and-a-half years before it’s replaced. We’ll update the ST (above) within that period, and after that there could be something else.”

More broadly Ford Performance plans on releasing 12 new or updated models by 2020, which, according to Johnson, fall into three categories: “Enhanced technology models, like the Fiesta ST and Focus ST. High performance — things like the F-150 Raptor, Mustang GT350R and Focus RS. And then ultra high-performance, which is the new GT.”

When pressed if the “something else” for the Fiesta could be an RS model, Johnson said that it was theoretically possible.

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While Johnson let all questions regarding the Focus RS slip through to the keeper, he did give some concrete information about what’s in the pipeline for the Focus ST (above).

He confirmed to Autocar that the company will launch an automated dual-clutch version of the not-for-Australia Focus ST diesel by the end of the year.

Fitting a dual-clutch transmission to the petrol Focus ST, however, would be more of an engineering challenge. Although it’s not impossible, Johnson did caution that “we’d need to be sure there’s a business case”.




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