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The next-generation Ford Fiesta has been spied again, this time at the Nurburgring. However, this particular prototype is mooted to be a hotter 2017 Fiesta ST variant.

With the standard Fiesta test vehicle snapped a fortnight ago in the European Alps, this prototype has a large, visible intercooler behind the front bumper – in addition to the Nurburgring setting behind it – which hints at a forced-induction, high-performance Fiesta ST.

No word has been given yet as to what will power the new hot hatch, however it is almost a certainty that the next Fiesta ST will feature a version of Ford’s turbocharged Ecoboost engine, likely to be a four-cylinder unit.

It’s also unknown whether the new hot Fiesta will offer an automatic option, considering the current ST can only be had with a manual transmission, in addition to Ford’s recent issues with its ‘Powershift’ dual-clutch auto.

Ford Fiesta Ring 6

What is known is that the next-generation of Ford’s light hatch is expected to grow in size, with reports speculating that the new Fiesta will push a little further upmarket to better compete with the Volkswagen Polo and new Mazda 2.

As with the prototype spotted a couple of weeks ago, the new hatch should feature a slimmer version of the company’s six-point front grille, taller headlights, and prominent shoulder lines.

More dramatic changes will occur at the rear, with a wider tailgate and rear bumper in addition to horizontal tail-lights in place of the current-generation’s stacked design. This prototype also features LED units.

However, the biggest difference between the current Fiesta and the new-generation will be the interior, which will focus on occupant comfort, offering more room, higher-quality materials and much-needed improvements to the car’s ageing infotainment systems.

Ford Fiesta Ring 10

It’s likely that higher-spec models will feature Ford’s new Sync 3 touchscreen infotainment system, complete with satellite navigation, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility.

With the current Fiesta nearing its ninth-birthday since its 2008 global debut, a replacement is long overdue. Expect the new-generation model to make its official debut either late this year or early next year, with Australian deliveries to commence some time in late 2017.

Stay tuned to CarAdvice for more updates on the next-generation Ford Fiesta.

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