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The next-generation Ford Fiesta ST is likely to be fitted with a powered-up version of the company’s turbocharged 1.0-litre three-cylinder, according to a new report out of the UK.

Speaking to Auto Express, Ford Europe’s head of small cars, Darren Palmer, said the company is exploring the potential of the three-cylinder Ecoboost engine.

“We’re seeing more and more of what we can do with the 1.0-litre engine in development and the signs are promising. It’s a great engine – it sounds brilliant and there’s loads of torque when the turbo comes on boost, so we’re looking into things for the next ST,” he said.

2016 Ford Fiesta ST Mountune-36
Above: 2016 Ford Fiesta ST. Top: 2017 Ford Fiesta ST prototype

The current Fiesta ST uses a 1.6-litre turbo four-pot producing 134kW of power and 240Nm of torque. Meanwhile, the less potent Fiesta Sport employs a 1.0-litre three-cylinder turbo, which develops 92kW and 170Nm.

Back in 2012, Ford fitted a souped-up version of the 1.0-litre three-cylinder turbo to a one-off version of its Formula Ford race car, which put out 151kW, and lapped the legendary Nurburgring Nordschleife in just 7 minutes and 22 seconds – faster than the Ferrari Enzo, Lamborghini Aventador and Pagani Zonda.

Should the company be able to achieve a similar output in the next-gen Fiesta ST, it would represent a circa-12 per cent power increase over the current model.

Ford Fiesta Ring 7

Palmer added the company’s European development team is also working hard on the ST’s handling, fine-tuning the calibration “to make sure it drives exactly how a Fiesta should”.

A prototype for the next-generation Fiesta ST was spotted at the Nurburgring back in June, though few details of the tiny hot hatch have been revealed thus far.

What we do know is that the new Fiesta will be larger than the current car, and will be more upmarket on the inside – a common complaint about the model on sale today.

Ford Fiesta Ring 10

Expect more space for occupants and luggage, higher-quality materials and Ford latest infotainment systems – likely to be a version of the new Sync 3 unit.

It’s been nearly nine years since the current Fiesta debuted in 2008, and the next-gen car is expected to be revealed within the next year, possibly in early 2017.

For more Ford Fiesta updates, stay tuned to CarAdvice over the coming months.

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