Ford's latest addition to the XR range, the Fiesta XR4, will go on sale shortly from $24,990 powered by Ford’s 2.0-litre Duratec 16-valve engine, (same engine in the base model Focus).
Power rates at 110kW at 6000 rpm (3kW more than the Focus) while Torque pushes to 190Nm (5Nm higher than the focus). Ford are silent on the 0-100 times.
"Fiesta XR4 will become the benchmark in the light car hot-hatch segment, as it boasts a specially modified 2.0-litre engine, numerous safety and sports enhancements and an eye-catching appearance," said President of Ford Australia, Tom Gorman.
Ford says their dealer network has received positive interest in the XR4 following a great deal of fan fare at the Melbourne Motorshow. Mr Gorman puts the interest down to the looks and the engineering credentials of the XR4.
"Such anticipation is not surprising as Fiesta XR4 is engineered by Ford’s TeamRS, the same organisation responsible for the stunning Focus XR5 Turbo," said Mr Gorman.
The XR4 uses the Fiesta’s Durashift five-speed manual transmission - albeit with a great deal of modifications. Ford says the transmission has been extensively modified to suit the XR4's power level and to please true sports car lovers, Ford are only offering the Fiesta XR4 with a manual transmission.
There is also a short-throw gearshift to allow quick, accurate shifting, all the gear ratios have been changed and the first, second and third gearsets have been shot-peened for extra strength.
Ford have equipped the XR4 with a sophisticated variable intake system (VIS). Engineers have designed the sytem to use gas dynamic effects in the engine’s intake system to tune its performance through the variable intake runner lengths - did you get that?
What it really means is the gas-dynamics inside the intake system are improved. This is all thanks to butterfly valves in the runners. Another reason for the power increase is the lightweight, all aluminium alloy construction of the Duratec engine.
But how exactly do you fit a 2.0-litre engine in a car as small as a Fiesta? Firstly you incline the engine backwards at six degrees to make it talk to the Durashift transmission (with a new clutch housing). Furthermore belt driven auxiliaries have been re-positioned with a rear mounted alternator and front mounted air conditioning pump. For have also fitted a low inertia flywheel to improve throttle response.
Don't be fooled by its size, the Fiesta XR4 is made to sound mean, with the exhaust system incorporating a revised catalyst for reduced back pressure, the engine gives of - as Ford put it, a suitably sporty note.
As for the suspension, MacPherson strut front suspension and the rear gets a twist-beam system. The XR4's front springs have also been considerably stiffened from 16.5N/mm of the standard car to 24N/mm, and the dampers have been recalibrated.
Given the vehicle is front-wheel drive a revised design for the front suspension knuckle has been implemented to give more negative camber to the front suspension to generate more front end grip.
The rear springs also have been stiffened, from 15N/mm to 17 N/mm, and the dampers modified to suit the XR4. The twist beam axle has also been stiffened from 520 Nm/degree on the standard Fiesta to 720 Nm/deg.
Front brakes on the Fiesta measure 278mm x 22mm - ventilated discs while the rear also gets brakes (the standard Fiesta does not come with disc brakes on the rear wheels)
The Fiesta comes driver and front passenger airbags, side curtain airbags and side thorax airbags. Ford get the thumbs up from us for fitting the XR4 with Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) as well as traction control and ABS with Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD).
The Fiesta XR4 rides on low profile 205/40 ZR17 tyres, wrapped around a unique multi-spoke alloy rim.
You can pick one of these hatches up in six different colours (all available with an optional overhead stripe combination in silver, blue or white).
- Colorado Red,
- Frozen White,
- Moondust Silver,
- Sea Grey,
- Panther Black
- Performance Blue.
The stripes will surely make this car stand out!
"The overhead stripe is a signature feature unique to Fiesta XR4 and the bold twin stripes create an eye catching appearance, which alludes to the performance intent of the new vehicle," said Mr Capito Director of TeamRS.
As mentioned the Fiesta XR4 will be available shorty with a recommended retail price of $24,990. Ford says after the initial launch period, the cars supply will be reduced to just 40 per month. This is apparently an attempt to ensure exclusivity.
"Fiesta XR4 will become a cult car, much in the same genre as Focus XR5 Turbo," said Mr Capito.
That is a bold claim, given the XR5 Turbo has - well - a turbo!