Ford fans hoping for a feisty new hero in the Fiesta range may be in luck next year, with new reports out of Europe hinting at a high-powered birthday special.
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Talk of a top-shelf Fiesta RS performance model has been doing the rounds for years, but the carmaker has kept its lips sealed on any potential for a more powerful companion to the hugely popular ST model.

But, with the all-new Focus RS now out in the open, the Ford Performance tuning arm may finally be turning its full attention to the next model down: the baby Fiesta.

According to Germany’s Autobild, 2016 could be the big one, with suggestions that the Fiesta’s 40th birthday will be celebrated by the long hoped-for appearance of an RS flagship.

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However, 2016 will also mark the current sixth-generation Fiesta’s eighth birthday. And, while RS models often appear late in a model’s life cycle, an all-new Fiesta is perhaps the more likely contender for a birthday gift.

Still, Ford Performance has already revealed that it intends to release 12 new and updated models by 2020, which could include a Fiesta RS.

If a Fiesta RS does appear in the current generation, expect motivation to be provided by a powered-up version of the Fiesta ST’s 1.6-litre turbo engine, which offers 134kW and 240Nm in the current model (147kW/290Nm in overboost).

Reports suggest the special tune would beyond 180kW - matching the output of the larger 2.0-litre Focus ST and comfortably bettering the 160kW upgrade offered by Ford tuner Mountune.

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All-wheel drive is also an option for the Fiesta RS, although Ford may choose to keep costs down by sticking with a front-wheel drive layout.

As for pricing, the sharp $50,900 starting point for the hero Focus RS suggests a smaller Fiesta RS model could kick off at around $40,000 if it were to come to Australia.

A decision could hinge on the success of the Focus RS, but if the response among CarAdvice readers is anything to go by, the new hero won’t struggle to find friends.