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.
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.
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.
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.