Speaking with CarAdvice in January, Ford Performance engineering chief Tyrone Johnson said that, if only to the best of his knowledge, there are no plans for an RS-badged Fiesta. As the man who would be charged with developing such a model, he’d know.
Johnson may have been biting his tongue, however, with the UK’s Autocar magazine reporting this week that a Fiesta ST Plus model is in the works instead.
If such a model is on the way, expect it to retain the front-wheel-drive design of the regular ST, but with beefed-up outputs and mechanical enhancements to match.
The current ST’s 1.6-litre turbocharged petrol engine is already more than capable of producing bigger numbers than its standard 134kW and 240Nm (147kW/290Nm in overboost), with specialist Ford tuner Mountune already offering a 160kW upgrade.
Of course, with Ford and Mountune already close friends, it may be that the Fiesta ST Plus will have its outputs boosted to match or surpass the 141kW 1.8-litre Polo GTI, along with the regular 147kW tunes of its 1.6-litre 208 GTi and Clio RS rivals, while staying a touch below the Mountune offerings.
It would not be beyond the realms of possibility, however, that Ford might upgrade the ST's 1.6 engine with a bigger turbo and more boost to deliver numbers anywhere beyond the Mountune's 160kW offering.
Above: Renault's Clio RS220 takes on its big brother, the Megane RS. Read the review here.
With an all-new Fiesta range likely to appear in the next 12 to 18 months, this reported ST Plus model would represent a swansong for the current sixth-generation model, which is now into its eighth year of production.
And, with 2016 marking 40 years of Fiesta, an ST Plus model would make an appropriate tribute.