Just earlier this month, Ford Performance of Europe Director Leo Roeks appeared to indicate in an interview that a Ford Fiesta RS – a powerful, high-performance Fiesta model to slot in above the ST – could be in the works. Roeks of course didn’t confirm the long-rumored model, but he did grin and tell the interviewer from Motoring that he’d been “very busy” when asked about it.
But hold the champagne; it seems as though we may have been a bit premature in our celebrations. Motor1 reports that Roeks’ colleague, Ford of Europe Design Director Amko Leenarts, has set the record straight on the topic of the Ford Fiesta RS, remarking that such a model would be redundant given the high level of performance already delivered by the all-new Fiesta ST. That model, which just launched this month, packs a 200-horsepower punch courtesy of a turbocharged, 1.5-liter three-cylinder engine.
“We see no reason to bring a more powerful Fiesta model above the ST,” Leenarts says. “The performance of the new Fiesta ST is already at such a high level that a more powerful model is not necessary.”
Like the Focus RS, the Fiesta RS was rumored to have a more potent engine under the hood than the ST’s 200-horsepower I3, coupled with an all-wheel-drive system for superior performance in every condition. But as we see it, the issue is that there’s a relatively small gap already between the Fiesta ST and the Focus ST; a Fiesta RS would run the risk of either being made redundant by the Fiesta ST, or perhaps cannibalizing Focus ST sales. Neither outcome is particularly savory.
Leenarts’ statement echoes what Ford Fiesta ST Chief Program Engineer Matthias Tonn told Autocar at last year’s Geneva Motor Show: “There was always room in the range [for a Fiesta RS], but we don’t develop it.” That stance doesn’t seem liable to change anytime soon.