By on April 2, 2011

Ford has made it clear that a 250 HP “ST” version of its 2012 Focus will be making its way to America, hopefully opening a new chapter in Ford’s US-market hot hatch history. The perfect followup? How about a 180 HP Fiesta ST, featuring the new 1.6 liter Ecoboost engine? Autocar says its coming to the UK by the end of this year, and Ford is already teasing its arrival with the release of a “warm” Fiesta, the 134 HP S1600 (above). There’s no word on US availability yet, but if Ford’s going to bring us the Focus ST, why not its baby cousin? With the Fiesta getting plenty of play in rally racing and, far more importantly, Ken Block videos, this seems like an easy call. If nothing else, it will at least look like the bargain of the lifetime compared to the Fiat 500 EV.

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25 Comments on “Are You Ready For: A 180 HP Fiesta?...”

  • avatar
    M 1

    Not enough differentiation at 180 HP, but 250 HP squeezes into low-end sportscar territory. I’m always saying good things about my wife’s turbo Solstice, and the Focus ST would seem to be roughly the same niche. I wonder if it’ll wake up with a tune as well as the Ecotec 2.0T does…

  • avatar
    Educator(of teachers)Dan

    I’d love to see 3-door hatch versions of both the Fiesta and Focus sold here just for that “hot hatch” factor. 

    On a slightly related note my former principal who has been driving a fairly new F150 FX4 as his commuter vehicle for a 120 mile round trip commute, suddenly went out and bought a black Fiesta.  (Kept the truck, the old guy is working on his third retirement from the education profession.)  I guess gas prices are finally having an impact.  I told my fiance (who still works for him) “What did he do during the gas crisises of the 1970s?  Go buy a Pinto?” 

  • avatar

    I’m ready for it, and would be a seriously interested customer, but I sadly doubt that Ford is ready to bring the 3-door to the U.S.  I have no interest in a 5-door Fiesta ST.
    They really need to bring the 3-door stateside — if priced competitively, I’d probably buy one to replace my 5 year old Civic coupe in a few years.

    • 0 avatar
      Educator(of teachers)Dan

      He’s the thing that I wonder.  If every Ford dealer who wanted one was given a 3-door demonstrator model and then made customers order one if they wanted it (no incentives, just decide if you like it, order it, pay the price.)  How many would they sell?  The powertrains are already federalized for the 5 door.  Heck I’ll bet whatever the price was for the 3 door it just might snag some VW GTI customers. 

    • 0 avatar

      Interesting concept.  The reason I’m pessimistic about seeing the 3-door here is that the Fiesta for the NA market is produced in Mexico, and they’d have to slightly re-tool the plant to produce the 3-door.  Importing the 3-door from Europe would probably be too expensive.

  • avatar

    I think the US market is more than ready for a car like this. Ford would be doing themselves a huge favour. A small hatch back still has useful, practical space (better than a mid size sedan). A performance version adds, err.. performance… to practical and will still give small car gas mileage. Unless you have money to burn, why waste it on gas when you don’t have to?

  • avatar

    The only thing that concerns me is the quality of cars built in Mexico. The numbers sound good in my mind. An extra 50hp and 150lbs less than my 2006 Focus. I’ll take in 3 or 5 door if the price is right. As a 3 door I imagine it to be similar in size (and hopefully fun) to the Mini Cooper and if the pricing is right and the reliability is much better I think it could be a serious contender. The Fusion is built in Mexico and seems to be okay…

    I honestly thought the Fiesta ST was an April Fool’s joke. I hope they bring it stateside.

    • 0 avatar

      FWIIW, I picked up a copy of the Auto issue of CR at the airport and the Fusion’s reliability chart is awash with as many red dots as your typical Honda product.  Ugh, I can’t believe I quoted CR…

  • avatar

    More hp in the Fiesta would be very appealing. The Fiat 500 pumps out 101. The Mini has 120 in stock form and 180 (?) in S. A 180 hp Fiesta wouldn’t be a handicap on entry ramps in my neck o’ the woods.

  • avatar

    I’m Mr. Euro.  Sign me up!

    M1:  Not enough differentiation?  180 HP in a FWD subcompact is plenty.

  • avatar

    Gimmie!!!!!!!!!!! And, if I have to, I’ll take it in a five-door version, although I’d really prefer the three.

  • avatar

    Assuming they keep the base price around $20-22k and give it a six-speed manual (or paddles with the powershift), I’d be all over this.

    However I’m doubtful we’ll see the Fiesta ST here. The Euro and US Focuses are close to identical so the Focus ST can be easily adapted to US sale, but the EU and US Fiestas have significant differences; a US Fiesta ST would require all those changes as well and I don’t know if Ford would be able to justify that in a car that will likely never top 10,000 units/year.

  • avatar

    If it makes it over with 180 hp and a price under $22K, sales will initially be pretty strong. By the end of the 2nd model year, insurance rates will take people under 30 out of the market. That’s what happened to the tiney sport coupes 20 years ago, what happened to the muscle cars 42 years ago, and will probably happen again whenever there is a performance bargain. Back when you could get a new Porsche 944 for $18,600 almost 30 years ago, they were the single most expensive car to insure. It didn’t matter that they were by far the safest handling cars Porsche had ever sold combined with having only enough power. That they were affordable to young guys who actually used their performance on the street made them the loss leader for insurers.

  • avatar
    Sgt Beavis

    It isn’t something I would buy, because I need a truck, but I damn well like it!

  • avatar

    Actually this car is also interesting because it will introduce an new idea to the masses in the US market, a small car that is not an economy car. The MINI is a niche market car but is successful because it is brings quality and performance to the small car world. What the fiesta ST will do is bring that performance thing to the masses. Go Ford! Now… would GM please, please bring the Corsa and with it the OPC version.

    • 0 avatar

      With the new Aveo Sonic coming soon, I don’t think GM will step on its own toes with the Corsa (though that would be sweet). However, if GM wants to be serious about subcompact performance, they’ll butch out the Sonic, drop in a competitive suspension and engine (say, a bored-out 1.4 from the Cruze to 1.6L DI turbo’d for similar power) and add a 6-speed manual. The new Sonic looks the part, so they HAVE TO make it play the part to have some subcompact hot hatch cred.

  • avatar

    It’s Ford is trying to be the automaker with the worst, most hideous designs.
    Right now, there is a 11-way tie for the industry’s ugliest vehicle:
    Fiesta, Explorer, Focus, Fusion, Edge, MKT, Super Duty, MKS, MKZ, MKX, and F-150.
    And a 250+ HP Focus?  And it’s still FWD?  Forget that garbage.

  • avatar

    Look Barbie!
    A car for Ken!

  • avatar

    While I’m impressed by the ST, I’d be more realistically interested in the “warm hatch” S model. 134hp would be enough for me.

  • avatar

    Yes – Next question?

    (does it still get 40 mpg on the highway?)

  • avatar

    I hope they bring this car to the US. And Honda needs bring back the Civic Si 3 door as well. And when is Mazda going to offer the Speed 3 in three door form?
    However I already solved my hot hatch problem… I bought a used Volvo C30 a few weeks ago. Other then the Golf, Mini and maybe the Eclipse its the only true hot hatch you can get in the US these days.

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