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Nov
11

Ford Fiesta ST Concept 5-Door – 2011 Los Angeles Auto Show Preview

“Is Ford planning a 3-door Fiesta ST for the U.S.?” That was the buzz last September at the 2011 Frankfurt Auto Show when Ford unveiled a 3-door for the European market.

The answer is no, now that Ford has unveiled very much the same car in 5-door trim in anticipation of the Los Angeles Auto Show. Given the same name, the Fiesta ST Concept definitely wears the crowd-friendly multi-door body, but carries much the same mechanicals as the euro-spec concept.

Power is from the Ford’s high-volume global engine, the 1.6-liter EcoBoost inline four, also used in the Fiesta RS WRC rally car. Now rated at 180 bhp and 177 lb.-ft. of torque, the single-turbo engine boasts Ford’s now-familiar direct injection and twin-independent variable cam timing for a broad powerband, good fuel economy and low emissions. A 6-speed manual transmission is fitted to the concept car, which Ford says indicates the direction for a possible production Fiesta ST. Speculation is that a production car is likely within a year.

Part of an onslaught of B-body Ford’s, the 5-door Fiesta ST Concept is partnered by a rally version shown at the 2011 SEMA Show in Las Vegas. It’s also part of Ford’s global performance vehicle strategy that aims to control costs by offering nearly identical enthusiast cars around the world.

In official Ford-speak, Derrick Kuzak, Ford Group Vice President, Global Product Development said, “The Fiesta has a rich history of high-performance models so a new ST performance model is a logical next step in our performance vehicle strategy for our global small cars.”

His press release remarks continued with, “With a racing silhouette inspired by global Fiesta race and rally cars currently competing on the world stage, and influenced by the unique appearance of the all-new Focus ST, the new Fiesta ST Concept is an exciting demonstration of the road-going Fiesta’s potential,” which is about as close to official confirmation that a production Fiesta ST is on the way as you’ll get.

Ford also says the Fiesta ST Concepts styling and handling are rally inspired.

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