That's right, one of the best hot hatchbacks could now use a three-cylinder engine.
The Ford Fiesta was a surprise masterpiece when Ford revealed it in 2013. The 1.6-liter 197 horsepower engine is a delight, and the bold choice to only offer it with a six-speed manual made this thing very special. The next generation Fiesta ST is nearly upon us, and Ford needs to do something great to top itself. We spotted a tester that looked bigger than the previous model, and likely more powerful thanks to a bigger, more powerful engine. In an interview with Auto Express, however, Ford hinted that one of these assumptions could be wrong.
We were right that the next generation ST will have more power, but the 1.6-liter engine could be replaced by Ford's 1.0-liter three-cylinder EcoBoost unit. Darren Palmer, Ford's head of small cars in Europe, said that "We're seeing more and more of what we can do with the 1.0-liter engine in development and the signs are promising. It's a great engine – it sounds brilliant and there's loads of torque when the turbo comes on boost, so we're looking into things for the next ST." Currently, the most powerful application of the 1.0-liter engine produces 127 horsepower. Although, Ford did tune this engine to 202 horsepower for a one-off Formula Ford racer back in 2012. 200 horsepower is not out of the question.
Ford wants the next generation Fiesta ST to be more powerful and more efficient. The 1.0-liter EcoBoost seems like the ideal way to do that. The engine won't be the only place where the new Fiesta is improved. Palmer said that his development team "obsessed over the car's steering. They've fine-tuned the calibration to make sure it drives exactly how a Fiesta should." We couldn't be more excited to see what the next Fiesta ST has to offer. If it is better than the original, we could be looking at a truly spectacular hot hatchback.
Read more about the best hatchbacks.