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Ford Fiesta ST will please fans

"The car is a definite starter for Australia too in 2013 but at this stage its too early to put a specific time on it."

Since the disappearance of the Fiesta XR4 in 2008, there has been a big hole in the hot end of Ford’s small cars.

Instead of the hot version of the Fiesta, they got a super-green version in the form of the Fiesta Econetic. That’s great but it hardly warmed the hearts of true performance hatch fans.

But Ford is about to set things right with the confirmation this week that Aussies will be getting the hot new Fiesta ST unveiled at Geneva motor show some time next year instead of the XR4’s 110kW, the new ST punches out a mouth-watering 132kW -- and that’s from a smaller 1.6-litre turbo rather than the XR4’s 2.0-litre. That puts it right up there with the Polo GTi, we reckon.

We'll be getting the 132kW tyro sometime next year as the hottie starts to roll out in Europe. "The car is a definite starter for Australia too in 2013 but at this stage its too early to put a specific time on it,'' a spokesman for Ford Australia said.

"We think itll be a good opportunity to raise the ST profile locally as well also have the Focus ST on sale later this year.''

While the XR4's 2.0-litre engine produced 110kW the new ST's 1.6-litre turbocharged unit (it will be called ST here too) is good for 132kW. With 240Nm of torque on tap it can sprint from 0-100km/h in under seven seconds and has a top speed of more than 220km/h.

At the same time, the EcoBoost technology delivers a 20 per cent reduction in COinf2 emissions compared with the previous ST.

Developed by Ford's Team RS, the new Fiesta ST delivers significant ride-and-handling improvements through the introduction of a specially tuned chassis that sits 15mm lower than the standard Fiesta; Ford's enhanced Torque Vectoring Control system; and three Electronic Stability Control modes.

The technologies were put to the test over 5000 kilometers of driving on Germany's Nurburgring Nordschleife. "We believe Ford customers will be blown away by the new Fiesta ST, and not only by the exhilarating performance but by the styling and specification, too,'' said Jost Capito, Ford's director of Global Performance Vehicles.

"This dynamic new hot-hatch is undoubtedly our best Fiesta ST to date,'' The high-contrast interior features unprecedented levels of equipment and specification to suit the sporting driver, with standard Recaro sports seats for the first time.

It also will be equipped with MyKey, which allows owners to limit performance and ensure activation of safety features for when less-experienced drivers use the vehicle; and SYNC, Ford's voice-activated in-car connectivity system.

A new bold and dynamic exterior design drives home the high performance message and features the latest Ford design signatures including a large trapezoidal grille.