The speedster Fiesta will draw momentum from the same 1.6-liter turbocharged EcoBoost engine used in the Ford Focus ST that Ford engineers claim will spin 214 ft.-lbs. of torque through an upgraded suspension while still returning 34 mpg on the highway. Those power levels will give the Fiesta ST more grunt than the Mini Cooper S or anything from its more pedestrian classmates. Ford didn't release a price on the Fiesta ST, nor say how many would be built, but the popularity of cars such as the Fiat 500 Abarth (which sold out) suggests a clamor for tiny cars that know how to scoot with a quickness.
The rest of the Fiesta lineup gets a typical mid-cycle basket of tweaks, including styling updates and a supposedly less complicated version of Ford's MyTouch entertainment/aggravation unit, which Ford vows will take more direct commands and hear better than the one it's already sold to thousands of customers. Under the hood lies the biggest change -- a 1-liter, three-cylinder engine, the smallest ever sold by Ford in the United States and a type of engine known mostly for powering the Geo Metro and the Smart ForTwo.
Ford says the 1-liter turbocharged unit will deliver 123 hp and allow the Fiesta to get more than 40 mpg on the highway, a level that the automaker claims will make it the most fuel efficient model in America outside of a hybrid. It's a hefty set of promises to make -- and a bet that for the next few years, small cars will only get more popular.