New spy photos obtained today reveal that Ford is deep in development of the new Fiesta ST, likely to be sold locally as the 2011 Ford Fiesta XR4 Turbo.
Powered by the turbo-charged EcoBoost version of Ford's new 88kW 1.6 litre four-cylinder engine, the Fiesta ST / XR4 Turbo is expected to produce around 125-130kW.
On this spied prototype, a front-mounted intercooler is visible behind the Fiesta's shark-like grille, along with twin exhaust tips at the rear and chunky Recaro sports seats in the cabin.
The hot new Fiesta is likely to enter the Australian line-up above the current range-topping Fiesta Zetec, replacing the previous generation's naturally-aspirated 2.0 litre 110kW Fiesta XR4.
Style-wise, the spied prototype is sporting low-offset 17-inch alloy wheels, a large rear spoiler and a new rear bumper with faux diffuser and twin exhaust pipes.
The 2011 Ford Fiesta XR4 Turbo's official debut is some time off yet, with an Australian debut likely to occur around the middle of next year.
The 2010 Ford Fiesta ECOnetic was voted winner in the Light Car class of TMR's 2009 Best Drive, Best Value Awards.