Reports out of Europe suggest that Ford is at last preparing a hot version of its Fiesta hatch. If true, the new model will likely to be sold in Europe as the Fiesta ST and locally as the 2011 Ford Fiesta XR4 Turbo.
According to British magazine Autocar, the top-shelf Fiesta will draw power from Ford's turbocharged 1.6 litre four-cylinder EcoBoost engine, producing around 125-130kW in ST/XR4 trim.
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 would likely 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.
If all is as it seems, the Fiesta XR4 Turbo's official debut is likely some time off, with an international debut possible for some time in early 2012.