The company has yet to confirm plans for an RS-badged Fiesta, although speculation has been raging since before the current ST model’s 2012 debut.
A January inteview with Ford Performance boss Tyrone Johnson did little to deter fans, with Johnson telling UK magazine Autocar “there’s more to come from the current Fiesta”.
The spied prototype wears wider bolt-on flares and grille/bumper extenders at both ends, pointing to a wider track and improvements to cooling and aero.
There is little to be seen in the way of obvious performance enhancements, however, with the prototype riding on regular steel wheels and at a regular suspension height. Likewise, no performance exhaust is visible.
Although the absence of sports wheels and a lowered ride height doesn't rule this mule out as a special performance model, it could suggest we are instead looking at the first prototypes of the next-generation Fiesta.
The current model, which first appeared in 2007, picked up a major facelift in 2013 - meaning that an all-new model will not be far away.
Today’s spy photos suggest that, if this is indeed our first look at the next-gen Fiesta, the new model will be wider and longer than the current hatch.
Whatever Ford is playing at with this prototype, we can likely expect to see more advanced test cars - either in RS performance trim or in an all-new body - in the months ahead.