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Mike Stevens | Jun, 19 2014 | 4 Comments

It’s the most powerful 1.0 litre road car around, boasting a greater specific power output than Bugatti’s Veyron… but don’t let it get you too excited.

This is Ford’s new Fiesta Zetec S, driven by the company’s award-winning three-cylinder engine tuned to deliver 102kW - 10kW more than it makes in the regular Fiesta.

It won’t be offered in Australia, but here it would take on the likes of Holden’s Barina RS, driven by the same 103kW 1.4 turbo four that was also this week confirmed to have a future in the Trax compact SUV.

The latest entrant in a growing group of ‘warm’ hatches, the Zetec S enters Ford’s line-up below its true hot hatch, the 134kW 1.6 litre Fiesta ST.

Ford says the power boost is courtesy of changes to the engine’s turbo boost control, valve-timing, intercooler setup, and throttle management.

Adding credence to the sporty claims are 17-inch black wheels, sports suspension and re-tuned steering, along with tweaks to the five-speed manual transmission.

The company promises a 0-100km/h time in the Zetec S of 9.0 seconds flat, which means that while it’s no rocket, the new model is also no slouch.

The ST claims a much sharper sprint time of 6.9 seconds - but the Zetec S does have one edge over its souped-up sibling, and that’s fuel consumption.

While the ST’s 6.2 l/100km combined cycle figure will hardly burn a hole in your pocket, the S’ 3.7 l/100km (on the European cycle) does make for a compelling purchase prospect.

The S will be offered in Europe in Red Edition and Black Edition versions, and the theme speaks for itself through the contrasting colourways.

In Australia, buyers with a taste for a sporty vibe can look to either the $25,990 Fiesta ST or the 92kW $22,525 Fiesta Sport.

MORE: Fiesta News and Reviews

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