Ford caught the attention of nearly every automotive enthusiast on earth when it pulled the wraps from the 2016 Focus RS earlier this month. The high-performance five-door hatch offers up 320 horsepower from its 2.3-liter turbocharged four-cylinder EcoBoost motor, which is then channeled through a six-speed manual transmission to an advanced torque-vectoring all-wheel drive system.
The Focus RS is one of the twelve performance vehicles Ford has promised to bring to market by 2020. We can only speculate what some of the remaining models may be, but it seems possible that one of them could be a high-performance Fiesta RS. The first performance car based on the current-gen Focus was the 252 horsepower Focus ST, which Ford soon followed up with the 197 horsepower Fiesta ST. If history is any indication, a Fiesta RS should be next.
There’s no gurantee a Fiesta RS is on its way, though. While we love that Ford has taken a sudden liking to performance vehicles, having four different small performance hatchbacks in the product lineup, all of them powered by turbocharged four cylinders, may not be the best allocation of resources. Additionally, there is very little wiggle room for pricing between these models. The Fiesta ST starts at $20,945 and the Focus ST starts at $23,625. The Focus RS is expected to cost the better part of $30,000, meaning that a Fiesta RS would likely command a high $20,000 to low $30,000 price range.
For consumers to justify the price bump over the Fiesta ST, the supposed Fiesta RS would need to deliver noticeable performance enhancements. And to do that, we would expect the Fiesta RS to not only have more power, but to channel it though an an all-wheel drive system, as well. But there are a couple of problems pertaining to this. The current-generation Fiesta is in the latter half of its lifespan, so we highly doubt Ford will equip it with an all-wheel drive system this late in its lifecycle, since doing so would involve additional development and production costs. And then there’s the subject of building a business case for the model. Would a $30,000 high-performance subcompact attract enough buyers, or would interested parties simply step up to the Focus RS?
Now, that’s not to say that a Fiesta RS won’t happen, or that we don’t want it to. The Fiesta ST is a fun car, so an RS version would probably be an absolute riot. And so we ask you, our dear reader: should Ford make a Fiesta RS? Vote below, and feel free to discuss in the comments.