Looking for a friskier Fiesta? Americans will have to wait until the arrival of the turbocharged Fiesta ST, but in the meantime Europeans can check out the Ford Fiesta S1600, a warmer version of the hatch, limited to just 500 copies. The three-door Fiesta's 1.6-liter four-cylinder has been gently tuned, upping the output to 132 hp and 118 lb-ft, from the standard 118-hp, 112-lb-ft rating. Paired exclusively with a five-speed manual transmission, Ford says this is enough to propel the little car to 60 mph in 8.2 seconds. For reference, we found that a stick-shifted American-spec Fiesta SEL with 120 hp needed 9.3 seconds for the same task.
To enhance its street cred, the S1600 is equipped with a new front fascia and side skirts, a rear diffuser and spoiler, chrome exhaust tips, and rally-cool 17-inch white wheels. The sporty runabout is available only in blue and white, with body-length stripes in the contrasting color. Driver and passenger are ensconced in heated leather sports seats, and are treated to standard automatic climate control and Bluetooth connectivity. Black leather with blue stitching wraps the steering wheel, shifter, and parking-brake handle. At £15,895, the S1600 is about 10 percent more expensive than the 118-hp trim level below it.
That seems like a reasonable asking price, but with the turbocharged Fiesta ST just around the corner-and probably packing a 180-hp punch-we're more than content to let the Brits hang on to this one.