Ford unveiled its new-generation Fiesta ST at Geneva and placed one alongside the hugely popular XR2 on its sprawling show stand. The new car gets Ford’s latest three-cylinder 1.5-litre EcoBoost engine, which puts out a splendid 197bhp – somewhat more than the 96bhp its Rosso Red predecessor at the show did.
The new car featured an electronic cylinder cut-off to save fuel, when you’re not gunning it. However, in order not to offend its sporting owners,there will be an Electronic Sound Enhancement system which pipes a more meaty noise into the cabin to avoid it sounding like a typical two-pot. Of course, the original XR2 had nothing of the sort – it just had a CVH engine under the bonnet, which was deterrent enough to stop you revving it.
Other technologies making their way into the new XR2, sorry ST, include torque vectoring, an eight-inch touchscreen, the option of a top-end B&O audio and Ford’s Sync 3 infotainment system. The new car doesn’t go on sale until 2018, which is just in time to for the 35th Anniversary of the original Fiesta Mk2-based XR2.
Ford Fiesta XR2 photograph, Andrew Elphick