Peel back the stripes on this Fiesta S1600, and you'll find a mildly heated Zetec S. Unlike last year's version, which was simply a colourful restyle, this one has added fastness, and should fill a hole in the range before the mooted 180bhp ST arrives.
A standard Fiesta is one of those everyday Fords that feels a bit special, as if someone who really likes driving spent a night tweaking the blueprints. Painting two lines over the roof brings out its playful side, and boosting power from 120bhp to 132 gives it a welcome energy shot. That doesn't sound much, but combined with a longer first gear, it drops the 0-62mph time from 9.9secs to 8.2.
The extra power comes from a remapped brain, a new air filter, reduced back pressure thanks to wider pipes that also give a rally-car rasp. Outside, you can have white stripes on blue paint or the other way around, plus 17in white alloys, a front splitter, extended side skirts, a fake rear diffuser and twin chrome pipes. Inside, there are full leather seats, plus other blue 'n' black highlights.
Just 500 will be made, costing £15,900 - that's £1,500 more than a Zetec S. And worth it, for the extra speed alone.
We like: Much-improved 0-60 time
We don't like: Waiting for the ST to arrive
The verdict: Special-edition warm hatch brings out the best of the Fiesta
Performance: 0-62mph in 8.2secs, max 121mph, 47.9mpg
Tech: 1596cc, 4cyl, FWD, 132bhp, 118lb ft, 1045kg, 139g/km CO2
Tick this on the options list: It comes with everything
Avoid this: The stripes, if they let you