• The hatchback-only Fiesta ST Concept will likely be produced, but maybe not for the US
  • It uses a turbocharged version of the Fiesta's 1.6-liter four-cylinder that's good for 180 horsepower
  • Exterior upgrades include larger wheel arches, a sporty body kit and 17-inch alloy wheels

Ford used this year's Los Angeles Auto Show to debut two exciting new hot hatches that feature upgraded exterior styling, performance-tuned engines and sporty suspension. But while the automaker confirmed production of the sporty Focus ST, it maintains the smaller Fiesta ST is just a concept - at least, for now.

Shown in a striking shade of orange, the so-called Fiesta ST Concept is easily distinguished from its traditional Fiesta hatchback stablemate at first glance. That's because the hot hatch includes robust wheel arches that provide a wide rally car-style stance, an aggressive front end with a large air dam, a sporty body kit, unique 17-inch alloy wheels and even a muscular back end that features a rear diffuser.

Inside, the Fiesta ST Concept is also set apart from the workaday Fiesta thanks to a host of racy interior upgrades. Such revisions include red steering wheel trim, a red-painted center stack and Recaro bucket seats that provide extra support in cornering.

Under the hood, the sporty Fiesta ST Concept also includes major modifications over the standard compact hatchback. To create the hot hatch, Ford added a turbocharger to the Fiesta's 120-horsepower 1.6-liter four-cylinder powerplant, achieving a hefty 180 horsepower and 177 pound-feet of torque. But Ford says the Fiesta ST Concept is still a fuel saver, since the engine remains a part of its ultra-efficient EcoBoost engine family. Like the Focus ST, the tuned Fiesta also includes suspension upgrades designed to enhance driving dynamics and improve handling.

So will the Fiesta ST Concept see production? Our guess is almost certainly - especially since a high-performance Fiesta has been a staple in the model's European lineup for decades. But whether Ford decides to bring the souped-up Fiesta stateside may depend on the success of its big brother, the upcoming Focus ST. For the sake of all young performance enthusiasts whose wallets may not allow a BMW or Porsche, we hope both vehicles find a strong following in the U.S. market.

What it means to you: We think the Fiesta ST is a sure thing for production and should provide a great value when it goes on sale next year.

See more LA Auto Show news.

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Jeffrey Archer is fortunate to have turned a passion for cars into a career. His wide-ranging automotive experience includes work for automakers and dealers in addition to covering the news. When not writing, he spends his time searching for unique cars on AutoTrader.com.

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