2014 Ford Fiesta gets 1.0-liter EcoBoost engine, sporty ST

2014 Ford Fiesta five-door hatchback Despite its funky looks and miserly mpg numbers, the Ford Fiesta has not been a sales success. Luckily, the Fiesta gets a few updates for the 2014 model year, including a more efficient EcoBoost engine, a sporty ST model, and new styling that evokes the 2013 Fusion. The revised Fiesta will be unveiled later this month at the Paris Motor Show.

The current Fiesta has only been on sale for two years, but it went under the knife early in keeping with Ford CEO Alan Mulally’s need for “constant new product.” The most noticeable differences are an Aston Martin-like grille and revised headlights borrowed from Ford’s most important new car of 2013: the Fusion midsize sedan.

As with the current model, Fiestas will be available as three- and five-door hatchbacks in Europe, but the three-door hatch won’t make it to the United States. Instead, the four-door sedan will return for North American buyers.

Another big change is under the hood. Ford will sell European Fiestas with a new 1.0-liter, three-cylinder EcoBoost engine. This inline-three seems like a shoo-in for the U.S. as well; Ford has already announced that it will sell the new engine here in the larger Focus.

The tiny EcoBoost makes the 1.6-liter, 120 horsepower inline-four in the current Fiesta look like a gas guzzler.

The 2014 Fiesta isn’t all about efficiency, though. Ford will also sell a sporty Fiesta ST five-door hatch (Europe gets a three-door), with a 180 hp version of the 1.6-liter four. The ST, first shown as a concept at the 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show, is like a scaled-down Focus ST.Ford Fiesta ST concept front three-quarter view

The Fiesta ST has the same gaping mouth grille as the Focus, and the same torque vectoring front differential, designed to erase torque steer. Ford says it will do 0 to 60 mph in under seven seconds. It’s about as close to Ken Block’s Gymkhana car as most people will get.

On the less steamy side of things, Ford is also adding some new safety technology to the 2014 Fiesta. Active City Stop can stop the car automatically from certain speeds. MyKey can limit the Fiesta’s top speed and adjust other settings (it’s the perfect option for parents with irresponsible teenagers). Finally, Emergency Assistance will automatically call for help after a crash, using the car’s GPS to pinpoint its location.

Hopefully, Ford will build its 2014 Fiestas well. If any of those safety systems malfunctions, it would make for a very unusual insurance claim.

The 2014 Fiesta will will be formally unveiled at the Paris Motor Show later this month; U.S.-spec models will be shown at the 2012 Los Angeles Auto Show in November. The revised Fiesta will go on sale in the U.S. in early 2013.