Small, sporty hatchbacks are still the most fun cars to drive on our ever-crowded roads and there are plenty to choose from – warm, spicy and truly hot. If you are a young driver, then these are as close as you’ll get to a sportscar for many years to come so Ford’s new entry into the sector has been eagerly anticipated.

Based on the popular Fiesta Zetec-S, Ford are making sure you’re in no doubt about the sporting intentions of it’s new Fiesta S1600 with its eye-catching motorsport stripes and bright paint colours.

The Fiesta S1600 comes fully specified, building upon the alloy pedals and Quickclear windscreen fitted to the Zetec-S and adding heated, stitched leather sports seats with standard side-airbags, leather steering wheel, handbrake cover and gearknob, plus Motorsport-branded floor mats and scuff plates.

Externally there are two special paint colours available – Frozen White or Performance Blue set-off with contrasting motorsport stripes, combined with a comprehensive body-styling kit that includes a unique front bumper with flared lower valence panel, extended side skirts, large rear spoiler and rear diffuser, finished with 17-inch white alloy wheels.

Performance comes from Ford’s responsive 1.6-litre, 118 bhp Duratec Ti-VCT petrol engine and there’s a further 20 bhp engine upgrade package available via Ford’s established performance tuning partner, Mountune.

The Fiesta S1600 continues a 30-year sporting Fiesta bloodline that began with the Mk1 XR2 in 1981 and has included Supersport, XR2(i), Si, RS and ST models.

Gill Palmer, Ford of Britain’s Fiesta Product Manager, said: “Since its introduction, Fiesta and sporting pedigree have never been far apart and the latest incarnation of that is S1600, bringing extra motorsport feel to the award-winning Fiesta style and driving quality.”

Fast Ford fans are encouraged to act quickly, with only 650 of these special faster Fiestas being created. They are available now from Ford dealers priced from £16,645 on-the-road, just £1,000 more than the Zetec-S.