We've always had a soft spot for souped-up Ford Fiestas. Our love affair started back in the early 80s with the XR2, reached fever pitch with the fuel-injected XR2i and sort of fizzled out with the slightly underwhelming 2008 Fiesta ST.

Sadly, we've not had much to shout about in the years since those rusted away, but Ford may be about to ignite that old flame with a new Fiesta ST concept, which has been doing the rounds at the 2011 LA Autoshow.

The Fiesta ST Concept bears a slight resemblance to the standard, cutesy road car on which it is based, but has been fitted with a muscular bodykit that hints at some serious performance. It gets a black mesh grille and a cheeky rear spoiler that increases downforce and the car's overall badassery.

Underneath those well-positioned humps, the Fiesta ST Concept is powered by the same basic engine used in the Fiesta RS WRC challenger car. It's been toned down somewhat, but the 1.6-litre Ecoboost lump still chucks out 177lb-ft of torque and 180bhp, which is 60bhp more than the standard Fiesta.

With that sort of grunt, Ford tells us the Fiesta ST Concept should hit 0-60mph in less than 7 seconds and romp all the way up to a top speed of 'over 136mph'. In other words, it'll be quite the hoot.

The racing feel will be enhanced thanks to a 'sporty' cockpit adorned with chrome gauges, Recaro racing-style seats and enough ST badges to remind your passengers they're in something more special than a bog-standard Fiesta.

Ford hasn't yet confirmed whether the ST Concept will go on sale, but we're keeping our fingers, toes and other appendages crossed it'll see the light of day. It's been far too long since we were hooning around in a properly quick Fiesta.

Have a gander through our photo gallery above to get a closer look.

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