Ford confirms it will produce the Fiesta ST performance car in North America, with sales to begin in spring of next year.

The Fiesta ST joins the Focus ST in Ford’s small-car performance lineup, a segment the auto maker says is increasing in popularity.

The new model will be powered by a high-output variant of Ford’s 1.6L direct-injected turbocharged EcoBoost engine producing 197 hp and 214 lb.-ft. (290 Nm) of torque. In comparison, the segment competitor Mini Cooper C makes 181 hp and 177 lb.-ft. (239 Nm), while the Chevrolet Sonic RS produces 138 hp and 148 lb.-ft. (200 Nm).

Available exclusively as a 5-door hatchback with a 6-speed manual transmission standard, the Fiesta ST is projected to achieve 34 mpg (6.9 L/100 km) in combined city/highway driving, Ford says.

The Fiesta ST has more direct and responsive steering than the base model and boasts a unique suspension with a modified front knuckle for a quicker overall steering ratio of 13.6:1.

Rear axle roll stiffness is increased to improve stability through corners, while the body sits closer to the ground than the base model.

In addition to performance upgrades, the Fiesta ST has a unique grille and chin spoiler with new rear diffuser and fascia extensions.

Pricing for the Fiesta ST will be released closer to launch, Ford says.