Right in the middle of electric cars storm at the Paris Motor Show this year, it warms our heart seeing a few full blooded sportscar! Some companies have decided to unveil their new world rally cars at the show, and Ford is one of them. And I think I’m right in saying that the new Fiesta RS WRC is one of the best looking rally cars of all time. Specially with this cool livery which makes it look like a training shoe!
This striking blue and grey livery, specially developed for the show by Ford of Europe’s design team, and won’t be used for official events though. Anyhow, the car that’s been co-developed by Ford’s rally partner M-Sport is based on the Ford Fiesta S2000 rally car, which won the legendary Monte Carlo Rally on its debut last January and other international and national rallies in 2010.
This car replaces the legendary Focus RS in WRC, so they wanted to make sure it’s up for the job. So the team has been constantly testing it in the last couple of months, and this process continues throughput the 2011 season and the car will tweaked along the way fro maximum performance.
Like other new WRC cars, to cope with the new rules, the Fiesta RS WRC is powered by a 1.6-litre Ford EcoBoost turbo unit.
The Fiesta RS WRC will make its competition debut in Rally Sweden, the opening round of the 2011 FIA World Rally Championship, on 10 – 13 February.
Gerard Quinn, Ford of Europe’s Motorsport chief, has overseen the Ford development programme throughout 2010 and says: “We’re delighted to preview the Ford Fiesta RS WRC in such a prominent Motor Show as Paris. There are significant visual differences from the Fiesta S2000 base car as well as major changes under the skin. The biggest, of course, is the 1.6-litre Ford EcoBoost turbo engine – the original version of which was developed by Ford’s Powertrain Engineering team.”
M-Sport managing director and BP Ford Abu Dhabi World Rally Team director Malcolm Wilson is equally enthusiastic about the new car.
“This is a thrilling time for everyone involved in the car’s development”, Wilson affirms. “Countless hours have gone into the Fiesta RS WRC to reach this point, and for the car to be unveiled in public for the first time is a proud moment for us. We are right on track with our development and the team is delighted with testing to date. Another major step forward will be taken at the start of October when the car tests in full 2011 technical specification for the first time.
“We will have a test car running under the guidance of our technical director, Christian Loriaux. Mikko and Jari-Matti lead our challenge with the new car in the 2011 WRC, so their feedback from the testing is critical, and will provide valuable data for our engineering team to work with,” added Wilson.
The Fiesta RS WRC will replace the record-breaking Focus RS WRC as Ford’s championship challenger. The Focus RS WRC won back-to-back manufacturers’ world titles in 2006 and 2007, and its victory in New Zealand in May was the Blue Oval’s 75th at WRC level, making Ford the most successful manufacturer in world championship history.
Ford has sold more than one million of the hugely-successful, latest generation Fiesta road cars around the world since it went on sale in October 2008. Fiesta, Ford’s truly global car, is the No 2 best-selling car across Europe.
Also, the latest Fiesta has already proved its abilities in motorsport. The Fiesta SportTrophy International for Fiesta R2 cars is a successful support series to the FIA World Rally Championship and the Fiesta S2000 rally car currently leads the S-WRC support series within the WRC.
American sports icon Ken Block has campaigned a Fiesta rally car in the Rally America championship this season, and the car won gold and silver medals in both the Rally Car and Super Rally events at the X Games event in Los Angeles in July.
“The Ford Fiesta has already established itself as a serious contender in a range of global motorsport activities, and we can’t wait to debut our official car in the hugely demanding World Rally Championship next year,” said Gerard Quinn.”We’ve worked hard to ensure the car is undoubtedly related to the best-selling Fiesta road car which itself is a global success story. Ford’s design and product development teams have worked closely and efficiently with our partners at M-Sport whose enormous expertise is key to delivering not just a highly competitive rally car, but also a car that is both stylish and recognisably a Ford Fiesta.” he added.