Ford has revealed its new Fiesta RS World Rally Car at the Paris Motor Show. The eagerly-anticipated new challenger will be used by the manufacturer from the 2011 season onwards, under the latest 1.6 turbo regulations. The Fiesta WRC will make its competition debut at Rally Sweden in February 2011.
The car has been developed using the current Super 2000 Fiesta as a starting point, which M-Sport team principal Malcolm Wilson estimates incorporates at least 80% of the design of the new World Rally Car.
“This is a thrilling time for everyone involved in the development,” said Wilson. “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.”
The new car has already completed more than 3000 kilometres of testing, powered initially by the current Ford Focus 2.0-litre turbocharged motor before switching to a prototype 1.6 turbocharged unit. French tuning firm Pipo has once more helped to develop Ford’s latest WRC engine, based on the Ecoboost powerplant sold in the Fiesta road car - which is currently the second best-selling car in Europe.
Gerard Quinn, Ford of Europe Motor sport chief, added: “We’ve worked hard to ensure that this 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.”
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The FIA World Rally Championship is shaping up to be particularly interesting in 2011, and the new-for-2011 Ford Fiesta RS is a big reason why. The Blue Oval's latest dirt-spitting racer will contest its first race at Rally Sweden in mid-February, but the Fiesta S2000-based rally car made its debut this morning at the Paris Motor Show.
In typical WRC fashion, the blue and gray Fiesta RS is all gaping intakes, massive flares and skyscraping wings, and needless to say, it looks The Business. Motivated by an EcoBoost-branded 1.6-liter turbocharged four of undisclosed output, the four-wheel-drive RS will get a shakedown run on Spain's gravel roads next week, though Ford says it's already conducted about 3,000 kilometers worth of testing with various engines.
The new car, which supplants the Blue Oval's prior Focus-based WRC car, will be driven by Mikko Hirvonen and Jarmo Lehtinen, along with Jari-Matti Latvala and Miikka Anttila
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