Ford has revealed its Fiesta WRC at the Paris motor show - the successor to a long line of Focus World Rally Cars.
Developed to world rallying’s new regulations, which feature 1.6-litre turbocharged motors and restrictions on transmission technology and the use of exotic materials, the Fiesta replaces the Focus, which has been at the centre of Ford’s rallying campaigns since 1999.
It’s been designed and developed by Ford’s rally partner M-Sport, under the direction of former works driver Malcolm Wilson. The Fiesta’s 1.6 engine is a highly tuned Ecoboost powerplant.
“The introduction of Ford’s latest engine technology to its rally programme furthers our commitment to motorsport,” said Mike Norton, the firm’s European motorsport boss.
“It also demonstrates our continued support for affordable competition by using an off-the-shelf production engine on which to base our WRC powerplant.”
The Fiesta has only recently racked up its first miles with a 1.6, however; much of its early running was conducted with a detuned 2.0-litre motor.
Team boss Wilson said, “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.”
Having failed in an audacious bid to snatch Sebastien Ogier from Citroen for 2011, Ford is set to stick with its current pair of Finns: Mikko Hirvonen and Jari-Matti Latvala.
The Fiesta’s first competitive outing should be on the opening round of the 2011 WRC, Rally Sweden in February.