(from Ford Press
Release) PARIS SHOW PREVIEW FOR ALL-NEW FORD FIESTA RS WORLD
Ford's new challenger for the 2011 FIA World Rally Championship, the
all-new Fiesta RS World Rally Car, made its first global public
appearance at the Paris Motor Show today.
The Fiesta RS WRC will make its competition debut in Rally Sweden,
the opening round of the 2011 FIA World Rally Championship, on 10 -
For Paris, the preview model has been finished in a striking blue
and grey livery, specially developed for the show by Ford of
Europe's design team. The new World Rally Car, derived from the
best-selling Fiesta road car, is being developed by Ford of Europe
and its rally partner M-Sport.
Using as a base 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, Ford of Europe's design
team and M-Sport have worked together to fine-tune the styling of
the bodywork and aerodynamic package of the new Fiesta to create an
exciting replacement for the outgoing Focus RS WRC.
Although detailed changes may be made as the Fiesta RS WRC car
continues its development programme through the balance of this year
and in time for the commencement of the team's specialised
pre-season testing, the final car will share the eye-catching
appearance and acclaimed 'kinetic design' styling cues synonymous
with Ford's latest road vehicles. The interior will also be
instantly recognisable as a Fiesta RS WRC rally car as it contains a
number of production parts.
A new era for the World Rally
The Fiesta RS WRC
competition car will form part of a new era for the world
championship. The Fiesta rally car will boast four-wheel drive
transmission and a 1.6-litre turbocharged engine, based on the
all-new Ford EcoBoost engine family, to comply with new regulations.
The new Ford EcoBoost engine family features direct petrol injection
and turbocharging to maximise performance and efficiency. "The
introduction of Ford's latest engine technology to its rally
programme reinforces further our commitment to motorsport. It also
demonstrates our continued support for affordable competition by
using an off-the-shelf production engine on which to base our WRC
power plant," said Mike Norton, Ford of Europe's Motorsport Manager.
Specialist engineers from Ford and M-Sport have co-operated closely
in the development of this 1.6-litre engine, with highly-respected
French tuner Pipo Moteur bringing additional expertise to the power
The Fiesta RS WRC appearance at the Paris Motor Show precedes the
car's first major test programme with the full 2011 engine
specification on gravel roads in Spain next week. The car has
already completed almost 3000 kilometres of testing in Britain and
France, powered initially by the current WRC engine and more
recently by a prototype 1.6-litre Ford EcoBoost turbo unit.
The test will provide the first opportunity for BP Ford Abu Dhabi
World Rally Team drivers Mikko Hirvonen and Jarmo Lehtinen and
team-mates Jari-Matti Latvala and Miikka Anttila to drive the new
Fiesta RS WRC.
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
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.