Image credits: © Ford.
2011 Ford Fiesta RS WRC
PARIS SHOW PREVIEW FOR ALL-NEW FORD FIESTA RS WORLD RALLY CAR
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 - 13 February.
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.
Úsing 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 Championship
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 plant.
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.
Engine : 1.6 L., 4-cylinder
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 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.Source - Ford
Ford Fiesta RS World Rally Car in GenevaMarch 1, 2011
– Ford's all-new Fiesta RS World Rally Car in full team livery will be displayed at the Geneva Motor Show. The vehicle has already debuted in the first round of the FIA World Rally Championship, Rally Sweden, a few weeks ago, and will compete in the second round in Mexico this weekend. Ford's road technology powers Fiesta RS WRC
Ford's four-wheel drive WRC challenger is derived from the best-selling Fiesta road car. It was developed from the 2010 Monte Carlo Rally-winning Fiesta S2000 rally car by the Blue Oval's long-term British-based partner M-Sport, with support from Ford of Europe. It forms part of a new era in the World Rally Championship, for which a revised cost-effective formula is introduced this season.
The WRC is acknowledged as the toughest form of motorsport for production-based cars, which battle for world titles in such diverse and demanding conditions as the barren, frozen countryside of Sweden and sweltering temperatures and boulder-strewn roads of Greece.
M-Sport, together with Ford's engineering team, undertook a varied and structured development programme with the Fiesta RS WRC in readiness for the 2011 season. Work will continue, with the car shortly due to be taken to the Environmental Testing Laboratory at Ford's Dunton Technical Centre in the ÚK to evaluate and optimise engine performance.
Ford Abu Dhabi technical director Christian Loriaux said the team had not compromised on anything. 'We obtained plenty of data from the standard Fiesta road car, and the S2000 which competed in the S-WRC and other championships last year. We re-evaluated every area and if we thought certain areas could be improved, we went ahead and did so,' he §äid.
'Apart from the roll cage and chassis there aren't too many parts that the Fiesta RS WRC shares with the S2000. Plenty of parts may look similar, but they have been modified to be lighter, stiffer or whatever we felt would bring an improvement,' added Loriaux.
Ford of Europe's design team played a key role in the look of the Fiesta RS WRC. Its input ensured that the car visually reflects the successful 'kinetic design' styling cues synonymous with Ford's line-up on the road.
'Together with Ford of Europe's design team, we carried out a full restyling of the car to incorporate as many aspects as we could of Ford's kinetic design styling cues that are an integral part of the company's road vehicles. There are some necessary modifications for aerodynamic reasons, but both Ford and M-Sport are delighted with the car's appearance,' said Loriaux.
1.6-litre Ford EcoBoost technology
The 1.6-litre turbocharged direct injection engine that powers the rally car draws on the knowledge of Ford's advanced EcoBoost technology, used in its latest production cars.
Quinn said: 'Ford's EcoBoost road engine represents a new generation of downsized, high-efficiency, petrol engines. Developed by Ford engineers in Europe, the four-cylinder EcoBoost production unit combines high-pressure direct injection, advanced turbocharging and twin variable valve timing to maximise combustion efficiency. Different displacements are already available in Ford road vehicles around the globe.
'The knowledge accumulated during the design of the EcoBoost road engine proved invaluable during development of the rally car unit. Technology transfer usually switches from rally cars to road vehicles, but in this situation we're delighted it has taken the opposite route,' he added.
Engine tuner Pipo Moteurs took responsibility for the development of the Fiesta RS WRC's power plant. The French company, which has developed a strong relationship with M-Sport and Ford in motorsport in recent years, worked closely with engineers from both companies throughout the process of developing the competition unit.
Ford provided key support in this task via its global engineering facilities, including its Powertrain Research and Innovation Centre in the Únited States, its Engine Research Centre at Dunton in the ÚK and its Research & Advanced Engineering Centre in Aachen, Germany, to evaluate performance.
The most challenging task was to implement direct injection technology, which is relatively new in motorsport, and Loriaux admitted the engine development was a huge task. 'It was a massive undertaking. Direct injection was a complex beast and it was the first time many of us in the team had the opportunity to work with forced injection in a competition engine. The engine was the biggest challenge of the whole project,' he §äid.Únder the skin of the Fiesta RS WRC
The Fiesta RS WRC's 1.6-litre EcoBoost power unit has turbocharging from a Garrett system, which is fitted with a 33mm inlet restrictor, as required by FIA regulations. The unit is managed by Cosworth's electronic engine system. Cosworth also provides chassis data acquisition.
The four-wheel drive transmission contains mechanical front and rear differentials, with a clutch disconnect system fitted to the handbrake. The M-Sport / X-Trac-built six-speed sequential gearbox is operated by a mechanical shift, using a twin disc clutch built by
M-Sport and AP Racing.
Both front and rear suspension comprises MacPherson struts with Reiger external reservoir dampers, which are adjustable in bump and rebound. It contains fully adjustable steel links and the uprights are made from machined aluminium.
Brembo ventilated brake discs with four-piston monoblock calipers provide the stopping power on both loose and sealed surface roads, with the braking system adjustable to provide either front or rear bias.
Michelin's 650mm tyres will be used on all surfaces, allied with 7in x 15in aluminium wheels for gravel and snow and 8in x 18in wheels for asphalt.Source - Ford
Production Ford Fiesta Powers Rally Racers from Grass Roots All the Way to WRC
•Best-selling Fiesta road car provides core vehicle for all Ford rally activities
•Career path from grass roots to World Rally Championship structured around Fiesta
Ford's globally successful Fiesta road car is proving to be the ideal base for rally cars designed to propel talented drivers up the ladder of opportunity, from grass roots rallying to the highest international level of the sport.
Top of the ladder is the new-for-2011 Fiesta RS World Rally Car, with which Ford's official team competes in the tough FIA World Rally Championship. This four-wheel-drive challenger is driven in the WRC by Mikko Hirvonen and Jari-Matti Latvala and was developed by M-Sport, the Blue Oval's long-term British-based partner, with support from Ford of Europe.
The Fiesta RS WRC, which can be seen on Ford's Frankfurt Motor Show stand, is powered by a 1.6-litre turbocharged direct injection engine, based on the same advanced EcoBoost technology that powers Ford's latest production cars.
Acknowledged as one the toughest forms of motorsport for production-based cars, the WRC challenges competitors to do battle for world honour in such diverse and demanding conditions as the barren, frozen countryside of Sweden and sweltering temperatures and boulder-strewn roads of Greece.
One rung down from the Fiesta RS WRC in Ford's rallying hierarchy is the Fiesta Regional Rally Car. This shares the same Ford global performance DNA as its high-flying sibling, but is fitted with a different engine restrictor and aerodynamic modifications to meet technical regulations for series such as the FIA European Rally Championship.
The car is built to comply with FIA regional rally regulations and its versatility allows it to compete both in national championships, in its RRC guise, and also in the world championship in WRC guise. A kit of parts is available to enable conversion from RRC to WRC specification in just six hours.
Situated at the middle of Ford's rally ladder is the Fiesta S2000, from which the Fiesta RS WRC was originally developed. After winning the famous Monte Carlo Rally on its debut in 2010, the S2000 has become a front-runner in the FIA S-WRC, a support series to the WRC.
Occupying the fourth rung is the Fiesta R2 rally car, which forms the basis of the FIA WRC Academy, the sport's new Ford-supported training programme for young drivers within the world championship. The 1.6-litre R2 rally car also forms the competition vehicle for the Fiesta Sporting Trophy, a series of national one-make championships held in eight countries worldwide.
At the base of Ford's ladder of opportunity is the Fiesta MS1, designed to offer an entry level rally car for novice drivers and based on the standard 1.6-litre Fiesta Zetec S road car. It offers competitors the option to upgrade step by step from an MS1 to an R2 car as resources allow.
Ford of Europe motorsport chief Gerard Quinn said the Fiesta road car offered a perfect base from which to construct the ladder.
'The core attributes of the production Ford Fiesta provide so much of what is required from a successful rally car,' he §äid. 'Its strength is an obvious benefit in such a demanding discipline, both mechanically and in the high-level of safety that is provided to the occupants.
'Its short wheelbase guarantees agility in all five rally car variants and Fiesta's popularity can be seen on rally stages across the globe. This season the Fiesta RS WRC has established itself at the highest level of the sport, adding to the success of the S2000 and R2 models. I'm confident the recently launched RRC and MS1 versions will become equally successful,' added Quinn.
All five Fiesta rally models have been developed at M-Sport, which has partnered Ford in the WRC since 1997. Managing director Malcolm Wilson is a former British champion with Ford and spent several years as the company's chief test driver to develop new rally cars.
'As a youngster, with hopes of becoming a professional rally driver, it was exactly this type of ladder of opportunity that encouraged me to drive Ford cars in the early days of my career,' he §äid.
'I made the progression from grass roots to being a world championship driver with Ford and with a structured path now in place, there has never been a better opportunity for rising stars to reach the top level of the sport with Ford,' added Wilson. Fiesta in rallycross
Source - Ford
The Ford Fiesta has also made its mark in rallycross during the 2011 motorsport season.
The Fiesta claimed a podium clean sweep in the prestigious X Games Rallycross event in the Únited States. X Games also marked the final round of the ÚS-based Global Rallycross Championship and Tanner Foust clinched the overall title, as well as the individual disciplines in SuperRally and Rallycross.
Marcus Grönholm, who led Ford to back-to-back manufacturers' titles in the FIA World Rally Championship in 2006 and 2007, finished second in GRC to Foust. Grönholm was also at the wheel of a Fiesta.
Foust held third in this season's FIA European Rallycross Championship after seven of the 10 rounds, having won in Portugal and Sweden.
Fiesta stars in Ken Block's Gymkhana FOÚR
A specially adapted Ford Fiesta was the star of the latest version of Ken Block's smash hit Gymkhana series of video films.
The four-wheel drive Fiesta H.F.H.V., a unique car built by Block's Monster World Rally Team, generates 600bhp and races from 0-60 in just 1.9sec.