2017 Ford Fiesta WRC specifications, download HERE
FORD squad M-Sport has revealed details of the new Fiesta WRC it will campaign in the 2017 FIA World Rally Championship – but there is no news yet on whether Sébastien Ogier will drive it.
Designed to next year’s exciting new WRC technical regulations, the car has been completely redesigned to deliver more power and more mechanical grip.
M-Sport managing director Malcolm Wilson believes his team has created a car with winning potential, WRC.com reports.
“Having driven the car myself, I can honestly say that it is one of the most impressive we have ever produced. It’s exciting to drive, it sounds fantastic and it looks absolutely sensational.” he said.
“Every team is starting on an equal footing and I’m confident that we have produced another car which is capable of challenging – and winning – at the very highest level.
“More than 95 percent has been designed from scratch and our team has had whatever they’ve wanted to build the best possible car. No expense has been spared and we start the 2017 season with one goal in mind – returning to the top step of the podium.”
However, Wilson did not say who will be driving his new machines. He has been courting four-time world champion Sébastien Ogier since Volkswagen withdrew from the WRC last month, but the Frenchman has yet to announce whether he will drive for M-Sport, Citroen, Toyota or even a possible privateer Vokswagen team.
The wild-looking Fiesta evokes images the Group B cars of the 80s, but is built on the platform of Europe’s current best-selling small road car.
The bodyshell takes full advantage of new aerodynamic freedoms, with a front and rear splitter, dive planes and a massive rear wing.
More powerful that its Fiesta RS predecessor, the car produces 380 bhp and 450 Nm of torque from an Ecoboost-powered 1600cc direct injection engine with a 36 mm inlet restrictor.
Putting the power to the wheels is a new six-speed sequential gearbox with hydraulic shift, a multi-disc clutch and an active centre differential.
Redesigned MacPherson struts with Reiger external reservoir dampers are adjustable in bump and rebound, while ventilated brake discs with four-piston monoblock calipers provide the stopping power.
Chassis and engine data acquisition systems allow engineers to conduct on-event diagnostics and performance development and inside there are twin dash screens for both driver and co-driver.
Improved safety was also key to the development process. A T45 steel rollcage is welded to the chassis with structural door sill reinforcement. The amount of energy-absorbing foam fitted around the car’s seats has increased from 60 litres to a minimum of 95 litres.
Having racked up 6392 kilometres of testing with more to follow next week, the team’s head of engineering, Chris Williams, believes the car is one of a kind.
“We’ve pushed the physical boundaries in all areas and have some very interesting things going on underneath the surface that we are sure are unique to this car and have already improved performance significantly in testing,” he said.