PHOTO: New Fiesta RS ready for Portugal (M-Sport pic)
M-SPORT’S Ford Fiesta RS WRC has undergone the biggest evolution since its creation and is ready to debut in the FIA World Rally Championship at Vodafone Rally de Portugal next week.
The British team’s technicians have built five new cars at the Dovenby Hall base in Cumbria, ready to take on the world in the hands of Elfyn Evans, Ott Tänak, Martin Prokop, Lorenzo Bertelli and Robert Kubica.
M-Sport reports development on the new-evolution Fiesta RS WRC began in earnest last year with a testing regime covering more than 5000 kilometres, eclipsing the test mileage of any other M-Sport-developed car prior to its debut.
The 2015 edition looks much the same from the outside, but under the bonnet is a completely new engine with more power and substantially more torque.
For the first time, the entire engine block was designed in-house by M-Sport’s team of designers and engineers. With technical support from Ford, it has been machined from a solid block of aluminium and exemplifies M-Sport’s engineering expertise.
The car has undergone a full redesign under the bonnet with further developments to cooling, transmission, electronics, wiring harness and differentials.
M-Sport says it is relishing the opportunity to put the car through its biggest test yet, next week’s Rally de Portugal.
M-Sport Managing Director Malcolm Wilson OBE said: “This is the biggest upgrade the Fiesta RS WRC has ever seen and it’s something that we are all immensely proud of. The car may look much the same from the outside, but there has been a complete redesign under the bonnet, centred on a completely new engine designed and developed in-house by M-Sport.
“Our engineering capabilities are going from strength to strength, and this new engine is proof of that. It’s a big step forward for the team and brings us one step closer to our goals of having both Elfyn and Ott challenging for the podium positions more regularly in the second half of the season.
“Once again I must also praise the efforts of our fantastic team. Never before have we had to build so many new cars for a single event and there has been a tremendous amount of hard work behind the scenes. Their dedication and commitment is second to none.”
M-Sport Head of Engineering, Chris Williams, said: “Work on the new car and specifically the engine actually started as early as 2012 but our initial developments have since evolved to produce what is a big step forward in terms of both drivability and performance.
“The Fiesta chassis has always provided a very driver-friendly car and we have been able to improve that further. In addition to this, the new engine provides a substantial increase in bottom-end torque which assists performance in lower-gear corners.”