Published on December 11th, 2016 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez0
Ford Fiesta 2017 FIA World Rally Championship
Embarking on a new era in the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC), we introduce the Ecoboost-powered Ford Fiesta WRC – an innovation based on the new-for-2017 road-going Fiesta which will spearhead M-Sport’s challenge throughout next year’s eagerly anticipated season.
Designed to next-generation technical regulations implemented by the FIA, the Fiesta WRC ushers in the latest technology in world rally cars.
Despite being built to this new set of regulations, the class of 2017 evoke images which hark back to the Group B days of old and M-Sport’s latest creation retains a strong pedigree – sharing a platform with Europe’s number one best-selling small car.
Based on the recently-unveiled, all-new, road-going Ford Fiesta, the Fiesta WRC derives its performance and style from a car beloved on both the road and the stage.
Since its introduction into the sport, the Fiesta – in its various guises as R1, R2, R5, S2000 and WRC – has become rallying’s most successful model with countless victories and championship laurels around the globe.
This year alone, the Ford Fiesta R5 claimed an impressive 159 outright victories – that’s more than any other R5 – as well as countless class wins and a second successive FIA European Rally Championship.
Designed from a completely clean-sheet of paper, M-Sport’s latest challenger adds another string to the Fiesta’s impressive bow and the development team are confident of making a return to the top step of the podium.
Looking the part, a fully CFD designed aerodynamic bodyshell features a front and rear splitter, dive planes and impressive rear wing which gives the Fiesta WRC a striking visual design.
More spectacular and more powerful than its predecessor, the top-specification Fiesta has undergone a complete redesign and 95 percent of the car has been designed from scratch to deliver more power, and more mechanical grip.
Producing 380 bhp and 450 Nm of torque from its bespoke Ecoboost-powered 1600cc direct injection engine and 36 mm inlet restrictor, the sound has to be heard to be believed.
A newly-designed six-speed sequential gearbox with hydraulic shift runs alongside a multi-disc clutch and an active centre differential offers enhanced control and performance.
Evolving further, redesigned MacPherson struts with Reiger external reservoir dampers are fully adjustable in bump and rebound, while ventilated brake discs with unique four-piston monoblock calipers provide the stopping power.
Full chassis and engine data acquisition allows our engineers to conduct on-event diagnostics and performance development, while twin-dash screens for both driver and co-driver keep our crews on track.
Improved safety has also formed a key part of the Fiesta WRC’s development. A T45 steel rollcage is welded to the chassis with structural door sill reinforcements.
The presence of enhanced energy absorbing foam has also been significantly increased from 60 litres to a minimum of 95 litres. The crew’s Sparco seats are cocooned by this foam and energy management figures have increased by as much as 20 percent.
Needless to say, a new and exciting era is almost upon us. Having racked up 6,392 kilometres of testing with more to follow next week, the Fiesta WRC is ready to tackle some of the most arduous and demanding stages that the FIA World Rally Championship has to offer.