Saturday | 03 Apr 2021

M-Sport Ford happy with opening hybrid-era test

M-Sport Ford has reported positive progress with its all-new hybrid-era car after the British firm began initial testing.

Next year marks the start of a new generation in the FIA World Rally Championship, with all three current manufacturer teams committing to new hybrid cars from 2022 to 2024. All top-tier cars will be powered by a mix of an electric motor and the current combustion engine.

An interim M-Sport Ford car completed a systems check on asphalt before it moved into the forests, where it was driven by former WRC regular Matthew Wilson.

Wilson’s initial feedback was positive, reporting the car to be ‘very impressive’.

M-Sport managing director Malcolm Wilson said: “It’s very early days still, it’s the roll out test really, but it’s going well.

WRC manufacturers confirm three-year hybrid agreement

WRC manufacturers confirm ...

All three current WRC manufacturers have embraced the sport’s exciting new hybrid era by committing to register and participate ...

Read More

“We’d always aimed to have it in the woods that week, so to be there absolutely on time is great for the team and a real demonstration of the effort everybody has put in.”

The team’s 2022 challenger is being drawn on a clean sheet of paper, according to Wilson.

“The car is completely new from the current Fiesta WRC,” he said. “Obviously, the base engine remains from this year, but apart from that there’s no carry over. It’s all new suspension, new geometry, electronics – everything.

“That’s why it’s important to get some early testing done and get as many miles down as possible, just so we can see where we are with everything. I’m really pleased and looking forward to seeing it for myself.”

Read more news