2017 Ford Fiesta
WRC breaks cover

M-Sport has revealed details of the new Ford Fiesta WRC it will campaign in the 2017 World Rally Championship.

Designed to next-year's exciting new WRC technical regulations, the car has undergone a complete redesign to deliver more power and more mechanical grip.

M-Sport managing director, Malcolm Wilson, believes his team has created a car with winning potential.

“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 per cent 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.”

Based on the new road-going Fiesta, the bodyshell takes full advantage of extra 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 reinforcements and 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 6,392 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.

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