M-Sport has taken the veil off its challenger for the next season of the World Rally Championship – the 2017 Ford Fiesta WRC -- and it has very little in common with the outgoing model. In particular, the 2017 Ford Fiesta WRC is beefier, more aerodynamic and more powerful than the 2016 Ford Fiesta RS WRC. Designed to tackle different types of roads in various weather conditions, 2017 Ford Fiesta WRC is out to prove that it counts as among the best in the rallying world.
Essentially, this rallying car is based on the street-going 2017 Ford Fiesta, which is by itself already an excellent performance on the road as well as off it. In addition, the 2017 Ford Fiesta comes with a style that would allow onlookers to immediately sense that this is not just any car – an attribute that enabled it to become one of the best-selling small cars in Europe.
Through the years, rallying versions of the Ford Fiesta have been racking up victories during events around the globe. In 2016 alone, the Ford Fiesta R5 scored 159 wins and numerous class wins. Moreover, the 2016 Ford Fiesta R5 won its second straight FIA European Rally Championship. The new 2017 Ford Fiesta WRC aims to continue the winning ways of the 2016 Ford Fiesta R5 while complying with WRC technical regulations, which have been revised drastically for the 2017 season. To that effect, Ford moved to completely overhaul its WRC campaigner – with around 95 percent of the 2017 Ford Fiesta WRC being developed and designed from scratch in order for the rallying car to deliver more power, more mechanical grip and more dynamic performance.
The 2017 Ford Fiesta WRC is powered by a 1.6-liter Ecoboost direct injection engine that delivers up to 380 hp of output and up to 450 Nm of torque. This engine sends powers to the wheels via a six-speed sequential gearbox with hydraulic shift runs and a multi-disc clutch. Rallies usually involve running through uneven road surfaces, helping the 2017 Ford Fiesta WRC manage these terrains is a suspension featuring redesigned MacPherson struts with fully adjustable Reiger external reservoir dampers. Stopping power is provided by ventilated brake discs with four-piston monoblock calipers.
Occupant safety comes courtesy of several elements like a T45 steel roll cage welded to the chassis. The 2017 Ford Fiesta WRC is installed with 95 liters of energy absorbing foam, which wraps the Sparco seats to ensure that crashes would have minimal impact to the driver and his navigator.
Malcolm Wilson, M-Sport Managing Director, remarked that he is confident they managed to build a car that could challenge and win at the very highest level. He noted that having driven the 2017 Ford Fiesta WRC himself, the car is one of the most impressive M-Sport has produced.
Chris Williams, M-Sport Head of Engineering, quipped that by designing a brand new car from scratch, it has enabled them to review every component to create the lightest and most innovative car possible.