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Paris 2010: Ford WRC v Mini WRCMini and Ford WRC news - 2010

What you’re looking at is next year’s WRC entrant from Ford. Unless of course, you’re looking at that picture of Clarkson at the top. He won’t be in next year’s WRC, unless we missed a vital memo…

That big car-type thing above is the Ford Fiesta RS WRC car, which will make its debut next February at the Rally Sweden. It features lots of rally stuff, including a 1.6-litre turbocharged EcoBoost engine - adhering to next year’s rally regs - and will replace the Focus WRC car.

See pics of the Fiesta and Mini WRC cars

It’s already covered over 3,000km of destruction testing, and the full-fat, full rally-spec engine will hit Spain next week in a final shakedown, as Ford WRC drivers Mikko Hirvonen, Jarmo Lehtinen, Jari-Mattai Latvala and Miikka Anttila prepare to get it drifty on some dirt.

And, in part at least, it will be going up against this… the Mini Countryman WRC.

We first saw this Mini being ragged in a shakedown via some video
footage, and got awfully excited. The WRC Countryman also features a
1.6-litre turbocharged four-pot - built by BMW - and all-wheel-drive.

This concept was partly developed by Prodrive, who have a handy knack
of knocking out rather good rally cars (Subaru, take a bow), and boss
Dave Richards has only one goal on his mind: “Our target is firmly set
on winning the World Championship title again with Mini”.

Kris Meeke has been announced as Prodrive’s Mini WRC driver, who won last year’s Intercontinental Rally Challenge.

No word on power output but Mini reckons the closest thing mere humans
will get to driving something like this is the Cooper S Countryman,
which packs 184bhp and hits 62mph in 7.6 seconds.

Click here to see it getting a light workout. Which do you prefer?

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