19 November 2009

Arch rival

Ford Fiesta S2000 rally car roars in to shake up the WRC. Bring it on…

Ford Fiesta S2000

Say a big-arched, ripsnorting hello to the new Ford Fiesta S2000 rally car, the coolest looking racer we’ve seen this year.

See more pictures of the Ford Fiesta S2000 in this gallery.

Built by Malcolm Wilson’s M-Sport team, the Fiesta S2000 will debut next year in a host of international rallies before – ready for this – an all-out assault on the World Rally Championship in 2011.
 
Yes, the season after next, this little beastie should be taking on Seb Loeb and the rest in the biggest shake-up of WRC rules in years.
 
In a bid to drive down costs and encourage more competitors, the WRC is going smaller and simpler at the end of next season, spelling the end for the Ford Focus and Citroen C4 rally cars but opening the door to mini-monsters like this Fiesta.
 
As per S2000 regulations, it’s powered by a 2.0-litre naturally aspirated four-pot putting out 280bhp and 192lb ft of torque. That power batters its way to all four wheels through a six-speed sequential manual gearbox. In a car weighing in at 1200kg, that should spell mighty acceleration.
 
We can’t wait to see it tackling the stages of the WRC – but what will it be racing against? Citroen looks likely to build a rallying version of its DS3 city car, and current cars racing in the IRC S2000 class include the Peugeot 207, Fiat Abarth Punto, Honda Jazz and a really-quite-handsome Proton Satria Neo. No, really.
 
What else would you like to see in the revised WRC in 2011? RenaultSport Clio? Daihatsu Materia? Kia Picanto?

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