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Four-time champ to drive new Fiesta WRC car

M-Sport's world rally spec Ford Fiesta looks mad, and Ogier's driving it

We’ve only just met the new Ford Fiesta, and now there’s a motorsport version.

The work of M-Sport, the Ford Fiesta WRC fully takes advantage of world rallying’s wilder new regulations. In short, it looks ballistic.

Given how quickly the WRC Fiesta has appeared after the road car, it’s clear that M-Sport got its hands on the all-new hatchback nice and early. And this new car has been designed completely from scratch, sharing very little with the outgoing Fiesta WRC.

Most obvious is its outrageous new body kit, with all oncoming air set to be beat into submission by the combination of splitters, dive planes and that ginormous rear spoiler. The diffuser, meanwhile, looks like it could plough a field.

Power? There is plenty, with a 1.6-litre petrol turbo – carrying Ford’s Ecoboost tag for maximum ‘win on Sunday, sell on Monday’ potential – pumps out 380bhp, while M-Sport assures us “the sound has to be heard to be believed”. It will be loud, then. Monstrously so.

A hydraulically shifting six-speed sequential gearbox helps pump that power through all four wheels, while the suspension comes with much adjustment potential for tweaking the wee Fiesta for all the various surfaces and terrains WRC 2017 will throw at it.

Safety is improved on before too, thanks to a 50 per cent increase in ‘energy absorbing foam’ and a steel rollcage helping protect its drivers. Speaking of drivers, Sebastien Ogier – the current, and four-time WRC champion with Volkswagen – has been confirmed as an M-Sport driver in 2017. The news has been confirmed shortly after his stint testing the Fiesta, after he was left without a seat when VW pulled out of the sport in the autumn.

“We start the 2017 season with one goal in mind – returning to the top step of the podium,” says M-Sport boss Malcolm Wilson. With Ogier on hand, you’d expect the chances of doing so aren’t too shabby at all…

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