Ford Reinvents The Formula Ford for Frankfurt

Underscoring its commitment to motorsports of all types, Ford unveiled not one, but a total of seven race-ready vehicles at this year’s Frankfurt show. The Focus ST-R factory racecar was just the start. Ford also unveiled its all new Formula Ford racecar, and is showing off five different rally-prepped Fiestas at this year’s Frankfurt show.

Ford’s latest Formula Ford car is sure to continue the series’ legacy of providing a level playing field to act as a proving ground for future Formula 1 talents. The all-new Formula Ford cars feature a production-based 1.6-liter turbocharged EcoBoost I-4 mounted down low right behind the driver. The FIA racing series limits the EcoBoost four-bangers of all the competitors to 163-hp and 162 lb-ft of torque. The 1.6-liter mill routes that power through a six-speed sequential manual transmission.

Ford says that these new Formula Ford cars will be easy for its fans to recognize because of the use of Ford’s current global kinetic design theme, while being safer than any previous Formula Ford racecar. Some of the key new safety features in the new Formula Ford racer include a tubular chassis, front and rear carbon fiber crash structures, and side intrusion panels, among other things.

Ford also took the time to show off all five of its rally-ready Fiesta variants. The top dog would be the Fiesta RS World Rally Car. The all-wheel drive Fiesta RS WRC packs 1.6-liters of EcoBoost turbocharged fury under the hood, that can put out upward of 500-hp.The M-Sport developed Fiesta RS WRC is the same car piloted by the likes of Ken Block, Mikko Hirvonen, and Jari-Matti Latvala in the World Rally Championship.

One step down from the Fiesta RS WRC is the Fiesta Regional Rally Car. Ford said that the only differences between the Fiesta RRC and the Fiesta RS WRC are a different engine restrictor, and some subtle aerodynamic differences. The Fiesta RRC can be converted to full Fiesta RS WRC specifications in around six hours.

Third down on the ladder is the Fiesta S2000. The Fiesta S2000 appeared on the scene a year before the Fiesta RS WRC, and was in fact the basis for the World Rally Championship car. The Fiesta S2000 competes in FIA Super 2000 rallying, which is aimed at providing a level playing field for both manufacturers and privateers.

The fourth Fiesta rally car is the Fiesta R2. The Fiesta R2 anchors the FIA WRC Academy, which is a brand-new Ford-supported training program for young drivers looking to get into the World Rally Championship. Like all of the Fiesta rally cars, the Fiesta R2 also sports Ford’s familiar 1.6-liter I-4 under the hood.

The bottom rung of the Ford Fiesta rallying ladder is the Fiesta MS1. Ford says that the Fiesta MS1 was designed with novice rally drivers in mind. The Fiesta MS1 is based heavily on the standard Fiesta road car that can be purchased at your local Ford dealer, and can be easily upgraded into a Fiesta R2 once the driver’s skills improve.

Getting your hands on the Fiesta RS WRC or Fiesta S2000 in North America might prove a bit tricky, since they’re all prepared at M-Sport in the United Kingdom. However, it is possible to get your Fiesta rallying fix if you’re in the United States. Team O’Neil Rally School in New Hampshire will prep your Fiesta hatch into a Rally America-ready Fiesta R2 for around $30,000, or get you started with by prepping your Fiesta to Fiesta MS1 spec. Start saving.

Source: Ford, Team O’Neil

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