M-Sport Poland made history on Monday by unveiling the world’s first homologated Rally4 car.
The Ford Fiesta Rally4 is the latest development of the Ford Fiesta R2, a car that forms the basis of one-make rally series around the world – including the Junior WRC.
The 999cc turbocharged Ford EcoBoost engine has been tweaked to hike power to 210bhp with 315Nm torque. In addition, the gear ratios are refined with stronger driveshafts fitted into the transmission set-up.
The Fiesta Rally4’s handling has been improved via suspension revisions and lightening components including the exhaust. The combination of more power and less weight will make this the benchmark for the RC4 category.
The development work on the car has been completed at M-Sport Poland’s Kraków base and overseen by board member Maciej Woda.
Woda said the success of the Fiesta R2 was part of the reason for the rapid evolution into the Fiesta Rally4.
“The Rally4 represents a comprehensive development of the highly successful 2019 Fiesta R2 which proved to be very popular throughout the 2019 season,” he said.
“The Fiesta R2’s popularity and success is in part a contributing factor to the fact M-Sport Poland have been able to turnaround such a wide variety of improvements in a relatively short space of time.
“This is thanks to the relationship and constant communication we maintained with our customers from the moment they took delivery of their cars. With so many cars distributed and kilometres covered, the engineering team at our base in Kraków was able to quickly identify a development strategy thanks to the constructive feedback received from a huge pool of drivers from a variety of backgrounds.”
M-Sport managing director Malcolm Wilson added: “The Ford Fiesta Rally4 will be our first competition car to fall in line with the FIA’s new Rally Pyramid – enhancing our own ‘Ladder of Opportunity’ whilst also underlining our commitment to the sport’s future stars.
“M-Sport and Ford have always been at the forefront when it comes to supporting all levels of the sport, and we’re constantly developing our product range to provide a cost-effective and competitive route from grass-root to top-level rallying.
“As the FIA’s new Rally Pyramid becomes more identifiable, we plan to have a car to represent every level – from access to performance and, for those who progress to the very top level, elite.”
The 2020 Ford Fiesta Rally4 can be upgraded from the existing car and both new cars and kits are available from 1 April.
The FIA’s Rally Pyramid (in existence from January 1, 2020) explained
Rally1 – the new name for the World Rally Car
Rally2 – the artist formerly known as the R5 car
Rally3 – yet to arrive, but will be a low-cost (sub €100,000) four-wheel drive car
Rally4 – think Junior WRC cars. In non-turbo form can be 1600cc or a blown one liter
Rally5 – de-tuned Rally4 (R2) cars. Sequential gearbox, improved suspension but standard engine and brakes