The M-Sport Ford World Rally Team’s 2022 World Rally Championship challenger – the Ford Puma Rally1 WRC – has broken cover at the Goodwood Festival of Speed.
The prototype Puma will complete runs up the hill throughout the four-day event, driven by the team’s chief test driver Matthew Wilson and M-Sport Ford driver Adrien Fourmaux.
The car will run at Goodwood in full hybrid trim with its 1600cc turbocharged engine boosted by a 100kW electric motor and 3.9kWh battery.
M-Sport managing director Malcolm Wilson said the 2022 generation of cars represented a significant step for the world championship.
“The new era of WRC cars is one of the biggest technological advancements in WRC to date,” said Wilson, who has masterminded Ford’s WRC effort since 1997.
“The introduction of the hybrid means that the cars will be more powerful than ever, while also directly reflecting the powertrains within their road-going counterparts.
“The switch to the Puma is very exciting, with the name already having rally heritage. The car looks fantastic and I cannot wait to see it at the start line in Monte Carlo in early 2022.
“I, and the whole of M-Sport, look forward to continuing the very successful partnership with Ford to deliver results and keep Ford at the forefront during this new and very exciting era.”
Ford Performance’s global director Mark Rushbrook said the World Rally Championship remained the perfect testbed for road-going technology.
The hybrid system used in the Puma Rally1 is similar in principle to the one used in the Puma EcoBoost Hybrid road car – with the powertrain capturing energy under braking and coasting and storing it in the battery.
“Ford is 100% committed to an electrified future,” said Rushbrook, “and the white heat of competition has been responsible for many of the innovations that appear in our road cars today.
“The M-Sport Ford Puma Rally1 will put hybrid power to the ultimate test, and prove that the technology is capable of delivering thrilling performance.”
The Puma Rally1’s 95-kilogram liquid and air-cooled battery is housed in a ballistic-strength casing to protect it in the event of an accident. It will be charged in 25 minutes during service intervals in next year’s WRC.