Ford's all-new Fiesta RS World Rally Car was revealed in its 2011-specification today when the company unveiled the new color scheme that will adorn the car in the FIA World Rally Championship. Team driver Mikko Hirvonen and Ford of Europe motorsport chief Gerard Quinn unveiled the livery for the eye-catching Fiesta RS WRC at the Autosport International Racing Car Show in Birmingham, England.
Ford's official WRC squad for 2011 also confirmed its new name and logo: it will compete as the Ford Abu Dhabi World Rally Team. Title partner Abu Dhabi will continue its support throughout 2011 and its distinctive branding will also feature strongly in the new livery. Abu Dhabi has been a team partner since 2007, and Emirati driver Khalid Al Qassimi will drive a third Fiesta RS WRC in support of team-mates Hirvonen and Jari-Matti Latvala.
The team will also be sponsored by Castrol, the leading lubricants producer and a partner since 2005. Branding for Castrol Edge, its range of motor oils, will feature prominently. BP, Castrol's parent company, plans to promote the Castrol Edge synthetic oils by demonstrating their strength to perform in the demanding WRC. "The preview version of the car we unveiled in September 2010 at the Paris Motor Show was dramatic in its blue and grey livery, developed specifically for the show by Ford of Europe's design team," said Quinn. "But now we have a fully finished car in an eye-catching new livery and excitement is building throughout the squad as we prepare for the opening round in Sweden next month.
"Ford's designers and product development engineers have worked closely and efficiently alongside the expertise of our partners at M-Sport. The aim was, of course, to produce a car capable of challenging for world championship titles, but one which also reflects the 'kinetic design' styling of Ford's current road vehicles," added Quinn.
Ford's WRC challenger, derived from the best-selling Fiesta road car, has been developed by Ford of Europe and British-based rally partner M-Sport. It is based on the Fiesta S2000 rally car, which won the legendary Monte Carlo Rally in January 2010 and other international and national rallies during the season. The Fiesta RS WRC will form part of a new era in the world championship, for which a revised cost-effective formula is introduced this season.
The car boasts four-wheel drive and a 1.6-litre turbocharged engine, based on the new Ford EcoBoost powerplant, to comply with the new regulations.
Testing will continue in Sweden next week ahead of the Fiesta RS WRC's championship debut in Rally Sweden, the opening round of the series, on 10-13 February 2011.