Ford’s all-new World Rally Championship car has been unveiled at the Paris Motor Show. The Fiesta RS World Rally Car was seen for the first time at the French show, and was displayed in a blue and grey livery designed specifically for the event.

The car has been developed by M-Sport and Ford Europe. M-Sport have been long term partners of the Ford brand in terms of rallying, and have successfully developed a number of rallying machines during that partnership.

A WRC debut next February awaits the Fiesta, when the WRC heads to Sweden for what is a unique rally due to the conditions the crews face.

The Fiesta RS is based upon the Fiesta S2000 which made a winning start to it’s competitive life, having claimed victory on an Intercontinental Rally Challenge in Monte Carlo at the beginning of the year.

Ford of Europe’s Motorsport chief, Gerard Quinn, has overseen the development programme. Of this he said “We’re delighted to preview the Ford Fiesta RS WRC in such a prominent Motor Show as Paris. There are significant visual differences from the Fiesta S2000 base car as well as major changes under the skin. The biggest, of course, is the 1.6-litre Ford EcoBoost turbo engine – the original version of which was developed by Ford’s Powertrain Engineering team”.

Malcolm Wilson, the Managing Director of M-Sport, said “This is a thrilling time for everyone involved in the car’s development”, adding, “Countless hours have gone into the Fiesta RS WRC to reach this point, and for the car to be unveiled in public for the first time is a proud moment for us. We are right on track with our development and the team is delighted with testing to date. Another major step forward will be taken at the start of October when the car tests in full 2011 technical specification for the first time”.

He also pointed out that current works Ford WRC drivers, Mikko Hirvonen and Jari-Matti Latvala will spearhead the 2011 campaign for the “Blue Oval”.

“We will have a test car running under the guidance of our technical director, Christian Loriaux. Mikko and Jari-Matti lead our challenge with the new car in the 2011 WRC, so their feedback from the testing is critical, and will provide valuable data for our engineering team to work with,” added Wilson.