M-Sport have revealed the second generation of its EcoBoost powered Ford Fiesta R5, based on the MK8 body shape.
The original Fiesta R5 is the teams most successful car, with more than 250 vehicles competing around the world and the new iteration features a wide range of improvements and takes inspiration from the WRC version of the Fiesta.
Powered by a 1.6 turbo charged engine with 290 BHP, the new car also uses a brand-new suspension setup with struts from McPherson and three-way adjustable dampers made by Reiger as well as featuring a brand new five-speed sequential gearbox build by Sandev and redeveloped brakes by Brembo.
The new machine has been tested on a variety of surfaces by drivers including Eric Camilli and even Mercedes Formula 1 driver Valtteri Bottas since the end of 2018 and is set to make its public debut on the Ypres Rally later this month as a VIP car on the event with Camilli behind the wheel.
M-Sport Managing Director, Malcolm Wilson OBE, said on the new car: “The Ford Fiesta R5 is our most successful global rally car. It’s a very special car for M-Sport and even though the original cars continue to win rallies and championships all over the world, we have taken our time to ensure this new model is even better with performance gains in every area.”
“The test programme has been extensive, and we have worked hard to ensure this new car suits every level of driver. We have quite literally travelled the world – testing on a wide range of surfaces, in varying conditions and with a whole host of drivers taking to the wheel. This car is extremely important to us, and its adaptability is vital to its success.”
While M-Sport Rally Engineer Bernardo Fernandes, the man tasked with leading the project of the new R5 machine as well as helping Sébastien Ogier win his 2017 WRC title, added: “This was my first time heading up a project. It was a challenge, but also a real privilege to be given the responsibility. The outgoing Ford Fiesta R5 was so successful, and is still very competitive in the right hands, but we have taken our time to revise and improve every area of the car.”
“The R5 category has always been extremely competitive and the biggest challenge is in finding the best compromise between cost and performance. We had a lot of previous experience that helped, and devised a rigorous test programme with a range of different surfaces and drivers.
He added: “The whole team have worked exceptionally hard and we pushed every element to the limit in search of peak performance and reliability. I also need to say a special thanks to Richard Christensen who headed up the design team – his input was integral to the project and we couldn’t have done it without him.”
After it appears in Belgium on the Ypres event, Gus Greensmith is set to compete with the new car on Rally Finland at the beginning of August in the WRC2 class.