The first hybrid era rally car has now been unveiled in the shape of the all-new Ford Puma Rally1. This will become the next model for M-Sport Ford World Rally Team when the start of the 2022 FIA World Rally Championship season kicks off. Earlier this week the car was presented at the Goodwood Festival of Speed. The speculation about whether it was Fiesta or Puma have been going on for a couple of years and now the Puma is official.
M-Sport Ford goes from its signature with a car model for each class in the FIA pyramid, when the class next year changes its name to Rally1, it will also be a new car model when Puma makes its entrance in the WRC class.
New for 2022 is the hybrid system in the WRC cars, something that is also expected to be introduced in the Rally2 class in the near future, something that brings to mind a Puma Rally2 when the regulations on hybrid operation are launched.
“Ford is 100 per cent committed to an electrified future, 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.” Mark Rushbrook, global director, Ford Performance, said.
Puma is today available in a hybrid version for regular traffic and to show this, Ford, which is a major partner of M-Sport, is now choosing to change car model. In connection with the introduction of the hybrid, fuel in the WRC series is also being changed to a fossil-free fuel, something that was procured by the FIA a few months ago.
“The new era of WRC cars is one of the biggest technological advancements in WRC to date. The introduction of the hybrid means that the cars will be more powerful than ever whilst also directly reflecting the powertrains within their road going counterparts,” Malcolm Wilson OBE, managing director, M-Sport, said.
“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 of the famous Monte Carlo Rally in early 2022.”
“Launching this new car at Goodwood is also very special, being one of the most iconic events in the Motorsport calendar. 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,”