M-Sport plans huge Ford Fiesta World Rally Car upgrade for 2015

M-Sport team principal Malcolm Wilson has described the overhaul planned for the Ford Fiesta RS World Rally Car in 2015 as the biggest in its history

M-Sport plans huge Ford Fiesta World Rally Car upgrade for 2015

Wilson promised no area of the car will be left untouched as M-Sport looks to end a winless spell that now stretches back more than two years.

The heavily revised Fiesta will break cover on the Rally of Portugal in May.

"The chassis remains the same with the new car, but the whole heart of the car is new," said Wilson.

"These will be the biggest changes we've made to the car since we introduced it in 2011."

A completely new engine is being readied at M-Sport's Cumbrian headquarters - the first time the two-time world champion team has developed the motor for its WRC challenger completely in-house.

The 2015 Fiesta is already up and running and while Wilson admitted to a small delay, he remains confident the car will be ready in time for Portugal.

"The engine has done a lot on the dyno," said Wilson. "We're just a little behind on the installation work, but the car's running a lot at Greystoke, so we're not too concerned at all."

Wilson did concede that his drivers Elfyn Evans and Ott Tanak are set to struggle against the upgraded factory Volkswagen and Citroen on the opening rounds, starting with Monte Carlo this week.

"We will probably be a little bit behind," said Wilson. "It might be difficult until we get our new engine and our new car for Portugal."

HIGH HOPES FOR NEW HYUNDAI

Hyundai has confirmed that its all-new i20 WRC will not appear until the second half of 2015, though lead driver Thierry Neuville is expecting a huge step forward when it does appear.

The team starts the Monte with an improved version of last year's i20, which will continue to be developed until its replacement arrives.

"Everything is new for the new car," said Nandan. "But the work we are doing with this car will still help us.

"For example, we wouldn't have found the improvements we have coming to the engine if we hadn't run the current car.

Neuville believes the new i20 will make Hyundai a contender for victory on every rally.

"We had one learning year where we have seen many positive things, but this year we have do better," said the 2014 Rally Germany winner

"We have to raise the target. The new car should be the car to start winning events on a regular basis and be able to be on the podium on every event."

FOLLOW THE 2015 WRC OPENER WITH AUTOSPORT:

Comprehensive preview package in the January 22 issue of AUTOSPORT magazine

Follow the Monte Carlo Rally as it happens with Race Centre Live on AUTOSPORT.com from 6.45pm UK time on Thursday evening

shares
comments
World Rally Championship's Rally of France chases new home for 2015

Previous article

World Rally Championship's Rally of France chases new home for 2015

Next article

WRC Monte Carlo Rally: Sebastien Loeb tops shakedown stage

WRC Monte Carlo Rally: Sebastien Loeb tops shakedown stage
Load comments
Does Neuville have a point with his Rally1 rant? Plus

Does Neuville have a point with his Rally1 rant?

OPINION: Thierry Neuville's diatribe against the upcoming Rally1-spec machines that will usher in the World Rally Championship's new hybrid era was remarkable in an era where drivers are usually reticent to air their views in public. But are the Belgian's concerns about speed, safety and cost entirely valid?

WRC
Sep 16, 2021
How the WRC's new flying Finn reached new heights in the Greek mountains Plus

How the WRC's new flying Finn reached new heights in the Greek mountains

After Kalle Rovanpera’s historic feat at Rally Estonia, the Finn scaled new heights at the Rally of the Gods with a commanding victory. And this time Toyota’s young star demonstrated why the future is bright with his devastating speed and consistency at the Acropolis Rally

WRC
Sep 13, 2021
The WRC drivers that came of age at the Acropolis Rally Plus

The WRC drivers that came of age at the Acropolis Rally

Five drivers have won first time out at the Rally Acropolis, transcending the tough dirt and gravel Greek roads to cement a place in rallying folklore. Here are three of the first-time winners' tales

WRC
Sep 9, 2021
Understanding Suninen’s sudden WRC exit gamble Plus

Understanding Suninen’s sudden WRC exit gamble

From being considered a likely contender to drive the next-generation M-Sport Ford Puma in 2022, Teemu Suninen's abrupt exit has created plenty of questions. The Finn's bid to become his country's next World Rally Championship winner won't be furthered by being sidelined, but there may be reason behind the decision

WRC
Sep 2, 2021
Could Spa’s cameo offer the WRC a new avenue to exploit? Plus

Could Spa’s cameo offer the WRC a new avenue to exploit?

OPINION: The Ypres Rally featured a cameo from the Spa-Francorchamps circuit in its final stage, giving WRC teams the chance to experience its iconic corners in rallying machinery. It proved to be an engaging addition to the rally, and could perhaps serve as an example for other events to visit famous circuits

WRC
Aug 24, 2021
How Hyundai's home hero delivered overdue WRC success in Belgium Plus

How Hyundai's home hero delivered overdue WRC success in Belgium

With limited recent fortune and pressure starting to mount, Hyundai needed a big result at the Ypres Rally. All the key components came together in Belgium to see home hero Thierry Neuville lead a manufacturer 1-2 and kickstart its World Rally Championship challenge

WRC
Aug 16, 2021
The new car that can resurrect Ford's WRC winning pedigree Plus

The new car that can resurrect Ford's WRC winning pedigree

M-Sport has become the first to unveil its new-for-2022 hybrid World Rally Championship challenger, the Puma Rally1. Ford has upped its support in a bid for glory, but can the new machine roll back the years and return the Blue Oval to the top of the WRC tree?

WRC
Aug 12, 2021
The rookie WRC driver aiming to continue Loeb and Ogier's legacies Plus

The rookie WRC driver aiming to continue Loeb and Ogier's legacies

French drivers have dominated the World Rally Championship across the past two decades; Sebastiens Loeb and Ogier have racked up the titles in commanding fashion. With Ogier calling it a day on full-time WRC competition from next year, France will pin its long-term hopes on rookie Adrien Fourmaux, who looks to have a bright future.

WRC
Aug 7, 2021