The British team has taken the covers off its new Rally1 prototype at Goodwood where the car will be completing demonstration runs at the famous Festival of Speed event this week.
M-Sport has been working hard behind the scenes developing its new 2022 car although in tests earlier this year it had been running a car based around a Ford Fiesta shell.
There had been suggestions that the team could switch from its Fiesta body shape that has become the base of it WRC cars for the last decade. The latest specification Fiesta won back-to-back drivers titles in 2017-2018 courtesy of Sebastien Ogier.
However, today’s announcement confirms the team will run the Puma shape following a decision made by Ford, which will continue to act as a partner of the M-Sport team going forward.
In accordance to WRC’s new hybrid Rally1 regulations the car wis fitted with a 100 kW electric motor and 3.9 kWh battery which combines with a turbocharged 1.6-litre EcoBoost petrol engine, powered by biofuel.
Gallery: Ford Puma Rally1 WRC Prototype at Goodwood
“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,” said Mark Rushbrook, global director, Ford Performance.
“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.”
M-Sport boss Malcom Wilson added: “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,” said Malcolm Wilson OBE, managing director, M-Sport.
“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,” Wilson said.
M-Sport is yet to name the driver line-up that will pilot the Puma next season although current driver and rising star Adrien Fourmaux has been heavily involved in the car’s development to date.
Fourmaux will drive the Puma at the Festival of Speed alongside the team’s test driver Matthew Wilson, son of team boss Malcolm.