The Ford Fiesta World Rally Car is no more. Starting this year, Ford will run the Puma Hybrid that will follow the new Rally1 regulations. With that, the Puma ends the Fiesta's top-flight rallying career that has spanned a decade.
While the new car has the body of a Puma crossover, it is a spaceframe chassis under the skin. Under the Rally1 regulations, these cars no longer need a production car base. These new cars also carry a hybrid drive system that can deliver up to 100 kilowatts (134 bhp) and may be used in special stages.
Gallery: 2022 Ford Puma Rally1
The 2022 Puma Rally1 still uses the 1.6-litre turbo from the Fiesta WRC. The exact power figures are unknown, but it hovers around the 380 bhp range. Thanks to the electric boost, these new Rally1 cars can put out up to 500 bhp at the push of a button. In some ways, we are going back to the days of Group B rallying, albeit with a better understanding of safety.
The new Puma Rally1 car also has to follow new restrictions. For instance, the car has less downforce compared to the Fiesta rally car from the previous seasons. These must also have less suspension travel and use a five-speed transmission; flappy paddles are not allowed. Centre differentials are banned under the new rules.
Leading Ford's 2022 WRC charge will be Craig Breen and co-driver Paul Nagle. Breen and Nagle came from the Hyundai World Rally Team to bring Ford back to the winner's circle. Other drivers and co-drivers for the M-Sport Ford World Rally Team are Adrien Fourmaux and Alexandre Coria, Gus Greensmith and Jonas Andersson, and Sebastien Loeb with Isabelle Galmiche.
The 2022 World Rally Championship season will kick off at the Monte Carlo rally in Monaco. It will run from January 20, 2022, to January 23, 2022, with 17 stages planned.