M-Sport Ford shows off Puma Rally1 at Goodwood Festival of Speed
The World Rally Championship (WRC) is getting a jolly good shake-up in 2022. In a bid to improve its eco-credentials, the sport will from next year require all cars to run a 1.6-litre turbocharged petrol engine supplemented by a spec 100kW electric motor powered by a 3.9kWh battery pack. The latter will be juiced via kinetic energy harvested under braking as well as at sustainable plug-in charging stations located in service parks between stages.
This hybrid power train not only optimises fuel efficiency but also acts as a sort of digital supercharger delivering the full 100kW power quota for multiple boosts of up to three seconds during competitive driving. The whole system weighs 95kg and is housed inside a ballistic-strength casing to better resist the high g-forces experienced during an accident.
In addition to this electrification, all teams will be required to use a special fossil-free race fuel made by P1 Racing Fuels that's blended from synthetic and biodegradable elements.
And the second challenger to showcase these daring regulation changes (Hyundai was first in case you were wondering) is the M-Sport Ford World Rally Team (WRT) Puma Rally1 that was on Thursday unveiled to the public in prototype form at the Goodwood Festival of Speed. Based on the road-going Puma crossover, it replaces the British team's faithful Fiesta that has been pounding around the toughest WRC stages since 2011.
“The new era of WRC cars is one of the biggest technological advancements in WRC to date,” says M-Sport MD Malcolm Wilson OBE.
“The introduction of the hybrid means that the cars will be more powerful than ever while also directly reflecting the power trains within their road-going counterparts.”
“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,” concludes Wilson.
The new Puma Rally1 prototype will be demonstrated on the famous Goodwood hill climb, driven by M-Sport Ford WRT driver Adrien Fourmaux and M-Sport Ford test driver Matthew Wilson, before being used as a development car ahead of the 2022 season.