M-Sport has revealed its new Ford Fiesta R2 ahead of the next round of the World Rally Championship season in Sardinia.
The car, based on the latest generation of the Fiesta, will replace the Fiesta ST model currently seen in series around globe as part of the successful Fiesta SportTrophy series.
The Fiesta R2 will conform to the latest FIA regulations and satisfy strong customer demand for an exciting yet affordable point of entry into rallying and will run as a course safety car this weekend in the hands of Matthias Boon.
“The development of this car has created a lot of excitement over the past few months and I'm delighted that we have now been able to unveil the Fiesta here in Sardinia,” M-Sport chief Malcolm Wilson said. “There's no doubting that the R2 has large boots to fill: the GpN Fiesta ST is still achieving frequent class wins around the world and has finished as high as 25th overall in the WRC, an amazing feat for a small car.
“The experience and knowledge that our engineers have gained with the ST has been key in developing the R2 into a more 'sophisticated' car, whilst it has inherited the basic strength and reliability that made the ST so popular – and all at a lower cost than other competing manufacturers.”
As well as the new R2 version of the Fiesta, M-Sport is also set to start work shortly on a Super 2000 version of the car and motorsport director for Ford Europe Mark Deans said he was delighted to see M-Sport throwing its support behind the Fiesta and its various series.
"The continued commitment of M-Sport to its Fiesta SportTrophy series is great news and we are eager to see the new Fiesta in rallying,” he said. “The road car has deservedly received huge acclaim since its launch last autumn and will provide the perfect base vehicle. I'm confident the R2 will play a key role as the ideal entry-level car.
“The development of this car is a product of enthusiastic collaboration between Ford and M-Sport and, allied with the recently-announced Super 2000 Fiesta, offers a complete ladder of opportunity to guide ambitious and talented drivers from the sport's base level through to the very top in Ford vehicles. While Ford of Europe's principle motorsport activity remains the FIA World Rally Championship, we will do everything we can at a local level to support the Fiesta SportTrophy in individual markets and we wish M-Sport every success with their new Fiesta projects."