The Ford Fiesta S2000 rally car was unveiled at a launch ceremony at M-Sport's Cumbrian base in the UK today.
The new rally car, the culmination of nine months' hard work by the design and engineering team at M-Sport, was presented by M-Sport managing director Malcolm Wilson.
"Today is a very exciting day for us," said Wilson. "This is the first global rally car for Ford and M-Sport, I really believe that we have produced a fantastic rally car and this launch is a big step to seeing it out competing in rallies. It's the first time in five years that we have been able to offer a Ford rally car that can challenge for overall victory in national championships across the world.
"It is also the culmination of a huge amount of hard work not only by Christian Loriaux and his team, but by everyone who works at M-Sport.
"We have worked closely with Ford on this project, their best-selling road car, the new Ford Fiesta, has been a perfect base car and its award-winning styling and kinematics together with M-Sport's expertise will surely make the Fiesta S2000 a huge global success."
The Fiesta S2000 will be eligible to compete in national rally championships around the world as well as the IRC and S2000 World Cup and it is due for homologation in January 2010.
However, it will make its public debut this weekend appearing as course car at the final round of the IRC series, the Rally of Scotland.
Invited guests were given an opportunity to get a close-up look at the new car which has been designed by M-Sport's technical director Christian Loriaux and his team led by chief designer Anthony Brinkman and test engineer Chris Gray.
Continuing their close relationship with Ford, the team at M-Sport has worked in tandem with Ford's Motorsport technical manager Mike Norton and the Ford small car design team that developed the acclaimed kinetic design of the Fiesta road car, to develop a dynamic and aggressive looking rally car.
The experience gained from developing the record-breaking Ford Focus RS WRC has been used by the M-Sport team to develop the Fiesta S2000 rally car while working within the new FIA sporting regulations which mean that this car can be used by customers at both national and international level.