M-Sport has reported that there is already 'a lot of interest' in its new Ford Fiesta R5 rally car, which is now nearing completion.
The Ford Fiesta R5 rally car is due to be unveiled publicly in January, with the first saleable models being rolled out in April.
“Our engineering department is working flat-out developing the Fiesta R5 and the first car is due to be tested in the coming weeks,” said M-Sport managing director, Malcolm Wilson this week.
“We have had a lot of interest in this model and it is set to be one of the most popular rally cars in the Fiesta family. Needless to say we are all looking forward to launching the Fiesta R5 in January.”
Based on the 1.6 turbo Ford Fiesta ST road car, the Fiesta R5 is the latest addition to Ford's 'Ladder of Opportunity'. However despite harnessing the same expertise that launched the current crop of Ford Fiesta rally cars, the Fiesta R5 is in effect a 'completely new model' with 90 percent of it said to differ from its RRC and RS WRC counterparts.
Indeed the new Fiesta R5 includes a new transmission developed in conjunction with Sadev and a new engine – with a 32mm restrictor – developed in-house by M-Sport's engineers. It will also boast a newly developed roll cage, fuel tank and electronics, not to mention a revised aero package to comply with R5 regulations.
“In an aim to reduce costs for the customer, the car has been designed with ease of use in mind and [as such] M-Sport has developed a new generation of rally car which can be easily managed and maintained by teams around the globe,” added the Cumbrian company.
“The Fiesta R5 will provide the perfect transition from 2WD to 4WD competition and is the ideal model for those competitors who are keen to progress.”
Deposits are already being placed for the first batch of Fiesta R5s and those wishing to receive more information are being urged to register their interest with M-Sport's customer liaison manager, Richard Millener. The car will be eligible for competition in the WRC-2 category in 2013.