M-Sport has offered a glimpse of its 2017 specification Ford Fiesta RS World Rally Championship challenger with its first grave test in Cumbria.
With rivals Citroen, Volkswagen, Hyundai and WRC returnees Toyota having already revealed their development models as they undergo a rigorous testing regime in readiness for next year's 2017 regulation shake up, M-Sport has become the last to show its effort.
Completing mileage at M-Sport's private test facility in Cumbria, The Fiesta RS was driven by team owner Malcolm Wilson firstly before being handed over to Martin Prokop.
“Whenever a new car gets its first run out in the forest there is always an air of excitement, and rightly so,” said Wilson. “Time and again we have proven that we have the engineering expertise to produce winning cars, and the initial findings suggest that this one will be no different.
“This is only the first prototype but the speed really is incredible. We're still fine-tuning the aero-package with our colleagues at Ford, but we have been able to run all of the mechanical components on the current bodyshell and the first tests have only strengthened my confidence in our ability to produce a winning car.”
The new-for-2017 regulations are intended to hark back to the iconic Group B era with more aggressive bodywork, aerodynamic freedoms and a lighter chassis set to feature on the cars.