Following the announcement of its four-year commitment to the FIA World Rally Championship, Ford of Europe has shown what the new generation Ford Focus RS WRC could look like.
Ford and the British-based company M-Sport have forged a strengthened partnership to ensure Ford’s continuing presence at the top level of world rallying and M-Sport, working with Ford Team RS, has produced this vision of an all-new Focus rally car. The dynamic lines of the new Ford Focus , and especially the coupe-like stance of the 3-door model, provide the perfect base for the dramatic looking 2006 Focus RS WRC concept.
Sporting a proud blue oval livery the Focus 2006 RS WRC concept shares design cues with the existing Focus RS WRC that will be the Company’s challenger in the 2005 championship. The standard road car’s prominent wheelarches are matched to a full width front spoiler and generous bonnet air vents. A roof mounted air scoop and a characteristic rear spoiler contribute to the functional WRC-inspired appearance.
Despite the WRC add-ons and design changes that draw strongly on the existing Focus rally car, the Focus 2006 RS WRC concept is markedly different with its faster rear screen angle, in particular, indicating a visually more aggressive rally car.
The new generation Focus will continue a family tradition that has seen the model provide the backbone of Ford’s motorsport activity since 1999. It is appropriate that a car so widely praised for its driving quality will continue to provide the base for Ford’s future rally activities and the WRC will be the perfect showcase for the dynamic attributes of the new Focus from 2006 onwards.
The unveiling of the Focus 2006 WRC concept signals the start of a 14-month programme that will see the fully developed rally car compete in the opening round of the 2006 season. It is also the start of a four-year programme to develop the new Ford Focus into a challenger for WRC success. Initially, this programme will run alongside Ford’s existing WRC commitments throughout the 2005 season.
The Ford Fiesta will also be prominent in the Company’s rallying plans. M-Sport will integrate the Fiesta JWRC into its business to develop the car further for customer use in national and international rallying.
On the race circuits, the Fiesta ST Cup will continue in Germany for a third season, while the potential for taking the series into other European countries will be investigated. Formula Ford racers will also benefit as the Company extends its support of the Formula Ford UK Championship into 2005.