Ford Fiesta RS Concept

A motorsport-inspired Fiesta RS concept was unveiled today at the 2004 Geneva Motor Show. It joins the dynamic 150PS Fiesta ST and all-new Fiesta Junior World Rally Car to put the spice back into small Fords.

It is anticipated that a production version of the Fiesta RS concept could be ready for the road in under two years following programme approval.

Although the project is still in its early stages of development and public reaction will help determine its progress, power output for a production model of the front-wheel-drive Fiesta RS concept would be in excess of 180PS, with a target zero-to-60mph figure of around seven seconds.

"We aren't going to finalise technical specifications until we hear the feedback from potential customers," said Ford TeamRS director, Jost Capito. "But, we're fully aware of the performance expectations for this type of vehicle and what our RS customers expect. As we look to fine-tune the concept we'll make sure we don't disappoint them.

"Our idea for a Fiesta RS came from the positive reaction to the Fiesta-based Ford RallyeConcept that was first seen in 2002," said Capito. "We decided that this car could be the basis for three fast Fiestas, and this became our first major project. The links between the original RallyeConcept, the new Junior World Rally Car, the Fiesta ST and the Fiesta RS concept are unmistakable – and they’re not just skin deep."

Easy to own and insure, affordable and great-to-drive road cars carrying the ‘ST’ (Sports Technologies) badge will continue to be developed by Ford TeamRS for Ford’s mainstream vehicle ranges. The Fiesta ST positions Fiesta in the sporty heartland of the performance car market for small cars.

The ‘RS’ badge will continue to be reserved for more extreme, motorsport-inspired performance cars for the enthusiast, as epitomised by the Focus RS and the new Fiesta RS concept.

In developing the prototype of this high performance, rally-derived Fiesta for the road, Ford TeamRS collaborated closely with automotive engineering specialist Bertrandt AG. Their starting point was the dramatic Fiesta-based Ford RallyeConcept revealed late in 2002 and the Fiesta Junior World Rally Car (JWRC) that will debut at its first event in June 2004.

"From the 2002 Ford RallyeConcept, we designed the Fiesta ST and Fiesta JWRC simultaneously, followed by the Fiesta RS concept," said Chris Clements, chief designer for Ford TeamRS. "As a result, this trio is an impressive and cohesive Fiesta performance family for the street and for competition."

continues... | Part Two

Published : 07/03/04 Author : Melanie Carter

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