After watching this year's X Games and Ken Block's latest Gymkhana 3, it's no secret that the Ford Fiesta can easily be tuned into a potent rally-ready machine. That said, we greatly welcome the automaker's latest Fiesta R2 rally tuning kit, bringing a host of rally-spec mods to the general public.
In addition to things like a five-speed sequential gearbox, Reiger adjustable dampers, Eibach springs, ventilated disc brakes with four-piston calipers and a steel roll cage, Ford has found a way to coax more power out of the Fiesta's 1.6-liter inline-four. By adding a raft of new parts (pistons, camshafts, injectors, air filter, etc.), the Fiesta R2 is capable of producing 168 horsepower and 134 pound-feet of torque – gains of 48 and 22 over the stock car, respectively.
The R2 package was designed by M-Sport, a company that has been Ford's WRC partner since 1997, and New Hampshire-based team O'Neil Motorsports is the official reseller and authorized installer for this kit. Additionally, Ford Racing will offer a Stage 1 kit that includes performance upgrades, dampers, a limited-slip differential and roll cage for those who don't want the full hardcore experience.
So, you buy a rally-spec Fiesta... then what? Enthusiasts who add the R2 package to their Fiestas will be eligible to compete in the new Fiesta Sport Trophy Championship division of RallyCar's Rally America National Championship 2WD class. Only cars assembled by Team O'Neil can qualify for this series, with the class winner going on to Great Britain to compete in the Fiesta Sport Trophy International Shootout. Win the worldwide competition, and you'll land yourself a one-year residential placement at M-Sport, where you'll work with the BP Ford World Rally team.
Weekend backwoods rally racers, Ford is calling your name. Hit the jump to read the full details in the automaker's press release.
- Ford Racing Performance Group is bringing the Fiesta R2 rally kit to the U.S., developed by M-Sport, a move expected to thrill rally enthusiasts across the country
- The R2 package offers several performance upgrades to give competitors a turnkey, rally-ready Fiesta, including powertrain enhancements that pump out 168 horsepower and 134 lb.-ft. of torque
- New Fiesta Sport Trophy Championship will debut in RallyCar's Rally America Series 2WD class for 2011, designed specifically for competitors who have the Fiesta R2 package installed by Team O'Neil
LAS VEGAS, Nov. 2, 2010 – For rally fans looking to imitate what successful Ford rally drivers Mikko Hirvonen, Jari-Matti Latlava and Ken Block have accomplished, a new Fiesta R2 rally package is the place to start.
Currently available throughout Europe, Ford Racing Performance Group is bringing the competition-ready package stateside to let enthusiasts turn their five-door Fiesta into a Fiesta R2 that's ready to compete on the roads of RallyCar's Rally America National Championship. The package is now available for order through Team O'Neil Motorsports, a division of Team O'Neil Rally School in New Hampshire (firstname.lastname@example.org).
"The spirit of One Ford is making it possible for us to bring the best of European rally racing to competitors in the U.S.," said Jamie Allison, director, Ford North America Motorsport. "The Fiesta R2 has already proven itself in Europe as a great platform for aspiring rally drivers."
The winner of the 2011 U.S. Fiesta Sport Trophy Championship will also have the opportunity to compete in the R2 class during next year's Wales Rally GB.
Developed by M-Sport, Ford's WRC partner since 1997, the kit will convert a production Fiesta to rally specification. Included in the package are engine parts that will increase the performance of the 1.6-liter Ti-VCT four-cylinder engine: pistons, conrods, camshafts, valve springs, injectors, airbox, air filter and a sump baffle kit. The performance enhancements deliver 168 horsepower and 134 lb.-ft. of torque, a 40 percent increase in horsepower over the production Fiesta.
Other upgrades include:
- Five-speed Sadev sequential gearbox with flat shift gear cut
- Reiger adjustable dampers with Eibach springs
- Ventilated disc brakes with AP four-piston competition calipers
- T45 steel multipoint roll cage
Team O'Neil Motorsports is the official reseller and authorized installer for the R2 kits. Only cars prepared by Team O'Neil will be eligible for the U.S. Fiesta Sport Trophy Championship.
"The R2 kit provides a fantastic performance and dynamic upgrade for the already strong and light Fiesta platform, transforming it into an instantly competitive and durable rally car," said Tim O'Neil, founder and president. "We're really excited to be able to offer this to North American rally drivers."
In addition to the full R2 kit, Ford Racing will also offer a Stage 1 kit based on the R2 package.
The Stage 1 kit will include parts designed for the rigors of rallying, including a roll cage, ball joints, engine performance upgrades, dampers and a limited-slip differential. The package will offer competitors a lower-cost entry point to take a Fiesta rallying.
New Fiesta Sport Trophy class
Enthusiasts who add the R2 package to their Fiesta will have the ability to compete in the Fiesta Sport Trophy Championship in RallyCar's Rally America National Championship 2WD class in 2011. The winner of the Fiesta Sport Trophy Championship will be awarded a ride in the R2 class in a Fiesta at Wales Rally GB. Additionally, the winner from the class will have the opportunity to compete in the Fiesta SportTrophy International Shootout in Great Britain for a chance to win a year's residential placement at M-Sport, working with the BP Ford World Rally team.
"Over the last two years, Ford Racing and the Fiesta have made a significant impact in the AWD Open class of RallyCar's Rally America, at X Games and in the debut of RallyCross," said JB Niday, managing director of RallyCar. "To see that emphasis expand into the 2WD class with an opportunity like the Fiesta Sport Trophy Championship is a tremendous indicator of the value placed on the Fiesta program and the commitment to growing Fiesta through rally by Ford."
The rally kit also is the perfect way for enthusiasts to appreciate all that the Fiesta offers.
"Not only are we offering rally enthusiasts a way to experience the full capabilities of Fiesta, but we're also giving them an amazing opportunity to test their skills in Europe on their way to perhaps realizing a dream of competing in the WRC," said Allison.