2009 MSE/TeamRS Ford Fiesta Rally-Cross - Click above for a high-res image gallery

'Tis the season for introducing new race cars, and the latest up to the plate is the new Ford Fiesta Rally Cross. For the uninitiated, rally cross is a unique form of motorsport that differs from World Rally Championship events principally by fielding several cars (instead of one at a time) on a mixed-surface track in heats and stages. The format actually started as a television show in the 60's, and has since grown from there, particularly in France, Great Britain, Benelux and across Scandinavia. The most intriguing part is that the cars, compared to WRC cars, are smaller and even more powerful, making for one heck of a spectacle. And this is the latest addition to the grid.

Based on the new Fiesta, Ford's TeamRS and Swedish rally team MSE built this widebody monster around a 2.0-liter Duratec turbo four snorting E85 ethanol to produce a massive 550 horsepower. That's enough to push the 2,600-pound rally-prepped Fiesta up to sixty in a scant 2.8 seconds. The car is driven by former champion Andreas Erikkson and double World Rally Champion Marcus Gronholm, and it managed to take a heat win in its debut event at the European Rally Cross stage at Lydden Hill, UK, despite suffering from some technical teething problems. Check it out in the gallery below.

[Source: TeamRS via Autofiends]

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