M-Sport and Ford unveil new WRC prototype

The new hybrid Puma Rally1 car

M-Sport Ford World Rally Team has shown off the prototype it will debut as part of the World Rally Championship’s new-for-2022 hybrid era.

The Puma Rally1 car will appear in public for the first time at the Goodwood Festival of Speed this weekend.

M-Sport Ford driver Adrien Fourmaux and test driver Matthew Wilson will take turns behind the wheel on the famous Goodwood hill climb.

“Ford is 100 percent committed to an electrified future, and the white heat of competition has been responsible for many of the innovations that appear in our road cars today,” said Ford Performance global director Mark Rushbrook.

“The M-Sport Ford Puma Rally1 will put hybrid power to the ultimate test, and prove that the technology is capable of delivering thrilling performance.”

The Ford squad committed to a new three-year agreement as WRC moves towards being all-electric by 2030.

“The new era of WRC cars is one of the biggest technological advancements in WRC to date,” said M-Sport managing director Malcolm Wilson.

“The introduction of the hybrid means that the cars will be more powerful than ever whilst also directly reflecting the powertrains within their roadgoing counterparts.

“The switch to the Puma is very exciting with the name already having rally heritage, the car looks fantastic and I cannot wait to see it at the start line of the famous Monte Carlo Rally in early 2022.

“Launching this new car at Goodwood is also very special, being one of the most iconic events in the Motorsport calendar.

“I and the whole of M-Sport look forward to continuing the very successful partnership with Ford to deliver results and keep Ford at the forefront during this new and very exciting era.”

The long-standing partnership between Ford and M-Sport most recently netted a WRC title in 2018 via Sebastien Ogier.

M-Sport had a solid last outing in the 2021 campaign, Gus Greensmith and Adrien Fourmaux taking fourth and fifth, respectively.

Rally Estonia is next up, July 15-18.

The 2022 season is set to consist of 13 rounds, with nine events already approved.

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