MOTORSPORT NEWS Rally

New rally car will be the go-to racer for the 2019 WRC Junior Rally Championship

On the surface, the Ford Fiesta R2 looks like a Fiesta with racing liveries and decals all over it. But there’s more to the R2 rally racer’s exterior than the fancy graphics. The fog lamps on the production ST-Line are gone in the R2 rally car. The black honeycomb mesh grille remains, but there’s a scoop on the roof that’s pretty hard to miss. The gold and white trim stickers make it a little difficult to piece together the aesthetics of the rally car, but for the most part, the Fiesta R2 was developed to not only perform like an actual rally car but to also look like one as well.

One particular element worth mentioning is the set of wheels it rides on. The first is a set of 15-inch wheels that are used on gravel surfaces. The other is a set of 16-inch wheels that are used on tarmac. Just behind the wheels are ventilated AP Racing discs – the gravel-spec discs measure 285 mm (11.2 inches) while the tarmac-spec discs measure 310 mm (12.2 inches) — in the front and Alcon solid discs that measure 280 mm (11.0 inches) in the rear.

The interior of the Fiesta R2 is what you’d expect from a rally car. Ok, so we don’t actually get to see the interior of the racer, but you can expect that all the creature comforts you normally get from the Fiesta have gone kaput. In place of most of them is a roll cage, which comes standard across all rally cars.

Typical of rally cars is the tall gear selector, which you can also expect to find inside the Fiesta R2.

2019 FORD FIESTA R2 RALLY CAR DRIVETRAIN

The Ford Fiesta R2 is, for all intents and purposes, a junior rally car. As such, it’s not as powerful as some of the rally racers you see in the World Rally Championship, even if, according to M Sport, the racer is heavily inspired by the WRC title-winning Fiesta rally car.

The output coming from that punchy three-cylinder unit reaches 200 horsepower and 214 pound-feet of torque, which, itself, is impressive considering that it’s the same output as the Fiesta ST hot hatch, but with only two-thirds of the engine capacity compared to the one the production model uses.

The engine is mated to a five-speed Sadev sequential transmission, which sends power to the two front wheels. To keep its rally racing toughness, the Fiesta R2 also comes with Reiger dampers that can be adjusted in a variety of ways — three ways in the front and two ways at the back — depending on the set-up that’s required out of the race car. Likewise, M Sport also installed Eibach springs that come in either hard or soft settings. An optional anti-roll bar is also available, though it should probably come as standard equipment.

M Sport didn’t release the Fiesta R2’s performance numbers, though the Polish company did say that the rally car’s mechanical components, specifically the engine and a handful of transmission parts, can run up to 2,000 miles in a competitive environment before they need to be rebuilt.

From the outside, the Fiesta R2 has the makings of a rally car that can help aspiring rally racers hone their skills in a competitive environment where legitimate shots at making it into the big leagues are at stake. About the only thing that gives me pause is the cost of the car. It’s not going to matter if you have a full-fledged race team behind you, but if you’re going at it alone, the cost of a fully built Fiesta R2 adds up to €64,990, not including taxes. That converts to almost $83,000 based on current exchange rates.

Source: Top Speed