M-Sport has unveiled a brightly liveried Ford Puma as it enters the new hybrid era of the WRC. It is indeed a colorful dress that dresses the Rally1, with purple and blue as the dominant colors, around a Red Bull sponsorship.
The British structure was the first of the three WRC manufacturers to present its Rally1 prototype at the Goodwood Festival last year. Since then, rigorous testing has been carried out in all conditions to prepare for the challenge of the coming season.
The final version of the Puma was presented in Austria, as part of the campaign launch event, which also brought together the new Toyota GR Yaris as well as the Hyundai i20 N. All under the eyes of the new president of the FIA, Mohammed Ben Sulayem, himself a former rally driver.
Under the new rules, Rally1s feature a standard 100kW hybrid unit (engineered by Compact Dynamics) hooked up to a 1.6-liter turbocharged internal combustion engine, which can produce 500 peak horsepower when driven. operate in tandem. Drivers will be able to trigger hybrid power boosts using the accelerator pedal and unlock further boosts during stages if they regenerate the required 30 kilojoules of energy when braking.
Rally1 cars are built around a new, safer, space-steel frame chassis, built from scratch, without using the base of a production car. Compared to their predecessors, they are about 70 kg heavier on the scale, their aerodynamic capacity will be reduced by 15%, the suspension travel will be less and they will have no central differential.
Boosted by Ford’s greater support for the design and development of the Puma, M-Sport is displaying measured confidence as they enter the 2022 season and hope to return to the fight for a win that has eluded them since 2018. In 2021, the majority of the structure’s resources have been directed to work on the car for the upcoming season.
The Ford will be run by three full-time drivers, with Craig Breen being recruited to team up with Gus Greensmith and Adrien Fourmaux. A fourth Puma will be entered in the inaugural event of the season, the Rallye Monte-Carlo which will take place next weekend, for Sébastien Loeb, who has just finished second in the Dakar.