One of the highlights of last week’s SEMA show for motorsports enthusiasts has to be Ford’s announcement that it will be bringing the Fiesta R2 rally kit to this side of the pond.
Currently available in Europe and developed by M-Sport, the kit is designed to give North American rally drivers a “turnkey, rally-ready” version of the 2011 Ford Fiesta five-door, give a boost to the Fiesta’s marketing efforts stateside as well as serve as the basis for a new championship series in Rallycar’s Rally America Series 2WD class for 2011.
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.”
To entice drivers even further, the winner of the 2011 U.S. Fiesta Sport Trophy Championship will also be given the opportunity to compete in the R2 class during next year’s Wales Rally GB.
Take me home, country roads
The R2 kit will convert a production Fiesta to rally specification. Engine performance enhancements include pistons, connecting rods, camshafts, valve springs, injectors, along with a performance airbox, air filter and sump baffle. The resulting 1.6-liter engine will deliver 168 horsepower, fully 40 percent more horsepower over the production Fiesta, as well as an increase in torque to 134 lb.-ft.
Other goodies include a five-speed Sadev sequential gearbox, Reiger adjustable dampers, Eibach springs, ventilated disc brakes with AP competition four-piston calipers, and a T45 steel multipoint roll cage.
In addition to the R2 kit, a more affordable Stage 1 kit will also be sold and offer a roll cage, ball joints, certain engine performance upgrades, dampers and a limited-slip differential, offering competitors a lower-cost entry point for Fiesta rallying.
Where to get yours
Team O’Neil Motorsports in Dalton, New Hampshire will be the official reseller and authorized installer of the R2 kits. Only cars prepared by Team O’Neil will be eligible for the U.S. Fiesta Sport Trophy Championship. And while Ford’s press release stated that “the package is now available for order,” the Team O’Neil web site currently states that “further details of this exciting development… will be posted shortly including details on pricing.”
images courtesy of Ford Motor Company