Ford - Fiesta RS Concept
THE FORD FIESTA RS CONCEPT: FIRST GLIMPSE OF A RADICAL, RALLY-INSPIRED FIESTA FOR THE ROAD
Ford TeamRS unveils not one but three Ford Fiesta performance cars: an all-new Fiesta Junior World Rally Car, plus two road cars – the dynamic Fiesta ST and the exciting Fiesta RS Concept.
Dramatic, rally-inspired Fiesta RS Concept could become a production reality within two years, keeping the Ford RS bloodline alive.
With rally-inspired chassis and body modifications, tuner potential and competitive performance, the Fiesta RS Concept provides a design direction for future RS Fords.
Geneva, March 2, 2004 – Welcome to the future for Ford's RS performance road cars. Within one year of the formation of Ford of Europe's TeamRS performance division, the concept for a radical, motorsport-inspired Fiesta RS is previewed at the 2004 Geneva Motor Show.
The unveiling of the Fiesta RS Concept is a surprise element in the portfolio of Fiesta performance vehicles under development within Ford of Europe. It joins the dynamic 150PS Fiesta ST and all-new Fiesta Junior World Rally Car in a demonstration of intent by Ford TeamRS to put the spice back into small Fords.
It is anticipated that a production version of the Fiesta RS Concept could be ready for the road in under 2 years following programme approval
Although the project is still in its early stages of development and public reaction will help determine its progress, power output for a production model of the front-wheel-drive Fiesta RS Concept would be in excess of 180PS , with a target zero-to-60mph figure of around 7 seconds.
“We aren't going to finalise technical specifications until we hear the feedback from potential customers,” said Ford TeamRS Director, Jost Capito. “But, we're fully aware of the performance expectations for this type of vehicle and what our RS customers expect. As we look to fine-tune the concept we'll make sure we don't disappoint them.”
Ford of Europe Vice President for Product Development, Derrick Kuzak, said: “This is a case where one plus one equals three. We wanted to demonstrate our commitment to a comprehensive programme for future performance cars, and to show that bringing together our motorsport engineers with our performance road car engineers in one team could yield even greater results than we dared to expect. By revealing three Fiesta performance models simultaneously, we're showing how serious we are.”
Inspired by Ford RallyeConcept
“Our idea for a Fiesta RS came from the positive reaction to the Fiesta-based Ford RallyeConcept that was first seen in 2002,” said Capito. “We decided that this car could be the basis for three fast Fiestas, and this became our first major project. The links between the original RallyeConcept, the new Junior World Rally Car, the Fiesta ST and the Fiesta RS Concept are unmistakable – and they're not just skin deep”.
Easy to own and insure, affordable and great-to-drive road cars carrying the ‘ST' (for ‘Sports Technologies') badge will continue to be developed by Ford TeamRS for Ford's mainstream vehicle ranges. The Fiesta ST positions Fiesta in the sporty heartland of the performance car market for small cars.
The ‘RS' badge will continue to be reserved for more extreme, motorsport-inspired performance cars for the enthusiast, as epitomised by the Focus RS and the new Fiesta RS Concept.
In developing the prototype of this high performance, rally-derived Fiesta for the road, Ford TeamRS collaborated closely with automotive engineering specialist Bertrandt AG. Their starting point was the dramatic Fiesta-based Ford RallyeConcept revealed late in 2002, and the Fiesta Junior World Rally Car that will debut on its first event in June 2004.
“From the 2002 Ford RallyeConcept, we designed the Fiesta ST and Fiesta JWRC simultaneously, followed by the Fiesta RS Concept,” said Chris Clements, Chief Designer for Ford TeamRS. “As a result, this trio is an impressive and cohesive Fiesta performance family for the street and for competition.”
The Fiesta RS Concept breaches no compromise on three fronts: body styling, road-holding, and engine performance. It is intended for drivers who want to explore the edge, and it is sure to inspire tuners who want to exploit its potential even further.
Key styling features first seen on the RallyeConcept have been retained, including distinctive cooling vents in the front bumper, deep side rockers and the bold rear spoiler. Like the RallyeConcept and the Fiesta JWRC, the Fiesta RS Concept also sports white ceramic-coated brake callipers and exhaust tips.
Its wide, hunkered stance with 18-inch JWRC-inspired alloys and low-aspect performance tyres sitting in generously extended wheelarches immediately communicate the performance purism you would expect from an RS-badged Ford. The wheel track measures just 20 mm narrower than the ultra-wide JWRC's stance, and the suspension is overtly sporting, reflecting an insatiable appetite for curves.
Under the bonnet, the Fiesta RS Concept's engine is derived from the 2.0-litre Duratec HE engine that is a mainstay of the Mondeo range. Ford engineers, led by Leo Roeks of TeamRS, have created the 150PS version for Fiesta ST and they believe a 180PS plus variant would be the entry level target for a production version of the Fiesta RS Concept. Roeks also believes that the concept's dynamic capabilities would allow aftermarket tuners to derive even more powerful versions.
“Fiesta RS Concept shows how we intend to continue to treasure the RS brand,” Capito said. “We are staying true to the very roots of the Ford RS brand, with products that will appeal to the more extreme performance car enthusiasts. If we go ahead and produce the Fiesta RS Concept, it would join the new Fiesta ST to demonstrate how two distinct Ford performance brands can complement our mainstream models. I believe that future Ford performance cars will be true to their heritage and exploit to the full the outstanding vehicle dynamics that are recognised to be an intrinsic part of the modern Ford range.”