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Ford’s new Puma-based WRC car breaks cover

The competition version of the new, hybrid M-Sport Ford Puma Rally1 car has made its debut in an electrifying new Ford video.

Shot entirely on location at the carmaker’s Craiova assembly facility, Romania – which this week celebrated its one millionth vehicle rolling off the production line – the exhilarating new film also features cameos from M-Sport Ford World Rally Team (WRT) driver Adrien Fourmaux and Ford Craiova colleagues responsible for producing road-going, EcoBoost Hybrid-powered Ford Puma SUVs. 

Previously seen only in prototype form at the 2021 Goodwood Festival of Speed, the M-Sport Ford Puma Rally1 marks Ford’s first foray into electrified motorsport globally and is set to make its competitive debut at the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) season-opening Monte Carlo Rally in January 2022.

The action‑packed new film called “Ford Puma Hybrid Rally1 Gatecrashes the Party” sees the M-Sport Ford Puma Rally1 car brought to life in an electrifying lightning storm before delivering an exhibition of precision driving around the Craiova assembly facility.

The car was driven, and stunts performed, by M-Sport Ford WRT driver Adrien Fourmaux using ramps and rigs developed by Ford engineers based at the facility. Ford colleagues also used their expertise to bring assembly robots to life for the film.

Every actor featuring in the film is a Ford employee, including Craiova plant manager and president of Ford Romania, Jo Payne:

“I’m thrilled that the 2022 World Rally Car will be the Puma Rally1 and to have had the vehicle visit Craiova to be able to mark this milestone day with such a special film was extra special”, said Payne. “It was a great pleasure to be part of this project and to welcome the M-Sport team and Adrien Fourmaux to Craiova while transforming our plant for a couple of days into a true movie set.”

The new M‑Sport Ford Puma Rally1 car follows in the footsteps of the Ford Fiesta WRC car, which secured three WRC titles following its introduction in 2017.

Ford’s first electrified competition car introduces a next-generation hybrid powertrain that captures energy during braking and coasting and stores it in a 3.9kWh battery, before using it to supplement the championship-winning performance of the turbocharged 1.6-litre EcoBoost petrol engine with repeated boosts of up to three seconds from a 100kW electric motor.

“The moment we heard about such an exciting project we knew we had to make it happen”, said Richard Millener, M-Sport Ford World Rally Team principal. “What better way to celebrate the incredible work of M-Sport and Ford in developing the Puma Hybrid Rally1, than showing it off at the home of the Puma production facilities.”

The M‑Sport Ford Puma Rally1 can also use its electrified powertrain to travel through towns, cities, service parks and chosen sections between stages using pure-electric power. The battery pack can be recharged using an external power source at the dedicated service points between stages, with a recharge taking approximately 25 minutes. Weighing 95kg, the hybrid system is liquid- and air‑cooled and housed in a ballistic-strength casing to resist the impact of debris and g-forces in the event of an accident.

All-electric

Ford is going all-in on electrification, and earlier this year announced that 100%of its passenger vehicle range in Europe will be zero-emissions capable, all-electric or plug-in hybrid by mid-2026; moving to all-electric by 2030.

Earlier this year, Ford announced that it will invest $300 million to build a new light commercial vehicle in 2023 at its Craiova Assembly Plant in Romania, including an all-electric version due to debut in 2024 – the first all-electric volume vehicle to be built in Romania.

The investment will take the total invested by Ford in its Romanian manufacturing operations to almost $2 billion since acquiring the Craiova facility in 2008. More than 600 robots have been installed to improve efficiency and quality in the body, stamping, paint, trim and chassis shops. Around 6000 people are employed in Ford’s world-class vehicle and engine assembly operations in Romania.

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