With new regulations for the World Rally Car coming into effect, a new crop of competitors are coming up. At the Paris Motor Show, Ford, Citroen, and Mini showed off their cars.
The WRC's new rules, coming into effect for 2011, make the Fiesta the logical choice for Ford's entrant. Ford is trying out two engines, a 1.6-liter four-cylinder developed by tuner Pipo Moteur and Ford's own EcoBoost four-cylinder.
The Ford Fiesta will see its first challenge during the Swedish Rally in February 2011. In 2010, this rally was won by a Ford Focus, but that car is no longer eligible to compete because of its engine displacement.
Facing the Fiesta at the Swedish Rally will be the new Citroen competitor, the DS3. Following WRC regulations, the DS3 also uses a 1.6-liter turbocharged engine, this one built by Citroen Racing and generating 300 horsepower, the maximum allowed.
The new WRC rules seem made for Mini, which has perfected its own direct-injection turbocharged 1.6-liter four-cylinder. The production of the all-wheel-drive Mini Countryman seemed perfectly timed with the new WRC rules, giving Mini an easy entry.
Although based on inexpensive car platforms, these WRC competitors undergo extensive modification. Witness the cabin of the Mini, which replaces all the luxury bits in favor of metal panels and a roll cage.