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Thread: Ford Fiesta Rallye Concept 2008

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    Ford Fiesta Rallye Concept 2008

    THE FORD FIESTA RALLYE CONCEPT

    Fiesta Rallye Concept
    The Ford Fiesta Rallye Concept has been realised through an intensely close collaboration between Ford Team RS, the performance car and motorsport experts in Ford Europe and Ford Design Europe, the creative team responsible for the new three-door Fiesta on which the Fiesta Rallye Concept is based.
    “This project represents a fundamental change in how we approach motorsport vehicles,” said Chris Bird, Ford of Europe Design Director. “This collaboration has unleashed tremendous energy, demonstrating what we can achieve by working closely together with the motorsport engineering team to make competition vehicles a natural extension of the product range. The Ford Fiesta Rallye Concept shows that a performance vehicle can be both uncompromising and clearly coherent with the original design.”

    Engineering Validation Next

    Ford Fiesta Rallye Concept’s marriage of the motorsport engineer’s objective for performance functionality with the eye for detail of the designer has been so effective that Ford has committed to an engineering development programme to bring a Fiesta-based rally car to reality. Aiming for FIA homologation at the beginning of 2004, Ford Team RS is hoping that it will become Ford’s next success story in the Junior World Rally Championship.

    As with the development of any car destined for competition use, the key to its success will be in its performance, but within this framework Bird’s team of designers and the Ford Team RS have created a car that is visually stimulating and entirely functional but is still faithful to the design thinking of the production vehicle.

    Design with Credibility

    Featuring extensive use of production-quality exterior accents and superbly executed interior features designed especially for the driver and co-driver, the Ford Fiesta Rallye Concept is not simply a design exercise. Its capabilities are clearly visible evidence that the “need for speed” need not translate to design compromise.

    Powered by a high-performance version of Fiesta’s 1.6-litre Duratec 16V engine and fitted with a full range of rally safety equipment – including an integral roll cage, competition harnesses, Sparco racing seats and the mandatory built-in fire- extinguishing system – the Ford Fiesta Rallye Concept still retains clear links to its road-car counterpart.

    Designed to Compete

    The Ford Fiesta Rallye Concept’s purposeful, aerodynamically honed exterior design signals its clear intent to be a serious motorsport competitor. It features bold wheel arches, an aggressive looking front grille, special intake ducts in the bonnet and roof, a lustrous Machine Silver paint scheme with unique Ford ‘Blue Dimension’ graphic treatment and body accent features in a complementary matte Magnum Grey finish.

    Subtle touches of bright color, including Print Blue exterior mirrors to match the Sparco seats, and bright red tow hooks front and rear, punctuate the engaging paint and graphic statement. A uniquely shaped rear spoiler adds further purpose to the Ford Fiesta Rallye Concept’s shape.

    Wider and lower, featured in road-hugging tarmac specification at the Birmingham debut, it stands poised and confident on quasi-slick, 18-inch Pirelli P-Zero performance tyres mounted to 15-spoke magnesium wheels. Its massive brake discs, ceramic-effect Alcon calipers and specially machined suspension elements are visible details of the joint effort to achieve competition excellence and design coherence.

    Inside – Function with Style

    Fiesta’s spacious interior was ideal for development into the concept. Fiesta’s interior designers and the production-car team’s dedicated ergonomist were directly involved in adapting the car’s interior package especially for the rally application.

    Bright blue, custom Sparco racing seats, a robust integral roll cage, special rally instrumentation and unique controls mark the interior of the vehicle as that of a purpose-built competitor. A rally-bred sequential gear shifter, custom-engineered for the Ford Fiesta Rallye Concept, and a hydraulic handbrake – complete with integral master cylinder – dominate the lower centre console. These controls are engineered from machined aluminium, and the shifter’s direct gearbox linkage is a jewel-like detail with its brushed aluminium bezel.


    This is a car for serious competition drivers by design.

    Inside and out, the Ford Fiesta Rallye Concept is clearly a purposeful and special competition vehicle, yet its Fiesta lineage is clear. Down to the smallest detail, the Ford Fiesta Rallye Concept is evidence that the designer’s maxim – form follows function – has true meaning.

    Winning by Taking a Different Path

    Its development has taken a different path from that of other production-based rally cars, in which performance specialists work to adapt a road car for the rigours of motorsport long after the original designers have finished their work. With a single-minded bent on winning, race teams and rally teams have been known to make modifications that radically change the character of the original car.

    The Ford Fiesta Rallye Concept has made a believer of Team RS's man in charge of the engineering side of the collaboration, Ford Team RS Engineering Manager Philip Dunabin.

    “I have to admit that I was sceptical going into this project,” said Dunabin, a veteran of world-class rallying, “but this has proven that a joint approach really works and the car looks right. Our work as motorsport engineers is usually strictly functional. For us, it either works or it doesn’t. That means we don’t normally apply the same consistency and design coherence as we’ve achieved with the Ford Fiesta Rallye Concept. Working hand-in-hand with the designers has really made a difference.”

    Dunabin’s counterpart, chief exterior designer Chris Clements, said the team had fulfilled a long-term desire to realise the synergies between artful engineering and good design.

    “There’s a real beauty to the engineering of this car,” Clements said. “We’ve worked together to achieve the engineering robustness for motorsport but with an eye toward design coherence. It’s a rally car, clearly, but it’s also very much a Fiesta not only in terms of the car underneath but also in the thinking that has gone into every incremental feature of the car and every additional detail.”

    Competition-Driven Specification

    Under the skin, Ford Fiesta Rallye Concept features an array of performance equipment.

    Its 1.6-litre Duratec 16V engine features an aluminium head, block and sump, and is targeted to deliver high-revving output exceeding over 210 ps. The engine is mated to a Hewland six-speed, close ratio, front-wheel-drive, sequential gearbox.

    Ford Fiesta Rallye Concept’s suspension is custom designed for competition, with extensive use of machined aluminium elements, including suspension arms and uprights. The MacPherson strut front suspension also features a unique fabricated front cross member and a rocker-arm anti-rollbar.

    At the rear, Ford Fiesta Rallye Concept features a twist-beam suspension set-up. Dampers by Dynamic, with external reservoirs and specially engineered, machined aluminium top mounts, are featured front and rear.

    Combined with power-assisted rack-and-pinion steering, the suspension system is designed to maximise Ford Fiesta Rallye Concept’s grip and handling.

    Stopping power is equally impressive. In tarmac specification, Ford Fiesta Rallye Concept is fitted with 355 mm ventilated front discs with four-piston Alcon calipers in a ceramic-effect finish. At the rear, 265 mm slotted discs and two-piston Alcon calipers are fitted.

    A high-flow Arvin Meritor stainless steel exhaust, with a four-to-two-to-one exhaust manifold design, is also featured in the concept vehicle. Its outlet tip also features the ceramic-effect finish used on the brake calipers.
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    Fiesta-Inspired Look

    The first thing that grabs the attention is the family resemblance to the new Fiesta three door. But it’s serious competition potential is reinforced by obvious statements of purpose, notably the enormous width of the wheel arches that shelter Ford Fiesta Rallye Concept’s large wheels and reduce the margin between the top of the front arch and the bonnet to a mere sliver. These arches are required due to the increased tread width and to reduce ride height.

    Measures taken by Clements and fellow exterior designer Lee Moran to lower the car are best demonstrated by the Magnum Grey front splitter that lines the bottom edge of the front bumper, riding just a matter of millimetres above ground level.

    Both the Machine Silver exterior paint and the complementary Magnum Grey accents are executed in production quality. Although this is a car designed to take corners at speed, no corners have been cut in its design.

    Triangular and trapezoidal shapes are evident throughout the design. They are featured inside on either side of the centre console, and externally in the shape of the tow hooks and the front bumper aperture. A closer examination reveals that each aggressively styled grille area of the front bumper is constructed of an array of tiny triangle shapes.

    The shape of the standard Fiesta headlamp has been retained, but the Ford Fiesta Rallye Concept team has designed new high-performance twin beam units for the rally application.

    The exterior design gives the car an aggressive, road-hugging stance. This is a Fiesta with attitude but wherever the car has been modified to accommodate motorsport enhancements, it has been done sympathetically and in keeping with the overall design strategy.

    “The final vehicle retains almost all the key features of the sketches that we first drew up, with very few compromises,” Clements said. “I think that is a testimony to the close relationship we’ve had with Ford Team RS right from the outset in developing the design. The result is a car that can develop into a real winner on the rally stage, and yet clearly has a direct link to the Fiesta road cars.”

    Unprecedented Interior Design Detail

    Internally, where a rally car might ordinarily be forgiven for losing some semblance of its production counterpart, the design and attention to detail of the Ford Fiesta Rallye Concept is unprecedented.

    The car’s interior design team included Narendra Karadia, Brian Osman and Simon Bury for Ford Design Europe.

    The inner door panels echo those of the road-going Fiesta as do the instrument binnacle and centre console, although heavily modified for optimum performance and ergonomic efficiency. The consistent theme throughout the interior is one of the engineers at Ford Team RS setting the parameters within which the design team could then create.

    The Ford Fiesta Rallye Concept’s instrument panel and dashboard are common with the production car, but its centre console has been extended further toward the driver and co-driver seating positions. Instead of the in-car entertainment system enjoyed by Fiesta road car owners, the concept features an array of fuses, controls, relays and switches geared specifically for rally use.

    Competition-Defined Ergonomics

    The cornerstone of the interior was the positioning of the driver and co-driver’s seats. The engineers drew the boundaries by establishing the optimum placement for the seats that would allow for the best weight distribution throughout the package. Current Ford rally drivers were then enlisted to advise where everything else, including gear selector, switches and controls should fit around that base.

    The driving position is different from that of a roadgoing Fiesta. The seating positions are further rearward and the steering wheel has longer reach.

    The Fiesta design team’s dedicated ergonomist, Anna Humpherson, worked with rally drivers to optimise the position of the controls within the new interior.

    “I rode with the rally drivers to understand the driving environment, and it was amazing to see how they operate,” Humpherson said. “We spent a lot of time with them to prioritise the location of the switches and controls. Our mapping of the switch logic drove the location of the controls. Some are positioned toward the co-driver and some especially toward the driver, including four important controls, like the starter, which are located on the steering wheel itself.”

    Finally, with the seating and controls positioned, the interior design team set about the task of ensuring that functionality and style exist more harmoniously than is usual on such a project.

    “We ‘picture framed’ each area of functionality within the car so that from any angle, and when taking any section in isolation, the inside of the car still pleases the eye in the same way as the road car it is derived from,” Bury explained.

    The distinctive arches of the instrument binnacle and dashboard mounted air vents remain in the concept but a sophisticated PI Research electronic display replaces the standard dials in front of the driver. The co-driver’s instrumentation is accommodated in lieu of the glove box and combines traditional time-keeping data with critical engine data.

    Fiesta-style air vents have been added to the roof of the car, served by the large ‘scoop’ vent that brushes the upper edge of the windscreen.

    Not even the floor escaped the eye of the Ford Fiesta Rallye Concept team.

    The designer-engineer collaboration team created special footwells to help the driver and co-driver achieve their optimal seating position for control despite the G-forces of competition. Specially moulded footwell units are installed for the driver – to ideally position the feet for pedal location – and for the co-driver – to position the feet to operate foot switches that control the instrumentation. The co-driver’s footwell also secures a handy battery-operated wheelnut-gun for quick tyre changes in the heat of a rally.

    Engineering and Prove-Out

    Ford Fiesta Rallye Concept was developed within the framework of the FIA regulations for the Super 1600 class. Now that their vision for the vehicle has been established Ford Team RS are undertaking an engineering development process to prepare for homologation of the concept as a Fiesta-based rally car.
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    I am easily satisfied with the very best.

    "It is a very good looking car, If you have cataract" - JC about the Alpine A610

  3. #3
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    i like it a lot. i think they should put it to work

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    Quote Originally Posted by 70cuda88 View Post
    i like it a lot. i think they should put it to work
    They did. It was the concept for S1600 Fiesta.
    Lack of charisma can be fatal.
    Visca Catalunya!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ferrer View Post
    They did. It was the concept for S1600 Fiesta.
    than why did they call this one a concept too?

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    Quote Originally Posted by 70cuda88 View Post
    than why did they call this one a concept too?
    Because this was just a S1600 Fiesta dressed up for the motorshow.
    Lack of charisma can be fatal.
    Visca Catalunya!

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by 70cuda88 View Post
    than why did they call this one a concept too?
    ..and because they built this concept when the Fiesta was brand new and they haven't done any races yet...

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