October 4th, 2010

WRC pocket rockets

Remember the old WRC legends? Cars like McRae’s 555 Subaru, Tommi Mäkinen’s Evo and Richard Burns’Pug? Well these three cars could well be future legends of the rally world.

The WRC has been shouting out for some new hot metal for a while and these three pocket rockets look like they could add some spice to the stages in 2011.

What you might notice is that these cars are a lot smaller than their predecessors, that is due to the fact that the WRC has been trying to tighten the championship purse strings for a while. But we don’t care because they all look awesome.

Citroën DS3 WRC

Rally God Sébastien Loeb and 2010 WRC champion will be piloting this beefed up anti-retro beast around the world in the 2011 WRC season starting in Sweden. Based on the successful DS3 road car, it has been heavily tinkered with to produce over 300hp. Under the heavily vented bonnet lies a 1.6-litre direct-injection turbocharged engine. Conceived from start to finish by Citroën Racing, who have quite a track record of making good rally cars, it is set to be a very strong car next year – especially when put in the hands of Loeb.

Citroën stresses that the DS3 WRC was designed to adhere to the new cost cutting FIA rules. The new rules ban costly materials such as titanium and carbon-fibre, and standardise certain parts like the turbocharger and limit the changes that can be made to the vehicle during its lifetime. I think the DS3 took the limit to carbon-fibre rule quite liberally when you look at the two MASSIVE carbon fibre ironing boards strapped to the rear windscreen.

Ford Fiesta RS WRC

There is a general rule at Motormorph; if you take a good looking car, add huge arches, lower it and feed it some angry pills we will like it. As the new 2011 Fiesta RS WRC fulfils all those criteria, we love it. The Fiesta rally car boasts four-wheel drive transmission and a 1.6-litre turbocharged engine, based on the all-new Ford EcoBoost engine family. I doubt how much Eco Ford will get from their turbocharged engine but I sure as hell know there will be a lot of boost.

The current Ford Fiesta has been a massive hit for Ford selling a bucket load over here and even managing to crack America – something Craig David never managed. With a clever marketing strategy of getting into bed with the man off the internet, Ken Block, seeing Fiesta’s on the rally stages around the world will definitely guarantee selling sell a shed load more.

MINI Countryman WRC

We have already discussed the MINI WRC on the site before. Our views haven’t really changed but we do know a bit more about the car now. The MINI WRC is powered by a 1.6-litre, four-cylinder Di turbo-charged engine which has been left in the capable hands of Prodrive. MINI won’t share any stats with us but I am sure that Prodrive will make the car competitive. Having said that, after seeing some footage of the car in testing I just couldn’t help but think it looked a bit like Brian Blessed in a potato sack race.

You will see the Countryman in action at six of the 2011 World Rally Championship rounds, with MINI competing in the full 2012 season with Kris Meeke at the wheel. Will it be a classic case of all the gear and no idea? Well, we will just have to wait and see.

Prodrive plans to make available customer versions to independent teams for use in the championship. If you are interested make sure you order the additional paper bag to cover up its hideous face.

Rowan Horncastle