Shortly after the Ford Puma overtook the Ford Fiesta and Focus in the hierarchy of Ford’s European sales, the automaker also announced that the Ford Puma Rally1 would be replacing the Ford Fiesta WRC in its rally racing lineup. Ford and M-Sport revealed the Puma Rally1 prototype back in July and have since shown the racing version of the crossover catching serious air and even breaking a window in the process. The automaker and its rally racing arm believe that this brand-new, ground-up machine will give it a big advantage in the world of rallying, and now, the Ford Puma Rally1 has been officially revealed.
Ford celebrated the unveiling of the Puma Rally1 in dramatic fashion via the video embedded below, which shows off the rally machine just in time to celebrate the one-millionth vehicle rolling off the line at the Ford Craiova Assembly Plant. The clip, dubbed “Ford Puma Hybrid Rally1 Gatecrashes the Party,” shows the new racer appearing amid a lightning storm and proceeding to rip around the plant with M-Sport Ford WRT driver Adrien Fourmau behind the wheel.
The Ford Puma Rally1 aims to continue the Fiesta WRC’s success, which includes three championships since its debut in 2017. The hybrid rally racer is also Ford’s first electrified competition car, as it utilizes a 3.9 kWh battery to provide boosts of up to three seconds from a 100 kW electric motor to supplement the Puma Rally1’s 1.6L EcoBoost gas engine.
The Puma Rally1 is also capable of driving on electric power alone, with full recharges taking around 25 minutes. The entire hybrid system weighs a mere 95 kilograms and is housed in a ballistic-strength casing to protect it from the many perils of rally racing.
“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 Jo Payne, president of Ford Romania and Craiova plant manager. “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.”