LAS VEGAS, November 2, 2010 - Ford has revealed plans to leverage the all- new Focus for motorsport by supporting the development of a next-generation touring car for global competition - the latest indication of the company's comprehensive approach to exploiting its global product platforms.
The move, announced at the 2010 Speciality Equipment Manufacturers Association (SEMA) Show in Las Vegas, extends Ford's reputation for offering race-capable, affordable platforms that can be converted into a race car, including Escort, Capri, Mustang and most recently, Fiesta. That tradition will continue as the new Focus takes over as Ford's global touring car, to be developed with private race teams in cooperation with the company's global motorsport group.
"There has been tremendous interest from the racing world about the new Focus, and it's the perfect fit for a global touring car," said Jost Capito, director of Global Performance Vehicles and Motorsports Business Development. "Even more, by working with private race teams, we're ensuring Focus has the support it needs to compete and win."
The first race appearance for the car is targeted to be in the 2011 British Touring Car Championship. Globally, the race car has the potential to run in many national and regional Championships like the China Touring Car Championship, as well as 24-hour endurance races including the classic Nürburgring 24-hour race in Germany. Like the new Focus ST road car, the global Focus race car will feature Ford EcoBoost engine technology, extending it to the race track.
Private race teams are helping Ford to develop a common technical specification for the race car, which will conform to FIA Super 2000 regulations with potential to adopt to wider specifications. The teams are being brought together by Ford to determine their strengths and define roles for the development of the race car. Ford will also support the race teams by providing data and production parts, resulting in teams racing more competitive cars that are developed with greater efficiency.
Global Customer Benefit
The benefit of the new Focus touring car will stretch beyond the track to customers of the all-new Focus ST road car.
"Ford's commitment to using motorsports to influence high-performance vehicles will be highly evident, as the development of the Focus touring car will benefit the upcoming Focus ST road car," said Capito. "It's very similar to how the Ford Racing Boss 302R brought significant lessons learned to the 2012 Mustang Boss 302."
One common Focus ST performance car is being developed for all global markets, with the vehicle targeted for launch during 2012. This will be the first time that Ford has produced one of its highly regarded high- performance models for a global audience.
The Focus ST development programme is being undertaken by Ford's global Performance Vehicles group, which comprises Team RS (Europe) and SVT (USA) engineers, who are dedicated to developing and tuning products like the formidable Focus RS, Shelby GT500 Mustang and Raptor SVT F150.
"The new Focus ST will be our first true global performance road car and we are excited about the chance to give many customers worldwide their first taste of Ford's acclaimed ST heritage," said Capito. "Like the ST and RS models before it, the new Focus ST will be the result of painstaking tuning over many different and challenging road conditions - around the curves of classic British B-roads, along high-speed German autobahns, and now race tracks around the globe."