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NGK-sponsored M-Sport Ford unveils hybrid rally car

The NGK-sponsored M-Sport Ford World Rally Team has unveiled a prototype of the new Puma Rally1 rally car that will help usher in an exciting new era of electrified competition in the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) from 2022.

Making its global public debut at last weekend’s Goodwood Festival of Speed, the MSport Ford Puma Rally1 features a next-generation hybrid powertrain that seamlessly combines the performance of a championship-winning, turbocharged 1.6-litre EcoBoost petrol engine with a sophisticated 100 kW electric motor and 3.9 kWh battery.


The ultimate expression of the fun-to-drive appeal offered to customers in the Ford Puma compact SUV, 1 the new rally car also reflects Ford’s commitment to going all-in on electrification. The company earlier this year announced that 100 percent of its passenger vehicle range in Europe will be zero-emissions capable, all-electric or plug-in hybrid by mid-2026; moving to all-electric by 2030.


The electrifying performance of the Puma Rally1 prototype was due to be demonstrated on the famous Goodwood hill climb, driven by M-Sport Ford WRT driver Adrien Fourmaux and M-Sport Ford test driver Matthew Wilson, before being used as a development car ahead of the 2022 season.

Mark Rushbrook, global director, Ford Performance, said: “Ford is 100 percent committed to an electrified future, and the white heat of competition has been responsible for many of the innovations that appear in our road cars today. The M-Sport Ford Puma Rally1 will put hybrid power to the ultimate test and prove that the technology is capable of delivering thrilling performance.”


M-Sport Ford earlier this year announced its commitment to a new three-year agreement introducing hybrid technology to the top tier of global rally sport. The sophisticated new plug-in hybrid powertrain will provide competition-level performance as well as the ability to travel through towns, cities and service parks between stages using pure-electric power.

The Puma Rally1’s hybrid system operates using similar principles to the Puma EcoBoost Hybrid road car. The powertrain captures energy normally lost during braking and coasting and stores it in a battery that can power an electric motor to enhance the road car’s fuel efficiency or provide a performance boost – in the case of Puma Rally1 as much as 100 kW for multiple boosts of up to three seconds during competitive driving.


Like the plug-in hybrid technology available to Ford customers on vehicles including the Kuga Plug-In Hybrid, the battery pack can also be recharged using an external power source at service points between stages, with a recharge taking approximately 25 minutes. Weighing 95 kg, the hybrid system is liquid- and air-cooled and housed in a ballistic-strength casing to resist the impact of debris and g-forces in the event of an accident.


In addition, FIA WRC Rally1 competitors will use a fossil-free fuel from the 2022 season, blending synthetic and bio-degradable elements to produce a fuel that is 100 percent sustainable.
Malcolm Wilson OBE, managing director, M-Sport, said: “The new era of WRC cars is one of the biggest technological advancements in WRC to date. The introduction of the hybrid means that the cars will be more powerful than ever whilst also directly reflecting the powertrains within their road going counterparts.

“The switch to the Puma is very exciting with the name already having rally heritage, the car looks fantastic and I cannot wait to see it at the start line of the famous Monte Carlo Rally in early 2022.

“Launching this new car at Goodwood is also very special, being one of the most iconic events in the motorsport calendar. I and the whole of M-Sport look forward to continuing the very successful partnership with Ford to deliver results and keep Ford at the forefront during this new and very exciting era.”
Ford has been a continuous partner with M-Sport since 1997, securing seven FIA World Rally Championships and more than 1500 stage wins. The new Puma Rally1 will replace the M-Sport Ford Fiesta WRC, which is fitted with NGK spark plugs and NTK Lambda sensors and has secured three World Rally Championship titles since its introduction in 2017.

Mark Hallam, Marketing Manager, NGK Spark Plugs (UK) Ltd, said: “The new Puma Rally1 rally car represents an exciting new phase in WRC. I’m sure all rally fans cannot wait to see it in action in next year’s championship.”

M-Sport Team Principal Richard Millener said: “As partners, your help and support up until now has allowed us to get to this exciting milestone, and once again I want to take this opportunity to thank you for everything you do for the M-Sport Ford World Rally Team.”

 

Notes to Editors

About NGK SPARK PLUG:

Worldwide: NGK SPARK PLUG is one of the leading automotive and technical ceramics suppliers, with its corporate headquarters in Nagoya, Japan and sales organisations and production facilities all over the world. The automotive side of the company specialises in the fields of ignition and sensor technology, supplying Original Equipment customers across the globe. For the Aftermarket, its product portfolio comprises spark plugs, glow plugs, ignition coils and leads under the NGK Ignition Parts brand. Under the brand NTK Vehicle Electronics the company offers oxygen sensors (including NOx sensors), exhaust gas temperature sensors (EGTS), mass air flow (MAF) and manifold absolute/boost pressure (MAP) sensors as well as engine speed and position sensors. With around 16,400 employees, the company’s automotive and technical ceramics activities generate a total annual turnover of around 3.7 billion Euros worldwide. NGK SPARK PLUG’s EMEA sales represent 32% of this global turnover. NGK SPARK PLUG operates on all continents and has 60 group companies, 35 production plants, five Technical Centres and three Venture Labs.

Aftermarket EMEA: NGK SPARK PLUG has seen significant growth across the Aftermarket since expanding beyond motorcycle parts into the automotive sector in the 1970s. With an outstanding commitment to quality, technology and research & development the company has become the world’s number one in spark plugs and oxygen sensors, and a leading provider of glow plugs, ignition coils and leads as well as further sensor technology. Organisationally NGK SPARK PLUG’s regional headquarters in Ratingen, Germany serves the Aftermarket across Europe, the Middle East and Africa. In the EMEA region the company has six regional companies and more than 1,000 employees, as well as two production plants in France and South Africa and a Technical Centre in Germany.

 

For more information please visit: www.ngkntk.com

 

For further information please contact:

Annika Lustig, Specialist PR & Communications, Aftermarket EMEA, NGK SPARK PLUG EUROPE GmbH
Harkortstr. 41, 40880 Ratingen, Germany, AG Duesseldorf HRB 43118
Tel: +49 (0)21 02 974 152 E-mail: a_lustig@ngkntk.de

 

For further information contact:

Andy Hurst

Hurst Media Services

Tel: +44 (0)1354 657253; Mobile: 0773 694 7803

Email: andyh.stonecross@binternet.com

 

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