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M-Sport’s globally successful Ford Fiesta R5 will receive an extensive upgrade from 1 January 2016. The development will bring substantial performance enhancements to what is already a championship-winning vehicle.

Since its debut in the middle of 2013, the Fiesta R5 has become M-Sport’s most successful global rally car. With more than 130 cars competing around the globe, the latest Fiesta can boast hundreds of class victories alongside outright wins and championship laurels.

The Fiesta was the first R5 on the market and – despite not receiving a single upgrade in the past two and a half years – remains one of the most competitive having been crowned this year’s FIA European Rally Championship winning car in the hands of Kajetan Kajetanowicz.

Now, as M-Sport continues to make strides in development and has evaluated all of the other R5s on the market, the time is right to launch a comprehensive upgrade.

A dedicated team of M-Sport designers and engineers have been assigned to the project and six months of development has resulted in what the team believe to be their most substantial upgrade to date.

With eight allocated homologation jokers still available to use, the first five are solely aimed at increasing engine performance – updating the cylinder head, pistons, inlet and exhaust cam, exhaust manifold and a new clutch/flywheel.

M-Sport engineers have achieved an incredible gain of 32bhp at 4,500rpm and 56 Nm of torque at 4000rpm which represents the single best development step in any engine designed and built by the British firm.

The remaining three jokers will be used for chassis related upgrades which are due to be released in March 2016.

A number of other items are also scheduled for upgrade and M-Sport are currently investigating improvements to the rear aerodynamic device, front bumper, suspension arms, Reiger dampers as well as auxiliary lighting. These upgrades remain in the development phase with a scheduled release towards the end of the first quarter of 2016.

M-Sport Managing Director, Malcolm Wilson OBE, said:

“I am extremely proud of all of the work that has gone into this project. The original Ford Fiesta R5 remains a reliable and competitive package, but these upgrades will see us take that performance to another level. We’re constantly developing all of our products, but I have to say that this is the single biggest upgrade we have ever produced; and when you consider how competitive the Fiesta R5 currently is, that really is some achievement!”

Having driven the upgraded Fiesta R5, M-Sport test driver Matthew Wilson, said:

“The increase in power really needs to be experienced to be believed. The original Fiesta R5 was great to drive, but you really feel the upgrades as soon as you get behind the wheel and I have to say that this is the biggest step forward with a competition car that I have ever seen. The extra power of the engine is huge which dramatically improves response and makes it even easier to get the most out of what was already a fantastic product.”