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  Home > Teams > Past WRC teams > Ford > Rally cars > Focus WRC
Successor for Escort
When a manufacturer introduces successor for such a legendary rally car like Escort, public is bound to sit up and take notice.

Where Escort WRC was perhaps a bit tired towards the end of it's competitive life, Focus promised to be new and exciting, sporting all new design all-around. In fact, road-going Focus base car was in great degree designed with rallying in mind. It sported very rigid body shell and multilink rear suspension, unnecessarily sophisticated for every day use.

Cosworth engine used in Escort WRC was replaced by new Ford Zetec E, a modern 16 valve and transversely mounted unit with 25 degree rearward tilt. The 1999 version was prepared by Mountune and was designed to produce improved torque, especially starting from low revs. It was mated to completely new sequential six-speed XTrac 240 longitudinal gearbox.

Ford had read FIA technical regulations somewhat carelessly and designed a new water pump for the car. That was not allowed, car had to use standard water pump and encouraging third place in debut rally was nullified as a result. When car won it's only third outing, still being overweight, team was thrilled. During the season weight was reduced but initial results were not repeated, quite the contrary.

Debut WRC event: Monte Carlo 1999
Best WRC result: 1st by Colin McRae in Safari 1999
 1st by Colin McRae in Portugal 1999
Rallies contested: 14  (works entries)
WRC starts: 30  (works entries)
Outright wins: 2  (wins to rallies ratio 14.3%)
Podiums: 3  (podiums to starts ratio 10.0%)
DNF's: 18  (DNF's to starts ratio 60.0 %)
Points scored: 42  (manufacturer championship points)
Avg points per rally: 3.0  
Technical data
Group and class World Rally Car
Location: Front transverse
Turbo: Yes
Cylinders: 4 in line
Valves: 16
Bore x stroke: 84.8 x 88.0 mm
Cubic capacity: 1998 cc
Power: 300 hp
Torque: 550 Nm
Compression ratio: 9.0:1
Length: 4152 mm
Width: 1770 mm
Height: 1420 mm
Wheelbase: 2615 mm
Front track: 1550 mm
Rear track: 1550 mm
Weight: 1330 kg
Drive: 4WD
Gearbox: Longitudinal
Gears: 6
Sequential: Yes
Clutch plates: 2
(Click picture to see larger version in a pop-up window)
McRae and Grist after unveiling the new Focus WRC in Birmingham Auto Show, January 1999 Click picture to see larger version in a pop-up window