A new season of the FIA World Rally Championship is quickly approaching. The season-opening Rallye Monte Carlo is less than a week away. With a new set of regulations, WRC teams have been teasing and eventually revealing their new Rally1 cars ahead of the season. Earlier this week, Hyundai Motorsport unveiled its new i20 N Rally1 with fairly sterile press photos. M-Sport decided to exhibit its new Ford Puma Rally1 in its natural habitat, tarmac roads in the Alps.
M-Sport posted a video on Twitter of a Rally1 Puma attacking a high-speed mountainside descent. While the pavement was seemed to be meticulously cleared to snow, the surrounding landscape was a winter wonderland. Are you seeing this through the usual array of broadcast onboard cameras? No. A drone is chasing the state-of-the-art hybrid rally car down the road.
The DJI FPV drone struggled to keep up with the hybrid Puma, which is understandable. The drone was only truly able to catch the Ford when the rally car during each of the hairpin corners. The acceleration generated by a 1.6-liter inline-four-cylinder engine paired with a 100 kW (134 hp) electric motor must be immense. The drone has an advertised 0-100 km/h (62 mph) time of 2 seconds, and weighs just 10.5 ounces.
Drone footage like this really showcases the surreal performance abilities of racing cars. It vividly portrays the sense of speed and how rapidly vehicles on this level can accelerate. I would love to see the WRC try to incorporate more drone footage into television coverage, even if it might not be broadcast live.
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Though, you might have noticed that the Puma is still sporting a camouflage livery. M-Sport has stated that it will reveal this year’s livery during the World Rally Championship’s official season launch in Salzburg, Austria later today.