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Auto blogTue, 18 Mar 2014 15:00:00 EST
Rallycross is seeing a sudden surge in popularity with two series bringing the racing to the US and Europe. The Ford OMSE team is competing in both championships this season, and it saw no reason not to hold practice with a highly modified Fiesta in the snow of Northern Sweden. It brought together Andreas Bakkerud from the European-focused FIA World Rallycross Championship and Patrik Sandell from the North American-focused Global Rallycross series for some training and fun. They certainly appear to be enjoying themselves, too, with some lovely pirouettes in the powder.
If you're unfamiliar with rallycross, the discipline combines the best of rallying and circuit racing. Drivers (with no co-drivers) race rally cars over a circuit that generally mixes dirt and asphalt, and unlike traditional rallying, multiple cars compete side-by-side at once. Even better, it's often a very two-fisted form of motorsports with lots of car-to-car contact. Global Rallycross and World Rallycross will both kick off their seasons in May. With spring on the way, scroll down to watch the Fiesta kick up some of the last snow drifts of the year.
Rumors about the forthcoming Ford Focus RS are flourishing into what sounds like a very impressive new hot hatch. The latest scuttlebutt gives the first indication about when we might see a few of these fast Focuses on roads here in the US.
Unnamed insiders reportedly confirmed to The Truth About Cars that Ford plans to launch the Focus RS in the US in 2016. However, getting one might not be so easy - the boosted powertrain means the car would likely need to be imported from Europe. That's likely going to keep the total number available in the US rather low. The sources estimate a price tag that's a bit more expensive than the top Focus ST3, which starts around $28,500, plus $825 destination.
It seems that a pretty potent package comes for all of that cash, though. The Focus RS reportedly uses a 2.3-liter turbocharged four-cylinder making between 325 and 350 horsepower, with a torque-vectoring all-wheel drive system to get that muscle to the road. The test mules also wear more aggressive front and rear fascias, dual exhaust tips, larger brakes and sticky tires. It sounds like a great formula on top of the already enjoyable Focus ST.
In recent months, rumors had been flying about Ford CEO Alan Mulally potentially leaving the company to take a position at Microsoft. Last we heard, Mulally was planning to stick around at Ford through at least 2014, and in an interview today, that bit was confirmed by the CEO himself.
According to the Associated Press, in a report from The Detroit News, Mulally said he will not be leaving Ford for Microsoft, and reiterated that he will remain at the Blue Oval through 2014, if not longer. Mulally has "no plans other than to serve Ford," according to the report.
Mulally did not say whether or not he had been in talks with Microsoft at any point. Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has said he plans to leave the software company sometime this year.