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Ford Weighing Formula E, Electric WRX Options

Ford evaluating entry into FIA Electric World Rallycross; Formula E talks continue…

Photo: World Rallycross

Ford could re-enter the FIA World Rallycross Championship when it becomes a fully-fledged electric series in 2020, while it also still evaluates options in the ABB FIA Formula E Championship.

The Detroit automaker, which plans to invest $11 billion into its lineup of hybrid or electric vehicles by 2022, appears set to expand its EV involvement into motorsports, with one or both programs.

Ford Performance global motorsports director Mark Rushbrook confirmed that an entry into all-electric rallycross series is among the options, with it currently in the FIA-led technical working group to help shape the new regulations.

“We’ve been studying that and are involved in the discussions for setting that framework,” Rushbrook told e-racing365.

While having withdrawn from WRX competition last year, Rushbrook indicated Ford could re-enter under the new regs, which will utilize an ORECA-built spec chassis and standard battery developed by Williams Advanced Engineering.

Manufacturers will be allowed to develop its own electric powertrains, similar to Formula E, although outfitted with custom body shells, which would create brand identity.

“In this case the benefit, or one of the differences in ERX versus Formula E, it looks like a street car and you can make it look like your street car,” Rushbrook said.

“We wouldn’t make a decision on that difference alone. There’s a lot of other difference between those series.”

Rushbrook said a decision on its future EV plans has yet to be made and indicated no major global decisions are expected in the coming weeks.

E-racing365 understands the Ford’s proposal to enter Formula E, likely as a takeover of the Dragon team, is still awaiting board approval, and would not likely be until Season Six at the earliest.

It’s believed several high-ranking Ford staff are expected to be in attendance at next month’s New York E-Prix, potentially as guests of Dragon.

John Dagys is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of e-racing365. Dagys, who launched the industry-leading Sportscar365 in 2013, spent eight years as a motorsports correspondent for FOXSports.com/SPEED Channel, and contributes to other publications worldwide. Contact John

2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. krisg

    June 19, 2018 at 8:58 am

    Ford as a company is way behind in the electrification game if compared to GM for sample. If the company wants to play catch-up, no better place than motor-racing to build know-how and advance their R&D. From a marketing perspective the new ERX can prove to bring more results in the long term but to play catch-up FE is the platform to allow it happens and the reason why is because FE is about to introduce its 2 gen car that advanced the battery and all components in the car whereas in the new ERX championship the cars will be built using the philosophy introduce by FE 4 years ago, so a generation behind.

    Ford has to make a decision ASAP as no many slots will be available in FE now for a manufacturer to join. The only consumer teams for the upcoming season will be Dragon, HWA and Virgin. The first is the natural choice for Ford because it’s the only team with a powertrain manufacturer status and not tight to any OEM. HWA will make use of Venturi powertrain for season 5 but is well known that the team will become the Mercedes outfit in two years from now. Virgin will loose Citroen/DS (that will partner with Techeetah from season 5) but in the paddock is well acknowledge that team will buy Audi motors for their next campaign.

  2. Andrew

    August 17, 2018 at 7:25 am

    If Ford enters FE, i’m sure that will be team Penske (Dragon racing) that would be supplied by them. I’m no surprise if Drivers like Newgarden or Keselowski race at Formula E in the future if Ford had race in it.

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