Ford unveiled a new 2012-specification version of its Formula Ford car to visitors at the Frankfurt auto show. It's a modernized version of the formula that has been an essential step in professional racing drivers' careers for more than 40 years.
The new-generation Formula Ford cars will use a production-based 1.6-liter Ford EcoBoost direct injection, turbocharged engine, mated to a 6-speed sequential transmission with mechanical shift mechanism. The all-new design is the first tubular steel open-wheel car to meet latest FIA safety standards with front and rear carbon crash structures, side intrusion panels, FIA specification head restraint system, wheel tethers and an FIA removable seat. FIA compliance will allow the car to be applicable for Formula Ford championships around the globe, especially in emerging markets where alignment to FIA regulations is commonplace.
“The 2012 specification car's FIA approved safety attributes, powerful Ford EcoBoost engine and striking kinetic design, make for a really appealing proposition for race teams and drivers,” said Mike Norton, motorsport manager for Ford of Europe. “Formula Ford is already well-known as the perfect proving ground for up-and-coming drivers and engineers, and it is Ford's desire to continue nurturing this by supporting teams and manufacturers across the globe with the safest environment, latest technologies and most attractive packages.
"Formula Ford is in its 44th consecutive year and remains a very popular choice for drivers around the world. Many Formula Ford drivers have gone onto careers in Formula 1. This is a great compliment to Formula Ford and we at Ford are proud of this achievement.”