Ford will step up development of its Fiesta RS WRC by installing the engine from a current Focus RS WRC 09 for a test in Sardinia.
The Fiesta is due to run on rough gravel stages on the Italian island today and tomorrow. Citroen has been testing its DS3 WRC with a C4 WRC engine since the start of the season.
Ford's technical director Christian Loriaux declined to comment on the specifics of the test, saying: "This is a scheduled development test for the Fiesta S2000, as part of its ongoing program. And we don't want to discuss specific items currently under development."
It is understood the Fiesta will run with the Focus engine to source data on how the chassis and transmission will deal with the kind of power and torque levels produced by the 1.6-liter turbocharged engine. This will also offer the team a head-start on initial setup for the suspension and transmission when the Fiesta RS WRC starts running as a complete car.
Like Citroen, Ford is not expected to have the all-new 1.6-liter turbocharged engine ready to run in the car until late summer.