Ford's latest World Rally challenger will take shape by the end of this week, when M-Sport completes the first shell for the all-new Fiesta S2000.
The Fiesta S2000 is the car which will take over Ford's commitment at the highest level of rallying in 2011, following 11 years of the Focus.
The Cumbrian-based M-Sport firm has been working on the new car for three months and technical director Christian Loriaux is reporting good progress -particularly with the roll cage design, which will offer the Fiesta increased shell rigidity over its predecessor.
"M-Sport is a proven leader in roll cage design concepts and we have put into practice all of our experience in the design for the new M-Sport Ford Fiesta S2000 rally car," said Loriaux.
"All of the design has now been completed and our excellent in-house facilities at Dovenby Hall have allowed us to challenge our theories through live testing. All aspects of the new car are progressing according to schedule and we are very pleased with the progress so far."
The new car is expected to be running next month. Unusually, the car will be available to customers in 2010 before it is seen in factory colours the following season. M-sport is hoping to run cars in the World Cup for Super 2000 cars - a new championship within the WRC next year.
M-Sport boss Malcolm Wilson said: "The Fiesta S2000 rally car is really starting to take shape now. We have been spurred on by the announcement last week of Ford's two-year commitment to the World Rally Championship and the introduction of the Fiesta S2000 as its car to campaign the 2011 series.
"Next year features the introduction of the World Cup for S2000 cars within the WRC and will give privateers and teams alike a real chance to challenge for victory in a new car which has been built with all our technical expertise and experience."