Marek Rybníček is a racing legend in the Czech Republic. Some might remember the wild, carbon-clad Mitsubishi Eclipse which he used to win the Czech Hillclimb Championship in 2011 and 2012. The 650-horsepower spat out by the 4G63 motor was always enough for the purpose of hillclimbing, but one got the impression the chassis might not have done the powerplant justice.
Fast forward a few years, and Rybníček placed the 4G63—with fifty more horsepower—in a spaceframed car draped in Ford Fiesta WRC bodywork. Not only does the rigidity of the chassis make better use of the power available, but the aggressive bodywork, decorated by an exposed front-mount intercooler and Enkei RPF1, wheels are much nicer to look at than the old Eclipse. The combination of parts is strange but head-turning, as so is the packaging.
Weighing in at just 2,100 pounds, the car is supremely agile, and thanks to all-wheel drive, the 700 horsepower and 590 lb-ft of torque fire this car down the tarmac at a frightening pace—without any wheelspin. The onboard footage demonstrates that acceleration, but also the nervousness of the car under braking. Thanks to a short wheelbase and rally DNA, the car has a tendency to rotate, which is an asset in the skilled hands of the Czech driver.
At the Rechberg Hillclimb, this cleanly driven car finished second among the Touring Cars; confirming this AWD machine as among the fastest on European hillclimbs. Watching the fireworks on display here, it’s not surprising he’s as successful as he is.