Only appearances are deceiving – the Ford Escort RS Cosworth is 30 years old – Auto-Motor

Although the Sierra floor plate was shortened, the wheelbase of the RS was 27 mm longer than that of the civilian Escort. The blue valve cover marks the first 2,500 special turbocharged examples

The RS Cosworth, crowning the Escort’s racing success, was the dream car of a generation, which was created so that Ford could have a capable car in the A rally group. Its history began during the development of the Sierra RS Cosworth, as the brand had to order at least 15,000 units of the Cosworth 2.0-liter engine to make the conversion worthwhile, but neither the original nor the later four-door version with all-wheel drive “consumed” it.

The sunroof was included in the standard price, the tilting rear side window was an extra. Michael Schumacher, racing for Benetton, was already a valuable advertising face for Ford in 1992

Although they achieved good results in track racing with the aforementioned Sierra, the construction was less successful on rally tracks, so the Ford management decided to build a rally car based on the existing technical foundations that could compete with the Lancia Delta HF Integral and the Toyota Celica GT- He also competes with Four. The work was entrusted to Special Vehicle Operations (SVO) in Hertfordshire. The floor plate of the Sapphire RS Cosworth 4×4 was shortened along with the drivetrain, and a completely unique bodywork was designed for it, reminiscent of the new Escort also under development.

The extra gauges provide information on charging, turbo pressure and oil temperature

Rod Mansfield and John Wheeler finished in 1989 with the three-door version, made more exciting with spoilers and widenings, which, apart from the lights, only inherited the roof and doors from the civilian version. One of the biggest features of the RS, the giant rear spoiler, was designed by Frank Stephenson. By itself, it produced 19.4 kg of downforce, which was increased by an additional 4.6 kg by the equally striking, adjustable front splitter. It was the first production car in the world to produce both front and rear downforce, and the first in the industry to produce positive downforce.

In order for the longitudinal engine and originally rear-wheel drive technology to be included in the transverse engine and front-wheel drive Escort, Karmann, entrusted with the production, made several changes to the structure. Cosworth, which carries the soul of the car, fine-tuned the Pinto engine with an iron block and aluminum cylinder head for the Escort RS. The blue version marked with the YBT code received new engine control electronics and a turbocharger. The first 2,500 copies intended for FIA homologation included a hybrid created by combining the blade from the Garrett T04B and the turbine from the Garrett T3. In addition, a water cooler was installed under the rear seat for demonstration purposes, but this was not connected to the system. Depending on the equipment, the Escort RS weighing 1,275-1,310 kg produced 227 horsepower and 304 Nm of torque, it sprinted from 0 to 100 km/h in 5.7 seconds, and its top speed was also impressive, with the rear wing it could reach 232 km/h and 237 km/h without it. ! Those who wanted the latter could order the car even without it, but for understandable reasons, not many buyers made that decision.


The RS looked good not only with the stickers of the sponsors, but also in the British uniform

The 5-speed manual transmission sent the torque to the four wheels through a permanent all-wheel drive system, 34% to the front axle and 66% to the rear. The Fichtel & Sachs shock absorbers had to keep the 16-inch rims equipped with Pirelli P700 tires on the road in the independent front-to-rear chassis, with MacPherson struts at the front and wishbones at the rear. Cooled disc brakes with a diameter of 278 mm at the front and 273 mm at the rear were added, ABS and power steering were standard. In the passenger compartment, in addition to the Recaro seats, the gear console changed due to the large cardan tunnel, as well as the extra instruments located on top of the dashboard and the unique sports steering wheel ensured a sporty atmosphere. At the time, the high price was offset by exciting extras, and despite the fact that they didn’t expect much interest, the Escort RS Cosworth became a real success model and an icon of its era.

Between 1993 and 1997, François Delecour (above) won 4 and Carlos Sainz (below) 3 rallies with the Escort

The only significant change was the replacement of the turbocharger in 1994, the YBP-coded, silver version received the Garrett T25 supercharger, thereby mitigating the turbo hole appearing at 3500 rpm. By changing the engine control, ignition and cooling, the top Escort became less temperamental and more manageable, of which a total of 7,145 units were produced until 1996. The World Rally Championship was not won with him, but he triumphed 8 times in Group A and 2 times in the WRC.

Car Dealers, season 14, episode 1, guest starred Frank Stephenson, who had originally designed a three-piece spoiler for the RS, but the idea was ultimately scrapped due to cost. The show’s mechanic, Ant Anstead, made a faithful copy of the missing part, then in a wind tunnel he made sure that he could further increase the downforce

Source: Autó-Motor by

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