Ford’s allegorical RS brand is aback with a blast with the new Ford Focus RS and that account will be music to abounding Fast Ford fans’ ears. To bless this, we’ve done our appointment and gone through the history books to acquisition some of the key cars that helped accomplish the Ford RS brand so popular.
If you haven’t yet, booty a attending at our 2016 in-depth Ford Focus RS review, and alike watch agent account editor Jonathan Burn get abaft the caster in our video review.
The Ford Escort RS1600 was the car that started the Ford RS phenomenon. Born as a aftereffect of Ford’s success on the all-embracing assemblage arena with the Ford Escort Twin Cam, the Ford Escort RS was conceived out of a accord amid Ford Advanced Vehicle Operations (AVO) – the analysis of the aggregation that congenital achievement Fords – and the Rallye Sport (RS) banker arrangement that marketed them.
The agent in the Ford Escort RS1600 was based on the 1,557cc Kent motor in the Twin Cam, but Ford AVO had teamed up with tuners Cosworth to advance the twin-cam agent by developing a 16-valve 1,599cc butt arch to accumulate Ford cutting up successes on the all-embracing ambulatory stage.
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The Ford Escort RS1600 was now acceptable for 120bhp – an outstanding amount for 1970 aback the aboriginal RS1600 formed off the assembly band at Ford’s Averly bulb in south Essex.
The Escort RS brought achievement to the masses acknowledgment to a £1,447 pricetag, additional a top-speed of 113mph from a car that advised aloof 870kg.
The Ford Escort RS1600 paved the way for added iconic Ford Escort RS models such as the aboriginal bearing Escort RS2000 and the ultra-successful RS1800 World Assemblage Car.
The RS1600 is aloof one car that appearance on Ford’s amazing activated GIF angel below, which showcases every fast RS Ford… ever!
The Ford RS200 was a four-wheel drive sports car that was awash to homologate Ford’s acclaimed RS200 Group B WRC car.
Designed to accede with the FIA’s homologation regs for the 1984 WRC season, 200 road-going versions of the RS200 were produced and powered by a turbocharged 1.8-litre engine. The powerplant generated 250bhp, and in chase form, could be acquainted to put out amid 350 and 450bhp. The Ford RS200’s fibreglass anatomy was fabricated by Reliant – a abutting added acclaimed for its three-wheel cars than annihilation else.
The Ford RS200 was adapted with a four-wheel drive arrangement to acquiesce it to attempt with Group B rivals like the Audi Quattro and Peugeot 205 T16 on the assemblage stages. However, turbo lag and a poor power-to-weight arrangement rendered the Ford RS200 beneath advancing than Ford would accept liked.
Following a alternation of Group B fatalities – one of which saw co-driver Michel Wyder dead – the FIA canned Group B and forth with it, Ford boarded the road-going adaptation of the RS200 to the history books.
The Escort wasn’t the alone banal Ford archetypal to get the RS treatment. Launched in 1986, the Ford Sierra RS Cosworth was a actual altered attractive car to the accepted Ford Sierra ancestors alehouse acknowledgment to its RS anatomy kit, ample rear-spoiler and modded advanced grille and bumper.
The Ford Sierra RS Cosworth was powered by a 16-valve 2.0-litre engine. With the advice of a Garrett T.03b turbocharger and Weber-Marelli ammunition injection, the Ford Sierra RS Cosworth was acceptable for 204bhp through the rear auto and a top-speed of 149mph. A amount tag of aloof beneath £16,000 additionally meant it was a able arrangement supercar.
Like the Ford Capri RS the Ford Sierra RS Cosworth was an accomplished antagonism car, and it enjoyed successes in ambulatory and touring car racing.
Based on the approachable Ford Sierra RS Cosworth platform, the Ford Escort RS Cosworth was alien in 1992 with a simple apriorism – accord Ford its aboriginal World Assemblage Championship aback 1979. While it didn’t administer this, it still racked up eight wins as a Group A car amid 1993 and 1996 and two added as a WRC car in 1997-1998.
Powered by a 227bhp 2.0-litre Cosworth acquainted agent with a Garrett turbocharger, the abiding four-wheel drive Ford Escort RS Cosworth was acceptable for 147mph. Admitting activity out of assembly in 1996, the Ford Escort RS Cosworth – or “Cossie” as it’s affectionately alleged by enthusiasts – is still a abutting favourite amid RS admirers today, acknowledgment to its billowing body-kit, accomplished achievement and huge whale-tail addle-brain on the back.
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While it may feel a tad apathetic compared to some modern-day mega hatches, the Ford Escort RS Cosworth was a giantkiller at the time: it had the aforementioned 0-60mph time of 5.7 abnormal as Ferrari 348 and Auto Express’ Editor-in-chief Steve Fowler afresh commented, “this was the hottest of hot hatches and it absolutely couldn’t get any hotter.”
Admit it, you’d still accept one, wouldn’t you?
When it was launched in 2002, the aboriginal Ford Focus RS was the aboriginal Blue Oval car to abrasion the fabulous RS brand in six years afterwards the annihilation of the abundant admired Escort RS Cosworth.
Available as a bound run until backward 2003, the front-wheel drive Ford Focus RS was powered by a 2.0-litre 16-valve Duratec agent that produced 212bhp and had a top-speed of 144mph. It was additionally accessible in one colour – the arresting Imperial Blue – and was off-set with a anatomy kit that was afflicted by the Ford Focus WRC car. Huge 18-inch O.Z. alloys auto completed the effect.
Ford additionally agitated the Focus RS’ advancing administration over to the interior, applicable it with Sparco race-style seats and blue-black trim to bout the exterior. In agreement of handling, the aboriginal bearing Ford Focus RS didn’t disappoint, and the motoring columnist accepted it for its absorbing performance, admitting it actuality bottomward on ability compared to WRC-inspired rivals such as the Subaru Impreza and the Mitsubishi Lancer Evo.
After the aboriginal Ford Focus RS went out of assembly at the end of 2003, Ford RS admirers were already afresh fabricated to delay addition six-years for the abutting fast Ford.
Initially appear in 2007, the Ford Focus RS Mk2 hit the alley in aboriginal 2009. Similar to its predecessor, the Ford Focus RS Mk2 featured a accepted front-wheel drive layout, but it was powered by a adaptation of the Volvo-sourced 2.5-litre Duratec agent that additionally powered the 225bhp Ford Focus ST.
Tweaks to the agent saw the Mk2 Ford Focus RS aftermath 301bhp, which propelled it to 62mph in 5.9 abnormal and gave it a top acceleration of 163mph. It’s no abruptness again that Ford claimed it was as abutting to active a road-going adaptation of its Ford Focus WRC – the car that claimed the WRC manufacturers’ titles in the 2006 and 2007 – as you could get.
The Ford Focus RS still looks the part, alike bisected a decade on, acknowledgment to its ample rear diffuser, advancing RS anatomy kit and affecting rear spoiler. The additional bearing Ford Focus RS was additionally characterised by three lairy exoteric colours: Ultimate Green, Frozen White and Achievement Blue.
The Mk2 Ford Focus RS additionally paved the way for the Focus RS 500. Launched in 2010, the Ford Focus RS 500 was a bound copy (500 were made, with 101 destined for the UK market) Ford Focus RS, which was alone accessible in matte-black. It was additionally the fastest Ford Focus anytime produced acknowledgment to tweaks by Mountune, which added ability achievement to 345bhp and a top acceleration of 165mph.
Have you anytime endemic a Ford with an RS badge? Which would you accept if you had the chance? Tell us in the comments area below. And don’t balloon to booty our fast Fords quiz…