- Ford Escort RS Cosworth
name = Escort RS Cosworth
manufacturer = Ford
production = 7,145 (total):
body_style = 3-door
layout = front engine
CosworthYBT 1993cc turbocharged I4
transmission = 5 speed
length = 421 cm
width = 174 cm
height = 136 cm
weight = 1360 kg
Ford Sierra RS Cosworth
The Escort RS Cosworth was a sports derivative of the Ford Escort. It was available from 1992-96 and in very limited numbers. It was instantly recognisable due to its large "whale tail" rear spoiler. The main selling point was the
CosworthYBT engine, a highly tunable turbocharged 2-litre engine which put out 227bhp in standard trim. Tuned ouputs have been known to get close to and over 1000bhp.
Ford developed the car around the chassis and mechanicals of its predecessor, the Sierra Cosworth. 'Ghia' further modified the Escort bodyshell to accommodate the larger Cosworth engine and transmission. Changes were made to the engine management system and a new turbocharger was fitted. Permanent four wheel drive with a 34/66% front/rear split came courtesy of an uprated five speed gearbox as used in the Sierra Cosworth. Recaro sports seats came as a standard fitment. Later production models were available without the oversize tail spoiler although by far the majority were still ordered with it. Like its Sierra predecessor, they are commonly nicknamed "Cossie" by
boy racers. [ [http://www.evo.co.uk/news/evonews/36302/cossies_return.html Cossie's Return | evo News | News | evo ] ]
The Escort Cosworth was a very rare car indeed, with a mere 7,145 vehicles produced from the start of production on
19 February 1992until the last car rolled out of the factory on the 12th of January 1996.
Two versions were produced. The initial 2500 units were "homologation specials" used to get the
FIAaccreditation for entry into the World Rally Championship. They were fitted with a Garrett T3/T04B turbocharger. Among these initial units, a handful were badged as "Motorsport" versions, these lacked certain refinements such as a sunroof and sound deadening. The second generation, starting production from late 1994, were fitted with a Garrett T25 turbocharger, a smaller unit which reduced turbo lag and increased usability in everyday driving situations. With these later models, the 'whale tail' spoiler became an option.
The car was to be Ford's new rally car, and very successful it became with its total victories amounting to 8 in
Group Aguise. Drivers included famous victor at the 1994 Monte Carlo Rally, the Frenchman Francois Delecour, future quadruple World Drivers' Champion Tommi Makinen(who took his maiden event victory for Ford in Finlandthat same year before departing for Mitsubishifor 1995), as well as the Belgian, Bruno Thiryand, from 1996, 1990 and 1992 World Drivers' Champion Carlos Sainzof Spain. One-time 1988 and 1989 back-to-back title-winning force for Lancia, Miki Biasionand 1991 Rally Catalunyawinner Armin Schwarzwere among the other fabled pilots to be seen behind the wheel.
After modifications were made to the car to make it a
World Rally Carfor the 1997 and 1998 seasons, it went on to score two more victories for the now Cumbria-based Ford Motor Company Rally Team. With Thiry, Ari Vatanen(on a one-off podium-scoring basis at the Safari Rallyafter Thiry suffered an injury) and four-time World Drivers' Champion Juha Kankkunennow behind the wheel of the cars, the Escort name finally bowed out of works rallying altogether after a double-podium at the season-ending 1998 Rally of Great Britain.
The Escort RS Cosworth was produced until early in 1996 when the EU introduced a tough new set of noise regulations for motor vehicles and Ford decided to stop production rather than change the car to meet the new noise regulations. Despite this, the now-modified RS Cosworth was used by Ford as their factory rally car until it was permanently replaced by the Focus WRC for the
Monte Carlo Rallyof 1999.
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