Born as a result of the Group A homologation for the World Rally Championship, the Escort RS Cosworth really marked Ford’s history and the WRC. Based on the 5th generation of the Escort, the RS first 2500 units (before Jan 1993) were built specifically for the FIA’s requirements and recognised as homologation special versions.
As for many rally cars of that era, it featured a 2L turbocharged inline-4 Cosworth YBT engine developing 227hp. Though as for its counterparts, the power output could be massively improved thanks to forged internals, larger turbo, exhaust, etc… The impressive permanent 4wd system offers a 66% rear bias which is a high figure compared to similar cars of the same generation.
However, the first homologation special versions were deemed too brutal to be used by everyone and Ford revised their copy by swapping the original Garrett T3/T04B turbo for a smaller T25 unit which improved road behaviour and reduced lag (for models produced from late 1994). The chassis and drivetrain, however, were borrowed from its older brother, the Sierra Cosworth. The Escort was built at the German coachbuilder Karmann’s plant where the Escort Mk.V panels were assembled on the Sierra chassis.
The car balance and performance was outstanding and could easily compete with the likes of Audi Quattro, Lancia Delta Integrale or BMW M3 E36.
The goal for Ford was to build a World Rally Champion car with the Cossie, and unfortunately, they did not achieve it. The car was competitive and managed to score a couple of victories, however, it was no match for the Celica Turbo and later the Mitsubishi Lancer (Evo III to V). Ultimately, after a total of 10 rally victories over 6 years, Ford decided to definitely retire the Escort from the WRC.
Regardless of the number of victories – or the lack therein – we strongly believe that the Escort Cosworth is one of the all-time greats, just like the Delta Integrale or the Audi Quattro are.
Just over 7000 units were produced which makes the Escort Cossie a rather rare occurrence on our roads.It is also quite a historic achievement as it is the first production car to ever produce downforce at the front and the back – so yes, that massive whale wing is not just there for the looks!
Today, prices range from £20k to over £50k and even £90k for one rare unicorn with 837 miles on the clock as seen at the NEC Motors Show recently.
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