Ford RS200

The Ford RS200 is a two-seat sports coupe of the European branch of the Ford Motor Company.


The Ford RS200 was designed exclusively for use in rallying, strictly speaking, been designed in the former group B and therefore dismissed the their typical features, such as four-wheel drive and a mid-engine on. For homologation in Group B only had a series of 200 vehicles to be produced, leading to the development of pure " race bikes ", the so-called " Group B monsters " with several manufacturers.

The RS200 was developed in 1983 after the based on the escort of the third series RS1700T project was canceled ( RWD ) prematurely for fear of failure by Ford. By 1985, the parts were made ​​for all required 200 vehicles were completed suspected but only 140 to 146 automobiles. Also because you later dissected a part of the not yet completely finished vehicles for spare parts required in their individual parts. In addition, some test vehicles by Ford were even scrapped. Today, around 140 Ford RS200 are known, which are called genuine (English for authentic ) because they were completed by Ford, respectively, in the Ford contract. Moreover, there are so-called Bitsa cars (bits = engl. For [ replacement ] parts) that emerged later from original parts with Ford serial numbers.

The name came from the abbreviation for rallying and the need for homologation number. The six prototypes of the RS200 were built as well as the rest of the 194 series cars at Reliant in Shonstone. The car was delivered as a road and rally version.

The RS200 had a list price of 49,950 pounds sterling ( approximately 92,500 DM ( 47,300 euros ), according to the current value of 84,100 Euros ) and was delivered with several extras. The RS200 remains - Sierra RS500 Cosworth together with the and the Focus RS500 - one of the rarest cars from Ford's RS series. Therefore, vehicles of this type have today an estimated value of more than 150,000 euros.



The DOHC four-cylinder engine of the RS200, 16-valve turbocharged developed by Cosworth. The Cosworth BDT block has 86 mm bore and 77.62 mm stroke, resulting in a displacement of 1.8 liters. The engine block is primarily based on the RS1700T, but he has dry sump lubrication and optimized water and fuel pumps. The exhaust manifold is a welded part of heat-resistant steel tubes.

The turbocharger of the vehicle came from Garrett and was an evolution of the models T03 and T04. The boost pressure was raised bar for racing to 1.2. With a reduced compression ratio of 7.8:1, at least theoretically, 279 kW ( 374 hp) power could be achieved.

Later ( 2137 cm3 ) 20 units of RS200 were once more with so-called Evolution 2 engines homologated, which had been developed by Briton Brian Hart, almost exclusively in the Rallycross sports were used and where maximum power of over 485 kW ( 650 PS) have been attested.

Transmission and Translation

The vehicle has three self- locking differentials by Ferguson to drive the four wheels. One was built as a center differential near the five-speed gearbox, the other two were attached to the axles. This setup was chosen to allow an RS200 power splitting of 37 % to 63% of the front axle and on the rear axle. The center differential can be locked to make on very smooth surfaces, the force distribution of the adhesion of the wheels depends. This lock is activated by a lever inside the cockpit and was delivered only in the particular rallying cars.

The 16 -inch wheels are made of aluminum and were P700 225/50 VR 16 relative to the first Pirelli tires to the specification.

Suspension and Brakes

The brakes were ventilated disc brakes with 285 mm diameter and aluminum callipers with four pistons. There was no brake booster. The wheels were aqufgehängt on wide wishbones with double shock absorbers, which were prepared for dual coil springs, although only simple springs were used. The rack and pinion steering was derived from the Ford Sierra.

Body and interior

The RS200 was produced as a left-and right-hand drive.

The body was designed by the Italian design firm Ghia in collaboration with the Ford motor sports department in Boreham ( Essex ).

The outer form was new and was not based on any previous Ford product. Served as a chassis, a lattice frame, the sheath was made ​​of glass fiber reinforced plastic. The roof panel and the door frame composed of plastic, which was reinforced with a mixture of glass, carbon and aramid fibers. To save weight, PMMA was used for the side and rear windows.

As the regulations of group B necessarily dictated the derivation of the body of a production car and demanded that windshield, roof section between A- and B-pillars and the doors had to come from a production model in form and material, these parts were used by Sierra. In the context of evolution models, the material could be chosen freely, so the latter were later converted to a new design of fiber composites.

The double-walled Aluminium fuel tank was located behind the seats.

The street version of Sparco seats contained in either red or black as well as a related with leather XR3i steering wheel. It was also equipped with floor mats and door panels, the powerful engines Furthermore, were less built that held a little longer. The dashboard has been taken over by the Fiesta of the second series, as well as the switches and air vents. The road version was only available in the colors white and blue, and both right-and left-hand drive.


In the World Rally Championship the RS200 debuted in 1984 and found the Peugeot 205 Turbo 16, the Lancia Delta S4, MG Metro 6R4 and the ARG Audi Sport quattro S1 at least equal opponents. As part of the Group B more powerful engines for the vehicles were always possible, with capacities of up to 378 kW (500 hp). The arms race for the leadership position in this group motivated even Ferrari, the GTO to try a new start in rallying.

However, the high speeds made ​​the sport more dangerous than before. In the years 1985 and 1986 there were a number of serious accidents with fatalities. This has also affected the RS200, as in the Rally of Portugal in 1986, the Portuguese Joaquim Santos in his car off the track. This accident killed three spectators and injured another 33 Even the Swiss Formula 1 driver Marc Surer had in 1986 at Hessen- Rally Germany in a serious accident with a Ford RS200, in which his co-driver Michel Wyder was killed. There were an accident at the Rally Corsica same year, the Lancia driver Henri Toivonen and his co-driver Sergio Cresto and burned in the flames of their Lancia Delta S4, the FIA World Rally Championship Group B cars ruled the end of the 1986 season, to ban. This was the end for the RS200 and its competitors. The best result of an RS200 was the third place of Sweden Karl -Erik goby in the Rally of Sweden 1986.

From 1987, the attention was directed to the vehicles of the new group A, the homologation requires 5000 series vehicles. To follow all the manufacturers were forced to derive from built in larger numbers series models rally cars again.

In other motorsports the RS200 but was still used, particularly in the European Rallycross he could help by early 1987 until the end of 1992 racers to further success. In recent years, vehicles are rarely moves in sports use, mainly in mountain races (like the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb ) or at national rally-cross race in the UK and Ireland.