Tiny and turbocharged
Not all is well within the Ford family of vehicles, especially when it comes to supercars. Ask many Blue Oval fans about the fastest Fords of yore, and they’ll list off icons like the GT, late-great GT500, and the rare Cobra R. But there’s one often forgotten Ford on that list, and arguably one hotter than all the rest.
Enter the Ford RS200. Built to conquer the unbelievably dangerous sport of Group B rallying, the 1985 Ford RS200 was a literal race car for the road, and it packed unthinkable power (upwards of 600 hp) in a tiny, turbocharged, mid-engine, all-wheel drive package. It was the tip of a technological spear. A scant 200 road cars were ordered to be built in order for the RS200 to race, and this is one of those rare beasts. A late 1986 model, this Ford RS200 recently surfaced on eBay and its starting bid is as lofty as its performance—$250,000. These are unicorns.
A clean sheet-build, the Ford RS200 was about as racy as Group B racing got. Mounted mid-ship was a 1.8-liter Cosworth four-cylinder engine, which erupted 450 horsepower in race-spec and 250 hp in road-going form, all put to the ground through a five-speed manual and all-wheel drive system. The dash from zero to 60 mph took just three seconds, and even less time for the rarified “Evolution” cars, of which 24 were said to have been built. Those rare birds featured enlarged 2.1-liter engines and boasted 600 horsepower of muscle. Though Ford was mandated to construct 200 road cars, most sources agree that many fewer were actually sold (the widely accepted figure is 146 “sold”). What makes this one particularly interesting is its story. According to the listing, this Ford RS200 is said to be one of the last built (chassis #169), and it allegedly sat in Ford’s Boreham, England motorsport facility until August 1994, when it was sold to a Michigan collector.
What isn’t so clear is whether the car is street-legal. By the sounds of things, it appears to have been imported to the US under the “show and display” vehicle importation clause, which skirts vehicle emission and crash safety testing for historically significant or rare vehicles. The trade-off however is that there may be restrictions on how many miles it can be driven, per its importation status. Further investigation would be necessary. Fast forward to today, and the current owner is said to be the car’s third, now located in San Antonio, Texas. While many of these cars remain in collections, this would appear to be a very well preserved example, showing just 1,983 kilometers (1,232 miles) on its odometer. So Internet, let us know. Would you rather have one of these, or a Ford GT?