Ford RS200 Evolution

With the advent of Group B rally racing, Ford set out to develop a rear-wheel drive, turbo-charged variant of their MK III Escort, dubbed the Escort RS 1700T. However, after development problems, Ford was forced to abandon the project. Not wanting to simply write off the cost of the failed 1700T, Ford executives decided to make use of the lessons learned to build an all-new, purpose-built rally car. In order to compete with the likes of the Lancia Delta S4 and the Audi Quattro S1, they decided the new vehicle should also feature four-wheel drive.

In 1984 the RS200 was a unique design, featuring a composite/fiberglass body styled by Filippo Sapino at the Ghia Design Studio. Formula One designer Tony Southgate designed the chassis along with help from former F1 engineer John Wheeler. With a mid-mounted 1.8-liter Cosworth “BDT” engine and its transmission in the front, the RS200 was often considered to have the most balanced platform of its contemporary competitors.

FIA homologation rules dictated that at least 200 of these monsters be built. Of those 200, only 24 were set aside and converted into sacred “Evolution” models. The Ford RS200 Evolution received uprated suspension, brakes and a larger 2.1-liter version of the Cosworth powerplant. At full boost, the RS200 can tear up the tarmac with nearly 600 bhp and hit 60 mph in just over 3 seconds.

This car was auctioned off by RM Auctions in March of 2011 at the Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island, Florida.

420+ bhp, 2,137 cc 16-valve DOHC turbocharged inline four-cylinder engine, five-speed manual transmission, front and rear independent double wishbone suspension, and four-wheel ventilated disc brakes. Wheelbase: 99.6"

Source: RM Auctions
Photo Credit: Copyright Darin Schnabel

Gallery: Ford RS200 Evolution