THIS 1985 RS200 IS ONE OF THE BEST PRESERVED IN THE WORLD, 100% ORIGINAL WITH ONLY 5328 REAL MILES.
The year was 1983 and Ford was fully committed to the Escort RS1700T project with turbo and rear wheel drive to compete in the Group B World Rally Championship. However, the delays in the competition program, added to the dominance imposed by Audi and its all-wheel drive Quattro, showed that the RS1700T would have no chance of winning. Stuart Turner, Sporting Director of Ford Europe, decided to cancel the program and in less than ten months developed the beautiful RS200, which was presented at the Turin Motor Show in November 1984.
Designed by the Ghia Design Studio in Turin and produced by Ford Motorsport in Boreham between 1984 and 1986.
The RS200 featured beautiful plastic and fiberglass composite bodywork, with doors and windscreen borrowed from the Ford Sierra. The aluminum monocoque was the work of Formula One designer Tony Southgate, while the overall development was carried out by John Wheeler.
The engine was a supercharged 1800 cc Cosworth four-cylinder with a Garrett turbo, positioned centrally and mated to a five-speed gearbox that distributed power to all four wheels. Unlike its rivals, the RS200 was born designed to compete and was technically the most advanced of all Group B, thanks to its low center of gravity and fully independent suspension with double shock absorbers and spiral per wheel, which improved maneuverability and grip. To achieve a perfect 50/50 weight distribution, engineers mounted the transmission at the front, which required power from the engine to be transmitted to the front axle and then redirected to the rear axle. The street versions offered 250 hp at 6500 rpm, with a top speed of 225 km/h and acceleration from 0 to 100 km/h in just 6 seconds. It is not a car for beginners: the perfect chassis balance, added to the turbo lag and all-wheel drive, makes driving a truly demanding experience. The competition versions easily exceeded 450 hp.
The money and time invested in the project disappeared in less than a year. The demise of Group B meant RS200 would be difficult to find 200 buyers. As several drivers already showed some interest in participating in Rallycross races, some of the cars were disassembled to provide spare parts. Around 20 cars were converted into “RS200 Evo”, whose engine was boosted to 2100 cc and up to 650 horsepower by Formula 1 tuner Brian Hart. Eventually, some 144 units of RS200 left the Reliant factory, only 90 of them were the 250 hp road cars. The last car had not found a buyer until 1990.
The debut of the RS200 took place at the 1986 Swedish Rally, where it obtained a third place, its best result in the category. After being banned from Group B at the end of that year, it made it to the European Rallycross tournament where he won numerous victories and the Division 2 Championship in 1991. In 2004, an RS200 with over 800 hp entered the Pikes Peak climb in Colorado, United States. Swedish driver Stig Blomqvist won the class for him and became the third world rally champion to win there, along with Walter Röhrl (1987) and Ari Vatanen (1988).
Today the Ford RS200 is regarded as a rarity, a one-of-a-kind collector’s item, a cult car designed to win on the world’s toughest terrain and a classic thoroughbred from what was the heyday of the World Rally Championship.
Maintenance performed by Squadra Lupo:
-Fuel system service.
-Steering wheel restored with original red tanning.
-Restored trunk bump.