Welcome to the Official home for The Ford RS Owners Club

The RS Cars

The Beginning

Thirty years ago, in 1970, Ford introduced its first-ever RS-badged car, the Escort RS1600. The RS (Rallye Sport) identity has been an important part of Ford's sporting image ever since. Over the years the Rallye Sport name has been applied to 19 spectacular road car models, which often proved their point by winning in races, rallies, in rallycross - and in the marketplace. The 'RS' badge has never been applied lightly, for each and every model and derivative has offered outstanding performance, roadholding, vehicle safety and value for money. RS-badged Fords have always shared a proud sporting tradition and have been built in many different forms. There have been front-engined or mid-engined types, front-wheel-drive, rear-wheel-drive or four-wheel-drive cars, with four-cylinder or six-cylinder normally-aspirated or turbocharged engines. Many have employed wind tunnel testing to evolve innovative aerodynamic features such as the rear aerofoils fitted to Sierra and Escort RS Cosworths. All have pushed out the boundaries of technology and all have been successful in motorsport. The original RS-badged Ford - the Escort RS1600, was the first-ever Ford to use a 16-valve twin-overhead-camshaft engine and the first to be assembled in the new Advanced Vehicle Operation factory at Aveley in Essex. It also became the first Ford model to be sold through an expanding network of specialised
Rallye Sport dealerships..........
  The RS Time line
  • 1968 - New Ford Escort range released January - featuring the Escort Twin-Cam
  • 1970 - Ford Escort RS 1600 released Jan, Escort Twin-Cam still in production
  • 1970 - 50 lightweight Ford Capri RS2600 AKA (plastikbombe) produced March
  • 1970 - production of lightweight Ford Capri RS2600 completed April
  • 1970 - 1st production Capri RS2600 manufactured at Niehl Sept
  • 1970 - The Escort RS Mexico, assembly starts at new AVO factory South Ockendon, Essex Nov
  • 1971 - Twin-Cam engine production finishes Spring
  • 1971 - Ford Capri RS2600 major changes applied October
  • 1972 - RS1600 cylinder blocks changed to Aluminium. Capri RS2600 facelift introduced Autumn
  • 1973 - Ford escort RS2000 released (LHD) Jul
  • 1973 - RHD RS2000 (RHD) introduced, prodcution begins almost imediately Oct
  • 1973 - 250 Ford Capri RS3100's produced at Ford Halewood Nov
  • Dec - 1974 Assembly of MK1 Escort ended, AVO factory closure announced. End of Capri RS2600 production
  • 1975 - Preview of Escort RS1800 Jan
  • 1975 - The Escort RS2000 is previewed Mar
  • 1976 - Ford's Official Jaunuary launch of MKII Escort RS2000
  • 1977 - Escort RS1800 production ended Autumn
  • 1977 - MKII RS Mexico assembly ends, Escort RS2000 revised into Custom & Base models Sept
  • 1980 - End of an era for all rear wheel-drive Ford Escorts July
  • 1980 - New Ford prototype design of RS1700T begins at Boreham Oct
  • 1981 - Ford Capri RS 2.8 Turbo, fitted by Technics, AKA Turbo Technics production started Oct
  • 1981 - RS1600i previewed Sept, LHD versions on sale shortly after
  • 1982 - Ford Capri RS 2.8 Turbo ends 200 units built since 1981 Sept
  • 1982 - The Ford RS1600I goes on general sale, in UK Oct in RHD
  • 1983 - Ford cancel the RS1700T project Mar, Summer end of production of the Escort RS1600i
  • 1984 - The Series 1 RS Turbo is Previewed Oct , Goes on general sale at the end of year.
  • 1985 - The Series I RS Turbo ceases production.
  • The uncertain demise of the never to be Escort 1700T project had left a gap in Group B rallying. Stuart Turner set out to develop a car for the category - RS200, designed in house by an Italian designer, the Ford RS200 was viewed as ugly, however the years have changed many peoples views saying it was most beautiful rally car ever built.
  • 1986 - The Sierra Cosworth was Launched, The next generation Series II RS Turbo released Sept.
  • 1987 - The Sierra RS500 as launched
  • 1988 - The Sierra Sapphire Cosworth was launched
  • 1990 - End of production for the Escort RS Turbo series 2, A productive year for Ford the next gen Escort RS2000 & Escort RS Cosworth released, 4x4 version of the Sapphire Cosworth available
  • 1991 - The Escort RS2000 greatly approved goes on sale Nov
  • 1992 - Ford Escort RS Cosworth goes on sale in May
  • 1994 - Ford release Escort 4x4 RS2000, LHD form Mar , July release in UK in RHD
  • 1994 - New small Turbo RS Cosworth announced May
  • 1994 - 4x4 RS2000 on sale in the UK (RHD) , old shape escort mk 5 slowly phased out July

  • 1996 - end of an era the Ford Escort RS Cosworth finally ceases production Jan

  • 1996 - Ford Motorsport only announce Escort World Rally Car (WRC) announced Nov
  • 1996 - Final Escort RS models- RS2000 & 4x4- discontinued in Dec
  • 1998 - Last ever appearance of Ford Works Escort WRC in RAC rally Nov
  • 1998 - Ford Concept RS Cosworth Focus goes on show at Geneva Motorshow Dec
  • 2003 - Ford still driving on the debut of 2003 Acropolis Rally, the WRC Focus wins on its 3rd trip ever out Jun


Ford RS Car recognised by The Ford Rallye Sport Owners Club.

Escort Sierra Capri Fiesta Focus Specials
Mk1 Mexico
Mk1 RS 1600
Mk1 RS 2000
Mk2 RS 1800
Mk2 RS 2000
Series X
Mk2 Mexico
Mk3 RS1600i
Mk3 RS1700T
Mk3 RS Turbo
Mk4 RS Turbo
Mk5/6 RS 2000

Sapphire 4x4


RS 2600
RS 3100
Zaxspeed T
RS Turbo
RS 1800
RS Mk1
RS Mk2
RS 500

Please click the model required

Ford In Motorsport Like many of the RS models which followed, the RS1600 (and its close relation, the single-cam engined RS2000) found worldwide success in races and rallies such as the East African Safari rally of 1972, three RAC rallies, and the European Touring Car Championship of 1974. Ford Capri RS2600 and RS3100 models were not only high-powered flagship versions of Ford's best-selling coupe range but they also won scores of races including the European Touring car Championships of 1971 and 1972. In the late 1970s the uniquely-styled quad-headlamp RS2000 became the best-selling RS model of all time. Escort RS1800s won more rallies than any other British car, won the World Rally Championship for Makes in 1979, and provided power for both Bjorn Waldegard (1979) and Ari Vatanen (1981) to win the Drivers' titles. In the 1980s the front-wheel-drive RS1600i was the first Escort to use a fuel-injected engine and the first to use a five-speed gearbox, while the Escort RS Turbo was the first to use a turbocharged engine and a viscous-coupling limited-slip differential. Both cars were successful in Touring Car racing, especially the RS Turbo, whose 1.6-litre engine could produce up to 270bhp. The mid-engined RS200, of which only 200 cars were ever made between 1984 and 1986, was intended for Group B rallying, and featured a race-bred steel and carbon-fibre chassis, a turbocharged Cosworth BDT engine and four-wheel-drive. Strikingly styled by Ford's Ghia associate company, the RS200 was at once the most exclusive, and the most expensive, RS Ford offered for sale. During the 1980s, the Cosworth YB-engined 150mph Sierra RS Cosworth family became successful as fast, value-for-money, road cars, while the RS500 derivatives were so dominant in motor racing that the rules of entire Championships had to be re-cast to make sure they did not win every race. Even so, before this could be done, the 500bhp RS500 race cars won the World Touring Car Championship in 1987, the European Touring Car Championship in 1988, along with hundreds of successes at National level. The final Sierra RS Cosworth was a sophisticated road car with four-wheel-drive, and a shortened version of that platform, along with a 227bhp engine, was used in the Escort RS Cosworth, whose extrovert aerodynamic package ensured positive downforce at all road speeds. In the mid-1990s the Escort RS Cosworth returned Ford to the top of rally standings, including victory in the 1994 Monte Carlo Rally - and it also inspired the birth of the Escort World Rally Car of 1997-1998, which brought that pedigree to a nostalgic close. During the 1990s, two superfast versions of the front-wheel-drive Fiesta were marketed - the RS Turbo with a turbocharged CVH engine, and the RS1800 with the award-winning Zetec 16-valve twin-cam unit. At the same time there were the distinctive front-wheel-drive and four-wheel-drive Escort RS2000 models, the first Fords to use the smooth and torquey DOHC 16-valve engine which was later fitted to many Scorpio and Galaxy models. Then, as now, the Rallye Sport brand has been an integral feature of Ford's high performance cars. In 2001, the RS name will make a welcome return, this time on the Ford Focus. This latest addition to the sporty family will continue the tradition of Ford RS high performance vehicles that are developed by motorsport purists for motorsport purists.
The Ford RS Owners Club
PO Box 280, Upminster, Essex, RM14 9BP.
Tel: + 44 (0)8702 406215
email :info@rsownersclub.co.uk
Copyright 1999 - 2012