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The winged wonder - by Cian Hanley.

Not for the shy type! Photograph provided by Jon Whitton - www.turbocharger.co.uk
Now I don't really like Fords and as the Escort has contributed greatly to the stature of Ford today I am not their greatest fan, but there is one piece of Ford engineering that I... well... I actually like! Those of you who read the Car of the Week regularly might know that I am a great fan of rally derived cars and the Ford Escort RS Cosworth is no exception to my rule.

This radical Ford was introduced in June of 1992. The intended build numbers weren't to exceed 2,500 units, meeting the homologation rules imposed on world rallying. The ingredients: a 2.0-litre, 4 pot, 16 valve, turbocharged engine developing over 200 horses channelled to both axles, em…. Where have we seen this combination before? Oh yes, and a great big rear wing which should now indicate what I am talking about.

The first generation of these Escorts were fitted with the Garrett T35 turbocharger which were prone to a little bit of good old fashioned lag. But in June of 1994 with the rule makers satisfied, Ford decided to make the Cossie a social tarmac eater. These changes included the use of the smaller and less lag prone T25 blower at the expense of 3 ponies. Along with the new turbo a wingless option was offered for the shy. Now not a lot of people know this but it starts life with the floorpan out of a Sierra Cosworth, suitably cut and shut to fit within the basic confines of an Escort bodyshell. Then it was out to Wilhelm Karmann (very respected in the coach building community) in Germany to build the body.

They met one or two parts from the normal Escort like doors, sills, roof panel, etc. that sort of thing. But apart from that this super-Escort was be treated to a wide variety of specially pressed body parts which endow it with a look alluding to a couple of years on steroids and work-outs in the gym. Ford claimed that some 60 % of the car is unique to it. Being a sports model Recaros were standard. There was a leather option but only for £1,100 extra and you had to have the luxury model in the first place. Leather rimmed steering wheel and clocks out of an Aston Vantage were included as well. Jackie Stewart was heavily involved in the development of the steering and suspension and this area of the car has been highly praised in the past.

Rest in peace Escort Cosworth - long live the Focus Cosworth!!!

The Cosworth is still widely used in rallying
Photograph by Mark Sims (copyright) - www.packwood.demon.co.uk
The Focus WRC has taken over from the Escort Cosworth and has been highly successful in its first season Any day now the production version  of the Focus Cosworth road car will be announced Photographs provided by Ford

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