Words & pictures - Daniel Bevis
The Escort RS Cosworth was a rather fabulous idea that emerged in 1992. The car it's based on, the mkV Escort was, it has to be said, a somewhat unlovable thing (and I speak from experience - I had this RS2000 and it was... not great) - cheaply made, uninspiring, a bit of a wet blanket. But of course, that wasn't really the base car for the RS Cosworth...
Ford wanted to build a Group A car for WRC rallying, and decided to effectively drape a mkV Escort shell over a chopped-about Sierra Cosworth floorpan; the chassis and mechanicals were proven entities, and the ensuing halo effect would cast a cheery glow over the new Escort range. Winner on all levels.
The car featured four-wheel drive, a 2.0-litre turbocharged YB (offering 217bhp, with near-infinite tuning potential) and, of course, there was that whaletail. Combined with the boisterous box arches, it looked magnificent.
The version you see here is rather special. It's one of a limited run of Monte Carlo edition Cosworths; 200 were built - 70 RHD - and they came with OZ Racing wheels, a bigger turbo, and 227bhp. Although this one has gone a step further... peer closely and you'll see copious use of carbon-fibre in the aero addenda, a ground-hugging stance bolstered by sticky R888s, and a sodding great intercooler peeking out from behind the bumper.
Is that numberplate a realistic representation of just how far the underbonnet tuning has gone? Well, it wouldn't be unheard of... the story goes that this was originally a development car for Collins Performance, and featured a T4 turbo, RS500 manifold, water injection, traction control, AP 4-pot brakes, Bilstein suspension, Ford Motorsport 909 gearbox with dogleg first, Quaife diffs, the works. Since then it's received 8-pot Brembos, a beefier gearbox, and all manner of performance developments. A formidable machine, and something of a scene legend.
Spotted at MATP 2014 - click here for more.