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By Antony Ingram, 18 Jul 2015

The announcement of more aggressive WRC cars has us hunting for an old Group B legend

Earlier this week, World Rally Championship organizers revealed outline plans for the next generation of WRC cars, due to make their debut in 2017.

The new vehicles will have more power than the current cars, and feature belligerent bodywork aimed at making the cars more dramatic to look at.

With extra length and width to the body, it could give us some of the most dramatic rally cars since the Group B era. What it won’t give us are true homologation specials, such as those popular throughout Group B, Group A and earlier WRC regulations.

Of these, Group B is remembered most fondly — and for good reason. Manufacturers were required to produce just 200 cars for homologation purposes. In automotive terms, that’s a tiny number. Without the need to meet the needs of wide range of consumers, manufacturers designed some of the craziest vehicles ever seen in racing.

From the mid-engined, V6 Austin Metro 6R4 to the sleek, low-slung Lancia 037, Group B cars were as far removed from their base vehicles as a DTM car is from the common-or-garden C-Class or Audi A4.

But those cars bore at least loose resemblance to road cars in each manufacturer’s lineup; the Ford RS200 was quite unlike any Escort or similarly humble Ford.

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Like the 6R4, Ford chose a mid-mounted layout for the RS200. It also used a four-wheel drive layout, while the composite body was designed by Ghia and assembled by Reliant. Sitting behind the driver was a 1.8-litre, Cosworth-fettled four-pot. Its 250bhp arrived as the engine spun to 6500rpm, shortly after a 215lb ft crest in the torque curve at 4500-5000rpm.

Rally versions, naturally, produced a great deal more than that — about 200bhp more, in fact. Sadly, the death of Henri Toivonen and his co-driver Sergio Cresto at Corsica in 1986 marked the last of several incidents that brought about Group B’s downfall. The cars were too fast, too dangerous.

The RS200’s history lasted just two years, though the car was subsequently popular in rallycross, which became home, and grave, to many Group B legends.

The rate of attrition means examples like this RS200 at Joe Macari Performance Cars in Wandsworth (via Classic and Performance Car) are now very rare indeed.

They also command a healthy sum - £245,000 in this case — but with just 3650 miles on the odometer and in immaculate condition, it’s hard to disagree with such a price. These days, you’re more likely to see a rally-prepared RS200 than a road car too, so the premium can be explained on rarity value alone.

One thing is for sure — no 2017 WRC car will command quite as much respect as the RS200 and its Group B brethren.

Just looking ? Ford RS200 | Evo
 

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So awesome. Ide pay 50 grand for a modern day group B car.
 

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I'm a huge fan of these things myself. That was my dream car as a little kid believe it or not. I was in Vegas a couples years ago, and they had an EVO variant of the RS200 for sale! These things make the car above look like a toy. 2.1 turbo with almost 600hp!!! This exact car held the 0-60 record for 12 years! 200 RS's were made, and only 24 were converted to EVOs. If I had a spare $350k, I would have put the cash down immediately.

Here is a quick sum up of the RS200 EVO, as well as the story behind the 0-60 record: One of the longest held 0-60 records of all time - Right Foot Down

1986-ford-rs200-evolution.jpg

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Wouldn't it be crazy if ford made a mid engine 2.3 Ecoboost rally car again. Of course it would be pointless, but I would want one. They could park it next to the ford GT in showroom floors. It would be shocking to see them add this as one of the 12 performance models they plan on releasing.
 

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Another RS200 EVO photo
 

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One of the baddest road legal cars produced from any car company, ever.... Only issue being that is was too difficult to drive for professional rally drivers at the time, so I doubt I would last to long before I wrapped it around a tree. Its known as one of the quickest, and most dangerous cars ever built!

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
Is that a Merkur or Sierra getting a citation?

rs200.jpg
 

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RS200 in action:

in action.jpg
 

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If you watched the extended global introduction of the new RS (the one that shows every RS since introduced) Ken Block said he had recently acquired a RS200 that he plans to use as a road car....lucky MoFo he is.
 

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For all you gamers out there, you can test drive the 1985 Ford RS200 Evolution and other awesome Ford vehicles in the new Forza Motorsport 6 on Xbox.

Forza Motorsport 6 Reveals Lime Rock Park Track, Lots of Ford Cars - Softpedia
Not for all gamers, just those willing to put up with Microsoft console gaming. Only way I would get Forza 6 is if it comes to PCs running Windows 10, no Live account required for online play and I can use my current G25 wheel with it.
 

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That's definitely a Cosworth Sierra. I owned an 86 Xr4Ti in the bright blue (I don't remember what the color was named). Such a great car with huge turbo lag. Fun story: Driving it from Salt Lake City, Utah to Lake Powell (Bullfrog Marina) in the middle of the night back in about 1992. Chasing friends in an 89 Mustang GT and a buddy pulling a boat with an old Dodge Power Wagon. I hit a cat somewhere south of Price, Utah on the interstate...going about 130! I still feel bad about the cat, but it was a great drive and fun memories.
 

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Rs200

This may be an idiotic question, but I am going to ask it.

Out of curiosity, why has Ford not come out with a street legal car that can match the power of the RS200?

How does a 30 year old RS200 have a 0-60 of about 3 seconds, and then 30 years later there is nothing in Ford's current lineup that can compete with the raw power (besides Ford GT).

Am I missing something? I am soooo excited for my Focus RS and it will be plenty fast, this is not a complaint, just curiosity.

I will also try to answer the question myself.

1. Cost of maintenance to high?
2. MPG not sufficient for legal reasons?
3. Purchase price too high? They wouldn't make enough profit?
 

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This may be an idiotic question, but I am going to ask it.

Out of curiosity, why has Ford not come out with a street legal car that can match the power of the RS200?

How does a 30 year old RS200 have a 0-60 of about 3 seconds, and then 30 years later there is nothing in Ford's current lineup that can compete with the raw power (besides Ford GT).

Am I missing something? I am soooo excited for my Focus RS and it will be plenty fast, this is not a complaint, just curiosity.
That was a group B homogation car. Only like 200 made, I doubt we will ever see one again, unfortunately.
 

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This may be an idiotic question, but I am going to ask it.

Out of curiosity, why has Ford not come out with a street legal car that can match the power of the RS200?

How does a 30 year old RS200 have a 0-60 of about 3 seconds, and then 30 years later there is nothing in Ford's current lineup that can compete with the raw power (besides Ford GT).

Am I missing something? I am soooo excited for my Focus RS and it will be plenty fast, this is not a complaint, just curiosity.
Engine technology has advanced quickly, but not that quickly. The RS200 had a 1.8L engine putting out ~450 hop and ~360 ft lbs of torque. For however long it takes to finish the rally, and then it has to be rebuilt. F1 engines have been able to get 800hp+ out of 1.5L, but again only for the length of one race.

The production RS200 put out 250hp from its 1.8L, which can be matched by turbo Integras from the 90s and, conveniently, the Focus ST. I don't have a guess what the 0-60 is on the production models, but given a curb weight of 2300 lbs I'd guess that the fancy technology and crazy torque of the RS would be a pretty decent match.
 
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