The Ford RS200 was Ford’s second attempt at building a Group B rally car. Their first attempt was based upon the MK3 Escort converted to rear wheel drive and powered by a 1.8ltr BDT engine pushing 350BHP in full works trim. Fortunately for RS200 fans, it quickly became obvious to Ford that 4 wheel drive was most definitely the way forward and the RS1700T was consigned to history, although its engine was recycled into the RS200.
The RS200 was a brand new ground up design, exploiting the freedom available to manufacturers under Group B rules and for Ford this resulted in the road car being an offspring of the rally car rather than the other way round. The car was an amalgamation of talents, including design company Ghia (Body design) and Formula One designer Tony Southgate (Chassis design) and Ford’s own John Wheeler, himself a Formula One engineer. It featured a plastic/fibreglass composite body which was built on behalf of Ford by Reliant, a company well known for its expertise in producing fibreglass bodies in the form of the Reliant Robin.
Without needing to compromise balance and handling for cabin space, the designers mounted the transmission at the front of the car, but this required that power from the mid mounted engine to go first up to the front wheels and then be run back again to the rear, creating a complex drive train setup. In terms of suspension each corner featured double wishbones equipped with twin dampers aiding handling and helping to give the car what was often regarded as being the best balanced platform of any of the Group B rally cars.
Several of the 200 original built were either never completed or dismantled for spares and sold to rallycross users. This car was built up from such a set of parts, originally owned by Will Gollop (most notable for his escapades in his Metro 6R4 in the British and European Rallycross championships), before being sold on to a guy in Scotland who built it up as a RHD homologated car and MSA log booked it in 2003. Its current owner purchased the car in April 2008, for use on single venue tarmac rallies.
Engine : four-cylinder, in-line, longitudinally mounted in the middle of the car, twin overhead camshafts, four valves per cylinder, 475 bhp, 1,803cc
Induction : Ford electronic fuel injection, Garrett turbocharger
Body : 2-door composite and aluminium monocoque with tubular steel extensions front and rear, fibreglass doors and body panels
Suspension Front : double wishbones, twin coil springs and telescopic dampers, and anti-roll bar
Suspension Rear : double wishbones, twin coil springs and telescopic dampers, and anti-roll bar
Transmission : twin plate clutch, five speed gearbox mounted at the front with the centre differential and driving all four wheels
Weight : 1,080 kg