While American fans of Ford performance cars in the ’80s and early ’90s were loving the 5.0 Mustang, Taurus SHO and, for those who wanted to be a little different, the Merkur XR4Ti, British fans of the Blue Oval were getting their own unique take on speed. The Sierra RS Cosworth (which was similar but not identical to the aforementioned Merkur) and later Escort RS Cosworth were the stuff of dreams with huge wings, hood vents and big power for their time and class. XCar Films aims to find out whether it is little more than nostalgia that makes these classics famous or it really is their legitimate performance.
Thanks to its Formula One and racing success, Cosworth was already a well-established performance name in the UK by the time it began selling tuned engines to Ford for the Sierra and Escort. The Sierra RS Cosworth hit the scene in 1986 with a turbocharged, 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine with 204 horsepower and rear-wheel drive. Its huge wing at the back signaled it immediately as something special, and it proved to be a performance powerhouse on and off the track. When it was retired, Ford replaced it with the Escort RS Cosworth that used an upgraded version of the same engine with 217 hp, all-wheel drive and an even bigger rear wing to net yet more racing victories.
XCar really gets into the spirit of the time, opening the video with the lo-fi grain of ’80s and ’90s TV, but to find out whether the Cossies stand up to modern scrutiny, you have to watch the video below. Stay tuned until the end to enjoy them at their best with some vintage motorsports footage.