It’s an understatement to say that Ford has alternated between great marketing moves and complete misjudgments of what customers want. In the late ’80s, the Blue House Oval thought people wanted “cars – washers.” They will laugh about the qualities of their car because they won’t keep it for long anyway. So why bother spending miles and cents on a good chassis and build quality worthy of that name?
The fifth generation of Escort, which appeared in 1990, perfectly embodies this vision of things. Well designed, well finished and not overly expensive, however it has a temptation in dealerships. At least, as long as you don’t drive it, because its chassis isn’t flat at all. The specialized press also reported it widely! But, proof that this is no longer really mandatory, Escort started her career brilliantly.
With a long tradition of sports cars, Ford unveiled a very hot version of the compact car at the end of 1991: the RS 2000. Reclaiming the name already in use in the early 1970s, this escort was distinguished by its engine, a 2.0-liter twin-camshaft, 16-valve 150-hp engine. . The running gear, which is the weak point of current models, has been completely modified: damping and stiffening springs, modified geometry, reinforced brakes, etc.
The Escort RS is well received by professionals, who appreciate its dynamic progression, performance and price: 120,060 Fahrenheit, or currently €27,500 according to INSEE. This price includes interesting equipment of the time: sports seats specially designed by Recaro, power steering, ABS, aluminum wheels, fog lights, power windows and mirrors …
However, Ford will remain in the background, facing competition called the Peugeot 309 GTI 16 or Renault 19 16S for example. In 1993, it benefited from a minor restyling that mainly affected the rear faceplate and dashboard, and then ended its career in 1995. The 4×4 version, offered in Germany and England, was not imported. The escort, deeply modified, introduces a new generation, another, who has the qualities of the road at last on the level. Ford realized his mistake.
How much is it ?
You can find Escort RSs in good condition starting at 5,000 euros, which total about 150,000 kilometres. For 6000 euros, you can order a car that does not require any work. At 7,000 euros, the mileage is less than 100,000 km, or even 60,000 km at 10,000 euros.
Which version to choose?
The condition is in the best possible condition, because between stage 1 and stage 2, the differences are minimal.
Any Ford Escort RS in excellent original condition would be a collector’s item, especially with desirable options, such as Recaro bucket seats, sunroof or air conditioning.
What are you monitoring?
The swords of those years, even more than their predecessors, loved rust. Pay special attention to the rear wheel arches, sills, floors, and the battery case, which can collapse!
Under the hood, the engine, from the Sierra and Scorpio, is much more powerful than it was in the latter. The timing chain is supposed to last 160,000 km, but we will listen carefully if there is no noise indicating wear of fasteners or guides. Also beware of hydraulic tappets, which can become noisy due to a stuck regulating valve. There are also oil leaks at the top of the engine. For its part, the MTX75 case is durable and lubricated for life, according to Ford, but make sure it doesn’t waste because its components are expensive.
The cab is aging well, even if the seat structure sometimes breaks. In addition, electrical glitches are not uncommon. With close monitoring, the Escort RS 2000 displays some endurance.
on the steering wheel
On board, the design is not aged too badly, the ergonomics, as well as the driving position, with the adjustable steering wheel are well thought out. Above all, the seat provides excellent support. The engine soundproofs fairly well, but it feels rough at first. Relatively flexible, it shows very well in cycles and grows so well, that you forget about its relative strength. It must also be said that the Escort is relatively light, while the amazing box, short, is timeless. In addition, the crane is very pleasant to handle.
Expect this Escort RS on the corner. She is doing a very good job. The front axle is relatively cut-off, the rear follows without a startle, and the chassis seems balanced. All this is very healthy, even if motor skills and damping remain insufficient. Nothing serious though. Those who know the standard accompaniments will be amazed!
Comfort is good, thanks to the seating above all, and while the noise level can be contained more, it remains tolerable. Finally, the consumption petals 10 l / 100 km, which remained the norm for a car at that time.
Ford Focus ST 170 (2000-2002)
A reference in its class with its impressive body, the Ford Focus I has become a respectable sports car in the ST version. Indeed, under the hood is a powerful 2.0-liter 173-horsepower engine, combined with a 6 box, takes it to 216 km / h. For its part, the fixed suspension enhances the qualities of the road, so much so that one dreams of more power. This will arrive with the RS variant. Available in 3 and 5-doors, the Focus ST can be found from 3,500 euros.
Ford Escort RS 2000 (1992) Technical Specifications
- Engine: 4-cylinder in-line, 1998 cc
- Food: injection
- Suspension: McPherson struts, coil springs, anti-roll bar (AV); torsion axle, coil springs, anti-roll bar (rear)
- Transmission: 5-speed manual, front wheel drive
- Power: 150 HP at 6000 rpm
- Torque: 187 Nm @ 4500 rpm
- Weight: 1120 kg
- Top speed: 208 km/h (manufacturer data)
- 0 to 100 km/h: 8.7 seconds (manufacturer data)
To find a used Ford Escort RS2000, go to the La Centrale website.
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