- 1 Ford Escort Cosworth – The Dominant 1990s Rally Icon
Ford Escort Cosworth – The Dominant 1990s Rally Icon
Introduction to the Escort Cosworth
The Ford Escort Cosworth is an iconic high-performance version of the standard Ford Escort compact car. Originally produced from 1992-1996, the Escort Cosworth was conceived specifically for rally racing and was known for its impressive power, handling, and rally success in the 1990s.
Background on the Escort Cosworth
Ford wanted a new rally car to compete with the Lancia Delta Integrale which was dominating rallying in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Ford chose the Escort platform and gave the project to the newly formed Ford Rallye Sport organization.
Development of the High-Performance Cosworth
The Escort Cosworth featured major modifications over the standard Escort to improve performance. Ford commissioned Cosworth to design and produce the engine, a 2.0L turbocharged 16-valve 4-cylinder that produced 227hp in street trim. The Cosworth also received an uprated suspension, brakes, wider bodywork, and aerodynamic enhancements.
Rally Competition Success for the Escort Cosworth
The Escort Cosworth debuted in 1993 and soon proved very successful in the World Rally Championship competition. It took the Constructors’ Championships in 1993, 1994, and 1995 and the Drivers’ Championships in 1993 and 1994 with famous drivers such as Francois Delecour and Carlos Sainz. The Escort Cosworth brought Ford back to the top of rallying.
Impressive Performance Specs
With the high-output Cosworth turbo engine, the Escort Cosworth boasted impressive performance:
- 227hp at 6,250 rpm
- 224 ft-lbs torque at 4,500 rpm
- 0-60 mph in 5.7 seconds
- Top speed of 149 mph
The Cosworth featured advanced technology like variable cam timing, overboots, and water spray injection. Its performance beat many sports cars of the era while still offering real practicality.
Unique Style and Luxury Details
The Escort Cosworth received unique body panels for an aggressive but functional appearance. It featured a large rear wing, front air dam, wide wheel arches, and side skirts. The interior offered luxury touches like Recaro seats, leather/suede accents, and motorized belts. These details set apart the Cosworth from mainstream Escorts.
Enthusiast Icon with Limited Production
Only 7,145 Escort Cosworths were produced during its production run, making it rare and collectible today. With its racing pedigree, high power, and luxury details, the Escort Cosworth became a desirable enthusiast’s car. It left a lasting legacy on the world of rallying and hot hatches. More than 25 years after launch, the Escort Cosworth remains an automotive icon.