The Escort RS Cosworth, which started rallying in 1993, was one of the most ingenious designs of all time. What started as a shortened Sierra Cosworth 4x4 platform, topped off by a modified Escort cabin and outer skins, was soon developed into a versatile and sophisticated rally car, and eventually became Ford's most successful since the legendary Escorts of the 1970s. Because it was smaller, lighter, and more nimble than any of the Sierras, the combination of Cosworth power, four-wheel-drive transmission, and an effective aerodynamic package made it a Rally Giant in all conditions. With five World victories in its first season, and success all around the world in later years, it was seen in every continent, in all conditions. Drivers like Carlos Sainz, Tommi Makinen and Francois Delecour added their own stardust to a glittering reputation. To meet a change in regulations, the Escort World Rally Car took over in 1997, and also enjoyed years of success. Until the all-new Focus WRC was launched in 1999, this generation of Escorts was the most effective rally car that Ford had ever produced.
Classic Ford, December 2008
A brilliant road car but an even better rally car, the works Escort Cosworth (later Escort WRC) is celebrated in this book by 'Classic Ford'-contributor, Graham Robson. Covering its design, development and career as a rally tool coverage of the people involved, and all the important events the cars competed on, it's packed with great pictures and is well worth putting on your Christmas wish list.
Old Stager, December 2008
The author's usual in-depth analysis describes the genesis of the RS Cosworth and the subsequent 'stopgap' design World Rally Car Escorts well as providing a detailed history of the car's rallying careers. Interesting to learn that the 'ACE,' project– a mule which married the shortened 4x4 Sierra Cosworth platform with a modified MKIII RS Escort shell – was up and running even before the Sierra Cosworth 4x4 was on sale. The whole project had been kick-started at a meeting in 1988 between Stuart Turner, Peter Ashcroft, Mike Moreton and John Wheeler. As Robson explains. the RS Cosworth was a rally car that was put into production, rather than a road car which happened to be good at competition. Ford had originally planned to produce 5000 as required by the regulations at the time. However, by 1991 the requirements had been halved to 2500 units and the assembly contract went to Karmann ... in the end, 7145 were produced from 1992 to January 1996. The personalities involved all come under Robson's no-nonsense spotlight. Despite all of the upheavals, Malcolm Wilson's M-sport managed to build two reliable newly-designed cars in a couple of months for the 1997 Monte and almost managed a fairy tale result. Sainz finished runner-up behind the works Subaru lmpreza of Piero Liatti. As with the rest of this 'Rally Giants' series, the book is packed with photographs – many from the Ford Archives as well as Martin Holmes' personal archive – with plenty of photos of personalities.