For no real reason, here are some photos I found of the Ford RS200, which was the blue oval brand’s attempt at a world-beating mid-engined rally car for the soon-to-be-doomed FIA Group B World Rally Championship. It looks great, doesn’t it?
On the Ford Heritage site there’s a great brochure about the RS200 that details a lot of what makes it special. Developed with the help of three-time Grand Prix champ Jackie Stewart, the RS200 featured a mid-mounted 1.8-liter, 16-valve DOHC Cosworth-derived inline-four with a Garrett AiResearch turbocharger. In “Standard” form that was good for 250 horsepower, but it being a rally car it was designed to be boosted up to 420 horsepower for “competition.” As a later Group B car, power was sent to either all wheels or just the rear wheels with the help of a locking center-mounted differential.
What makes the car stand out, to me, is not its face, which is simple and cute. What I love about the purposeful beauty is the roof-mounted intercooler, which elevates the car into the realm of the sublime.
It’s so good. You’d have to be literally crazy to not appreciate it, here, in fully race-spec, being driven by Stig Blomqvist. The good news is that, per homologation regulations, Ford had to build 200 of these things for the road. Here’s one as a police car with a sweet Sierra.
The lightbar blocks the intercooler, but the little British police checker pattern makes me forgive them.
As good as this thing looks from the front, I think the little short-wheelbase car has an absolute banger of a rear. Those taillights are just rainbows of joy and everything about this car just screams “excited bulldog puppy ready for a walk.”
The interior looks great, too.
Obviously, Group B didn’t make it. The cars were too fast and too dangerous. This meant that most RS200s actually ended up in other uses, like Rallycross. Here’s a rallycross one looking awesome:
And here’s a Pikes Peak one looking killer:
Anyway, I just randomly thought of this. How great these cars are. It’s possible you don’t find the engineering beautiful. Sometimes an object can capture the essence of its purpose so successfully and with so little obvious effort that the simplicity is almost overwhelming. There are people who don’t like Brancusi’s ‘Bird in Space.’
It’s fine. Car culture is diverse and speech is free.
If you don’t like it you are entitled to your wrong opinion!