Ken Block Hits the Street in Awesome, 700-horsepower Ford RS200
Forget about the Hoonicorn Mustang, this is the ultimate Ford!by Ciprian Florea, on
When you think about Ken Block, you instantly think about awesome drifting and the Gymkhana video series. But you also think about cool cars. Block owns quite a few performance vehicles, and although most of them are Fords, they’re all pretty special. The Hoonicorn Mustang is by far my favorite, but I also dig his 1991 Escort Cosworth rally car and the black Escort Mk2. But Block just got a new rig that might just make me forget about the Hoonicorn. It’s a 1986 Ford RS200, probably the only RS-badged model that’s cooler than the Focus RS. It’s Block’s dream car, and among the ten cars I’d buy in a heart beat as soon as I win the lottery.
Built between 1984 and 1986 as a homologation car for the company’s Group B rally program, the RS200 is a rare vehicle, with only 200 units rolled out. Some 24 of them were later converted to Evolution specs, a configuration that has become an instant classic and it’s highly sought after by collectors nowadays. Block purchased one of these Evo cars and quickly gave it the Gymkhana treatment with matte black paint and an engine upgrade. The turbocharged, 2.4-liter four-cylinder mounted behind the front seats cranks out a whopping 700 horsepower, and I bet we’ll be seeing all of them in some exciting drifting action really soon. Check out the video and the history section on the RS200 below.
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Ford RS200 History
The RS200 was developed so that Ford could join the Group B rally craze of incredibly fast, turbocharged, all-wheel-drive race cars. With the Escort no longer able to keep up with the Audi Quattro and the Lancia Delta, Ford developed a new race car with a unique design and a mid-engined configuration. It had a plastic-fiberglass body penned by Ghia, four-wheel-drive, and were built in cooperation with Reliant, which had a vast experience with fiberglass bodies. The chassis was designed by former Formula One designer Tony Southgate.
Power came from a 1.8-liter, turbocharged four-cylinder engine rated at between 350 and 450 horsepower in race-spec trim. The RS200 wasn’t particularly successful in its first year in WRC, so Ford began working on an Evolution model for 2017. This car was planned to deliver as much as 815 horsepower, and Ford claimed it had the ability to hit 60 mph from a standing start in a little over two seconds. However, following a series of severe crashes that led to fatalities, the FIA decided to abolish the Group B class. Left without a series, the RS200 Evo was retired, although some cars were used in Rallycross, while one specific model was converted to IMSA GTO specifications.
Ford built 200 road-legal road cars in addition to the racing version, mostly because WRC rules required them for homologation. Although powered by a similar engine, the road car was detuned to 250 horsepower. Later on, 300-horsepower upgrade kits were made available. A total of 24 of the 200 original cars were converted to Evolution spec. These are among the rarest Fords out there and usually fetch impressive sums at public auctions.
Read our full review on the 1986 Ford RS200.
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