RX Ford RS200E – Martin Schanche

Published on: Jan 17, 2016 @ 20:43
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Ford RS200 Evolution RX – Martin Schanche

Before news of the cancellation of Group B was made public in mid-1986, Ford had already begun working on the next “evolution” model of their RS200. It is sometimes referred to as the “RS200 Evolution” or “RS200E”, which is the fully upgraded version of the rally car Ford would have run in the 1987 WRC championship if Group B had not been disbanded. A few lucky examples were reported to have been converted to the new spec before the project was cancelled. Some had only the “evolution” engine implanted, while a rumoured 4 units got the full package that also included slightly revised aerodynamics.

Such a RS200E (engine upgrade only) was bought by Ford of Norway and entered into the 1987 European RX Championship to be driven by the Norwegian known as “Mister Rallycross”, Martin Schanche, to replace his ageing Ford Escort Xtrac special (to which he is credited in large part for helping the creation of the Xtrac four wheel drive system).

Schanche was known to largely fiddle with his cars, replacing parts with his own creations, so it is rumoured that he might have partly converted his RS200 to the Xtrac system at some point. As the rallycross “horsepower war” raged on, the BDT-E engine was reportedly tuned to produce a hefty 650 BHP. For the final races, fierce competitors like Schanche were known to crank up the boost even more, which often saw the horsepower numbers surpass the 800 and 900 range.

Schanche’s RS200 also later received the “evolution” aero package which included a taller roof scoop to aid the intercooler get cool air and side NACA ducts in the quarter panels to augment rear brake cooling.

Martin Schanche would win the 1991 European Championship with the car. He would race his RS200E until the phasing out of Group B cars in rallycross at the end of the 1992 season.


Group/Class Formula A – Division 2 Championships: 1 (1991)
Years Active 1987~1992
Type BDT-E, I-4, DOHC 16v, gas located centrally (mid engine) longitudinal at 23o
Displacement 2137 cc
Compression ratio N/A
Output power – torque 650+ HP @ – rpm (claimed) – lb-ft @ – rpm
Materials block: aluminium cylinder head: aluminium
  • Garrett TR-03 turbocharger
  • air/air intercooler
  • Bosch motronic multipoint electronic fuel injection
boost: N/A
Ignition electronic / firing order 1-3-4-2
Cooling system water-cooled
Lubrication system dry sump with 3 oil pumps
Type four wheel drive 5 speed transaxle gearbox mounted in the front with a second driveshaft to power the rear wheels
Gearbox ratios
  • N/A
  • N/A
Differential ratio N/A
  • N/A
Clutch Fichtel & Sachs twin plate
Type Aluminum honeycomb lower chassis with carbon glass aramid composite upper structure and steel roll cage. Front & rear high strength alloy subframes. 2 door coupe plastic composite, carbon glass aramid epoxy composite bodyshell and bonnets, with plastic composite bumpers
Front suspension double wishbones with twin coil springs and twin cocentric dampers, blade-type adjustable anti-roll bar
Rear suspension double wishbones with twin coil springs and twin cocentric dampers, blade-type adjustable anti-roll bar and toe control link
Steering system rack and pinion 12:1
Brakes N/A N/A
Dimensions (based off the rally car)
length: 4000 mm (157.5 in) width: 1785 mm (70.3 in) height: 1321 mm (52.0 in)
wheelbase: 2530 mm (99.6 in) front track: 1502 mm (59.1 in) rear track: 1497 mm (58.9 in)
Rims – tires N/A
Dry/Unladen Weight 960 kg (2,115 lb) *estimated
Weight/power N/A
Fuel tank 25 liters


(C) Article by Jay Auger – website owner & author

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