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HISTORY & PICTURES
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 four units got the full package that also included slightly revised aerodynamics.
Such a RS200E (engine upgrade only) was purchased by Ford of Norway and entered into the 1987 European RX Championship to be driven by the fiery Norwegian widely known as “Mister Rallycross”, Martin Schanche, to replace his ageing Ford Escort Xtrac special. Schanche is credited in large part for helping Mike Endean in the creation of the Xtrac four wheel drive system.
Martin 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 wars” 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 reach the 700 to 900 range.
The car 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. Schanche’s RS200 was otherwise factory looking on the outside as opposed to many of his Ford peers who often added wild aerodynamic enhancements to their machine.
Martin Schanche’s infamous volcanic temper was matched only by his driving talent: a combination that would often land him in hot water with the officials. However, Schanche was a crowd favourite, and he eventually won the 1991 European Rallycross Championship with the car. He would race his Ford 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)|
|Type||BDT-E, I-4, DOHC 16v, gas||located centrally (mid engine) longitudinal at 23o|
|Output power – torque||650+ HP @ – rpm (claimed)||– lb-ft @ – rpm|
|Materials||block: aluminium||cylinder head: aluminium|
|Ignition||electronic / firing order 1-3-4-2|
|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|
|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|
|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|
|Fuel tank||25 liters|
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