RX Ford RS200E – Martin Schanche

Published on: Jan 17, 2016 @ 20:43
(C) Jay Auger - website owner & author
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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 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 often saw him turn his car into a “heat-seeking missile” to take out another competitor. This 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)
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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