Ford RS200 + Homologation Version

Published on: Jan 18, 2016 @ 18:59
Originally Published in: 2014 (old website)
(C) Jay Auger - website owner & author
Notice: Any form of duplication methods (including but not limited to copy/paste of text and screen capture) of the website's content is strictly forbidden.

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Ford’s Group B rally weapon was originally intended to be the rear wheel drive Escort RS1700T but when the car’s conception was finished the winning standard was already shifting to four wheel drive. At first, there was provisions to adapt the car to four wheel drive but it was turned down in favor of creating a brand new high-tech machine. So, in early 1983, Ford decided to abandon over two years of work developing the RS1700T and started anew. Originally, the replacement was planned to once again emulate an existing road going model (which greatly favored product placement). However, it was suggested that if Ford had any hopes of winning consistently in the WRC, the requirement had to be quickly put aside in favor of designing a proper rally platform from scratch.

The new project was code-named “B200” (Group B200 homologation units). Work started in July 1983. The chassis was designed by former F1 designer Tony Southgate and Ford’s John Wheeler, a former F1 engineer, aided in early development. The exterior design was done by Ghia’s Filippo Sapino, albeit it had to be modified to incorporate Ford Sierra parts (for cheaper and quicker ease of service) much to the dismay of Sapino.

By March 1984 a driveable prototype was presented to Ford management and was promptly approved. The car, now officially a Ford Rallye Sport model, was renamed the RS200.

RS200 Original Prototype
RS200 Original Prototype
RS200 Original Prototype
RS200 Original Prototype

The RS200 was the only Group B rally car that was a totally new model in itself. As such, it was not a “silhouette car”, not trying to emulate a current road going car in shape or form. However, the Ford parts bin was extensively raided; the front windscreen, tail lights,  gear knob, and door features were identical to those of the early Sierra model, while the side windows were cut-down Sierra items. The engineers also carried over many of the RS1700T’s features such as mounting the transmission at the opposite end of the engine for better weight balancing, and re-used the same 1778 cc BDT engine. However, since the engines had been sitting for two years, they “cleaned” them by slightly boring out the cylinders for a final rating of 1803 cc. The official horsepower rating for these engines was at 444 HP.

A double wishbone suspension setup with twin dampers on all four wheels aided handling and helped give the car a balanced platform. Early tests showed that the car lacked downforce so the designers added a larger rear spoiler and a roof mounted intercooler duct. They later added “ears” to the sides of the roof duct to provide better cooling for the rear brakes.

Due to its complexity and parts bin sources, the RS200 turned out a bit heavier than what was expected (1050 kg / 2315 lb). The engine displacement also handicapped the car by placing it in the “low” range (2524 cc) of the 2500~2999 cc adjusted class. A “mistake” that was planned to be rectified for the 1987 season with the new RS200 Evolution 2137 cc engine that maximized the engine class with a final adjusted rating of 2992 cc. These engines were planned to make anywhere between 550~650 HP.

The iconic RS200 was conceived sporting very high F1 derived technology but its best result was a 3rd place in its inaugural event in the 1986 Sweden Rally. Critics of the car often state that the design of the RS200 failed to exploit the lax Group B rules to the maximum but even its detractors admit that it never truly had the time to shine since it began competing during the last year of Group B (1986) while not far different from the actual homologation model. Ironically, the RS200 played a role in the chains of events leading to the cancellation of Group B when local driver Joaquim Santos lost control and crashed into a crowd of people at the 1986 Portugal rally.

SPECIFICATIONS

Group/Class B/12 Homologation number: B-280 (click # to view papers)
Years active 1986 Homologation

  • start: February 1st 1986
  • end: December 31st 1991
Engine
Type BDT, I-4, DOHC 16v, gas located centrally (mid engine) longitudinal at 23o
Displacement 1803 cc WRC: x 1.4 = 2524 cc
Compression ratio 7.2:1
Output power – torque
  • 350~450 HP @ 8000 rpm
  • (officially rated at 444 HP)
360 lb-ft (489 Nm) @ 5500 rpm
Materials block: aluminium cylinder head: aluminium
Aspiration
  • Garrett T03 turbocharger
  • air/air intercooler
  • Bosch motronic multipoint electronic fuel injection
pressure: (23 psi) 1.6 bar
Ignition electronic / firing order 1-3-4-2
Cooling system water-cooled
Lubrication system dry sump with 3 oil pumps
Transmission
Type four wheel drive 5 speed transaxle gearbox mounted in the front with a second driveshaft to power the rear wheels
Gearbox ratios
  • 1st: 2.692
  • 2nd: 1.824
  • 3rd: 1.318
  • 4th: 1.043
  • 5th: 0.786
  • R: 3.083
  • 1st: 3.091
  • 2nd: 2.143
  • 3rd: 1.687
  • 4th: 1.368
  • 5th: 1.140
  • R: 3.083
Differential ratio front/rear:

  • 4.375

Transfer box:

  • 0.864
  • 1.043
  • 1.158
  • 1.278
  • Ferguson viscous coupling center differential with 37/63 or 50/50 or 0/100 torque distribution
  • Adjustable viscous coupling front and rear differentials
Clutch AP twin plate
Chassis-body
Type Aluminum honeycomb lower chassis with carbon glass aramid composite upper structure and steel integral 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 dampers, adjustable anti-roll bar
Rear suspension double wishbones with twin coil springs and twin dampers. Adjustable anti-roll bar and toe control link
Steering system rack and pinion with optional hydraulic power assistance 12:1
Brakes ventilated rotors front/rear 285/304mm diameter with 4 piston calipers. Twin rotor system with 2 rotors 272mm diameter on same construction with 1 piston caliper and 2×2 pads dual circuit (no servo), with mechanical fly-off and hydraulic center lever acting on separate, mechanically operated rear calipers
Dimensions
length: 4000 mm (157.5″) 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 6″ – 8″ (8.75″ or 11″ optional) x 16″
  • Pirelli
  • 245/40/16 (dry tarmac)
  • 225/50VR-16 (wet tarmac)
Dry/Unladen Weight 1050 kg (2,315 lb)
Weight/power 2.4 kg/HP
Fuel tank 105 or 74 + 42 = 116 lt

HOMOLOGATION VERSION

FORD-RS200-0
FORD RS200 ROAD CAR

Of the 225 units produced only about 140 were reported to have been sold. The balance were stripped to serve as part outs and some were destroyed in multiple testing sessions. This car is very coveted by collectors and has later spawned kit cars to allow you to build your own replica. The RS200 is arguably considered to have the most timeless design of any Group B car, pleasing to young and old alike.

Differences between the “Evolution” and the road model are minimal (mainly the interior and de-tuned engine), making turning the RS200 into a competition ready vehicle a very easy task. A few lucky examples were updated with the planned “Evolution II” 2137 cc engine that would have been introduced in 1987 if Group B had not been cancelled. Some received only the engine upgrade while a rare few also got aerodynamic enhancements. It is rumored that those “E2” had an engine that could last only a single day of abuse if driven very hard.

SPECIFICATIONS

Class Sports Four Wheel Drive Coupe
Conception/Production 1983~86 (225) Assembly: United Kingdom
Engine
Type I-4, 1.8L, DOHC 16v, gas mid engine
Output power – torque 240 HP 207 lb-ft (280 Nm)
Aspiration turbocharger Boost: N/A
Ignition electronic / firing order 1-3-4-2
Cooling system water-cooled
Lubrication system N/A
Transmission
Type four wheel drive 5 speed front transaxle
Gearbox ratios
  • N/A
Diffrential ratio
  • N/A
N/A
Clutch N/A
Chassis-body
Type Aluminum honeycomb lower chassis with carbon glass aramid composite upper structure and steel integral roll cage.
Front suspension double wishbones with 1 lower wishbone and 1 upper short transverse arm, and anti roll bar
Rear suspension double wishbones with 1 lower wishbone and 1 upper short transverse arm, and anti roll bar
Steering system rack and pinion with hydraulic power assistance N/A
Brakes N/A
Dimensions
length: 4000 mm (157.5 in) width: 1760 mm (69.3 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)
Curb Weight 1180 kg (2600 lb)
Weight/power 4.9 kg/HP (10.8 lb/HP)
Fuel tank N/A
Drag coefficient N/A

PICTURES & VIDEOS

d0168409 FORD RS 200 ford_rs200__1

rs200

b200irs200-1 ford rally1 FORD-RS200-0 Ford-RS200-engine


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 Ford RS200: The Story So Far

 Ford RS200: The Story

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

  • Images & videos are the property of their original owners
  • All homologation papers are the property of the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA): SOURCE
  • Eifel Rallye Festival Pictures used under permission – McKlein Publishing
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