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FordRallyeSport - Passion, Control, Energy.

Ford Rallye Sport is the motorsports branch of Ford Motor Company of Europe. Specifically, they are heavily involved with the World Rally Championship. They also design limited-run Ford vehicles (similar to the American-market SVT), compete in Indy/CART and Touring car championships, and work with Cosworth as an engine producer for F1 competition.

The Ford Team RS rally legend took flight in the late 1960s, when the Twin-Cam Escort won the World Rally Championship in its first two years (1968 and '69). In 1970's brutal, 16,000-mile London-Mexico rally, the Escort finished in first place--and in another four of the top ten. In 1979, Ford had an undefeated season in the WRC and took the Manufacturer's Championship. In 1981, Ari Vatanen drove a Ford to become the first (and only) World Driver's champion without manufacturer funding. Until its retirement in 1998, the many faces of the Escort won 46 world-class rallies. Since then, the Ford Focus has taken over the position of Ford rally car, holding its own against the likes of the rally-prepared Evo and Impreza WRX.

The success of Fords in the rally world helped the success of RS as a brand. It all began with the Escort RS1600 and RS1800, which replaced the original Twin-Cam. However, the fun really started with the 1977 introduction of the RS200. The RS200 had a mid-mounted 1.8 liter engine producing 380 horsepower, and all all wheel drive system featuring three limited slip differentials. Only 200 road-going RS200s were produced, as that was the amount neccessary to homologate the car for WRC Group B competition. One of the RS200's descendants, the Escort RS Cosworth, has been known to produce over 700 horsepower on mostly stock hardware. The most recent RS-badged vehicle to hit showrooms in the Ford Focus RS, a virtual advertising campaign for some of the best-known names in motorsports. Brembo, Garrett, O.Z. Racing, Sparco, and Quaife all produced original equipment parts for the Imperial Blue hot hatch. In particular, the Quaife torque-biasing differential has allowed the Focus RS to dominate more powerful opponents on tracks across Europe. The Ford Fiesta RS concept has also toured the automotive shows, taking various styling cues from its big brother Focus.


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