Ford Rally Legends to Live Again

by Nik Berg
27 June 2024 2 min read
Ford Rally Legends to Live Again

The stage is set for two of the most famous Ford rally cars to return.

Boreham Motorworks is getting ready to bring back the Escort Mk1 and the Group B RS200, with full Ford approval.

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The RS200 will be first to hit the road and will get a restomod treatment to “recapture the innovative DNA of the Ford RS200 for the modern era, seamlessly integrating advancements for the road while delivering on a promise of technological innovation and a peak analogue driving experience.”

Unlike most cars of the Group B era the RS200 wasn’t even loosely based on a road car. The chassis was developed by former F1 engineers Tony Southgate with John Wheeler, and featured a very racy double wishbone suspension with twin dampers on each corner. The four-cylinder turbocharged engine was mounted amidships, yet the transmission was at the front, sending power to all four wheels. It was complex, but gave the RS200 perfect weight distribution, unlike the nose-heavy Audi quattro. Ian Callum and Ghia created the distinctive coupe design.

In full-works trim RS200 could muster 450 bhp, although the 200 road-ready examples, required to meet homologation rules, put out around 250 bhp. Boreham Motorworks hasn’t revealed any technical information about its upcoming homage, or how many will be made.

Boreham’s Escort will be a continuation model. The cars will be “blueprint accurate, period sympathetic vehicles with continuation VIN numbers.” Again there’s no word on specification, but the teaser image shows modern LED headlamps, suggesting there’ll be a few upgrades.

In its day (1968-1975) the rear-drive Mk1 was rallied and raced with a range of powerplants including a Lotus-derived twin cam, a Formula 2 FVA unit, the iconic, unburstable 1600 BDA from Cosworth, the 1600 Kent motor, and even a two-litre from the Pinto. It’s hard not to imagine Cosworth getting involved in such an exciting project, especially as it has the seal of approval from the Blue Oval.

“From the first time we met with Boreham Motorworks and the DRVN team, it was clear that they had an exciting vision for how to bring some of our most iconic historical nameplates to life for the modern era.” says Will Ford, Ford Performance Motorsports’ General Manager.

We can’t wait to find out more.

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