1989 Ford Sierra

Sapphire RS Cosworth Saloon 2 L

Vehicle values by condition

Fair
Condition 4
£14,800
#4 cars are daily drivers, with flaws visible to the naked eye. The chrome might have pitting or scratches, the windshield might be chipped.
Good
Condition 3
£17,400
#3 cars could possess some, but not all of the issues of a #4 car, but they will be balanced by other factors such as a fresh paint job or a new, correct interior.
Excellent
Condition 2
£23,900
#2 cars could win a local or regional show. They can be former #1 cars that have been driven or have aged. Seasoned observers will have to look closely for flaws.
Concours
Condition 1
£41,700
#1 vehicles are the best in the world. The visual image is of the best car, unmodified, in the right colours, driving onto the lawn at the finest concours.
Insurance premium for a
1989 Ford Sierra Sapphire RS Cosworth Saloon 1993
valued at £17,400
£301.64 / year*

History of the 1988 - 1989 Ford Sierra

1988 - 1989 Ford Sierra
1988 - 1989 Ford Sierra

The Ford Sierra Sapphire Cosworth was in production from 1988 until 1992, and is now considered an iconic sports saloon. It is a front-engine, rear-wheel-drive sports saloon that seats four people with ample luggage space – or, from 1990, a front-engine, four-wheel-drive car.

The Ford Sierra Sapphire Cosworth was primarily conceived to use up surplus engines – a situation stemming from the original Cosworth YB supply deal, which called for 15,000 engines as a minimum run. For the original Sierra Cosworth, only 5,000 were required for homologation purposes. This left Ford with a 10,000 engine over-supply, and so it decided to create a softer, more road-friendly, more discreet Cosworth in order to use the engines it had agreed to purchase.

Despite this, its improved drag coefficient meant it was actually slightly quicker. The discreet, softer Sapphire was deemed a more appropriate recipient of the 4WD transmission in 1990 than any three-door motorsport star, purely by dint of its market potential. By 1990 the cylinder heads had been mildly tweaked too, meaning that the 4WDs produced a mighty 217bhp.

The 4x4 system had primarily been developed for rallying; a role which the later Escort Cosworth continued. The Escort was no Escort underneath however – it was an Escort style body on the running gear of the old Sierra Sapphire Cosworth 4WD. So while the car may officially have been dropped at the end of 1992, its underpinnings lived on.

Both Ford Sierra Sapphire Cosworths use the Cosworth YB: based on the Pinto, with twin overhead camshafts and a Garrett T3 turbocharger. This engine produced 204bhp – and with refinements midway through 2WD production, power rose to 217bhp. Both featured limited-slip differentials. Rear-wheel-drive cars retained the Borg Warner T5, 4WD cars used the Ferguson MT75.

It’s not unlike an earlier Cosworth to drive, with a good interior, sharp steering, and great seats that hold you in place. The ride’s softer though, so your 200bhp feels more usable more of the time than in the harder, more focused original. With better access, it’s more viable as a daily driver though – so you can enjoy the Cosworth kick far more often.

The Cosworth YB found in the Ford Sierra Sapphire Cosworth is a strong engine, and parts are still relatively easy to source through specialists such as Burton Power. Much of the trim and most of the panels are shared with standard Sierra Sapphires, and the rest of the Sierra range. Trim can also be sourced, as many Sapphires have been written off and stripped.

The Ford Sierra Sapphire Cosworth is no different to any other Sierra – and that means it can rust. Spoilers and skirts can affect this adversely too, by trapping water against the panels. Sills and valances are even more at risk than on a normal Sierra, while door bottoms and boot floors are other worrisome areas. The Cosworth specific panels such as the bonnet, bumpers and skirts might be difficult to source if damaged, so check their condition thoroughly.

Ford Sierra Sapphire Cosworths are most desirable in 4WD form, though there is little difference in value between 2WD and 4WD versions. It’s infinitely more important to buy on condition; as a performance car many Cosworths will have been crashed, stolen, or worse – and the cars which are good, original, unmodified and have a flawless history are the most valuable.

For similar thrills, check out the later Escort Cosworth. Alternatives include the Audi S4, Subaru Impreza WRX or SAAB 9000 Turbo. For a quick naturally aspirated saloon take a look at BMW’s E34 540i.

All 1989 Ford Sierra body types

Year Make Model Submodel Body Type Engine size Average value
1982 Ford Sierra 1300 5dr Hatchback 1.3 L £ 2,200 2,600 3,500 5,800
1982 Ford Sierra 1600 5dr Hatchback 1.6 L £ 2,200 2,600 3,500 5,800
1982 Ford Sierra 1600 Estate 1.6 L £ 2,200 2,600 3,500 5,800
1984 Ford Sierra 1800 5dr Hatchback 1.8 L £ 2,200 2,600 3,500 5,800
1984 Ford Sierra 1800 Estate 1.8 L £ 2,200 2,600 3,500 5,800
1982 Ford Sierra 2000 5dr Hatchback 2 L £ 2,400 2,800 3,700 6,000
1982 Ford Sierra 2000 Estate 2 L £ 2,400 2,800 3,700 6,000
1982 Ford Sierra 2300 5dr Hatchback 2.3 L £ 2,500 2,900 3,900 6,100
1983 Ford Sierra 2300 Estate 2.3 L £ 2,500 2,900 3,900 6,100
1982 Ford Sierra 2300 Diesel Estate 2.3 L £ 2,500 2,900 3,900 6,100
1982 Ford Sierra 2300 Diesel Hatchback 2.3 L £ 2,500 2,900 3,900 6,100
1988 Ford Sierra Sapphire RS Cosworth Saloon 2 L £ 14,800 17,400 23,900 41,700
1983 Ford Sierra XR4x4 5dr Hatchback 2.9 L £ 3,200 5,500 8,400 12,500
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