1986 Ford RS200 Evolution

Group B Rally Coupe

Auction Begins
12/04/2020
At a Glance
  • Seller
  • gt40mirage
  • Location
  • Wolfeboro, NH
  • Vehicle Make/Model
  • Ford RS200
  • Vin No.
  • SFACXXBJ2CGL00215
  • Exterior
  • White
  • Interior
  • Grey and Black
  • Engine
  • 2.1-Liter DOHC 16-valve turbocharged inline four-cylinder
  • Transmission
  • 5-Speed manual transmission
  • Suspension
  • Front and Rear independent double wishbone suspension
  • Brakes
  • 4-wheel ventilated disc brakes

1986 Ford RS200 Evolution

In 1982 sports car racing and rallying saw a new set of regulations for competition vehicles with FIA’s introduction of Group B as a replacement for both Group 4 and Group 5 competition. To be accepted into sanctioned competition, a manufacturer had to produce a minimum of 200 identical units in a 12-month period, down from the 400 previously required. Group B initially had no restrictions on car design, exterior or interior dimensions, material composition of chassis or bodywork, drivetrain layout, engine type or displacement or power output. A general set of rules did apply, the passenger compartment had to fit two seats side by side and could not be an open roof design. The minimum race weight calculated via engine displacement was B/12:2000cc+, B/11: 1600-1999cc, B/10: 1300-1599cc and B/9: 1299 cc or less. The FISA mandated that forced induction engines would get a multiplication factor of 1.4 to calculate their final engine displacement figure. The adjusted figure was then used to determine the minimum weight requirements and maximum tire width combinations for each particular model.

FISA, FIA’s motorsport regulatory division, introduced revisions to the previous Group 3 “Evolution” (E) Feature, now called “Evolution/Termination” (ET) under Group B regulations. This allowed an additional 10% of the total number of cars produced to receive additional modifications for racing. If the manufacturer wanted to try something new they needed to build a minimum of 20 more cars to homologate any “evolution” models into competition. 

Production of the Ford RS200 began in 1983 and featured a composite/fiberglass body styled by Filippo Sapino at the Ghia Design Studio. The chassis was designed by Formula 1 designer Tony Southgate and Ford Motorsports Chief Engineer John Wheeler. The compact mid-engine coupe was powered by a turbo-charged version of the 1.8-liter 16 valve Cosworth BDA engine (the BDT) and was equipped with four-wheel drive. The engine and transmission placement led to the RS200 having what was considered the most balanced platform amongst its contemporary competitors. The engine produced 250bhp in its streetcar trim and up to 500bhp in rally tune. The RS200 was first publicly displayed in 1984 and was homologated in 1986 after the required 200 examples had been built. Its World Championship debut event was the 1986 Swedish Rally driven by Kalle Grundel where the car finished 3rd overall. The RS200 went on to a total of 19 wins and 32 podium finishes by the end of 1986. 

Little separated the RS200 street cars from the all-out Group B competition cars other than the interior which was trimmed by Tickford with grey carpeting, door inserts, Sparco seats and a red leather XR3i steering wheel. Ford had intended to build an additional 20 Evolution cars in accordance with the rules, but with the cancellation of Group B they ended up modifying 20 of the first 200 chassis with an additional four Evolution cars completed after the initial 20. The RS200 Evo was given an upgraded suspension and brakes and a larger 2.1-liter version of the Cosworth engine developed by British engineer Brian Hart. The physically larger engine could only be accommodated by modifying the chassis and firewall. At full boost, the RS200 has 600bhp and can reach 60 mph in just over three seconds. In 1986 a RS200 Evo driven by famed rally driver Stig Blomqvist, set a Guinness World Record 0-60 mph time of 3.07 seconds which stood for an amazing 12 years.

The RS200 Evolution now for sale, Chassis 00215, was sold to its first owner by Ford’s Competition Department at Boreham, in Essex, England on April 30th, 1987. Being one of the later 'Evolution' models intended for the 1987 season, this chassis is equipped with the much more powerful 2,137cc version of the BDT engine. Under the care of its first owner, this RS200 was used for hill climb and rally-cross competition. Later, the car would be sold to the JBJ Group, registering the car in Sweden, where it would remain until September of 2000, when the car was sold and registered in Norway. 

After 17 years of ownership, this RS200 Evolution was then sold to its current owner where it has remained in a prominent US collection of racing cars. Immediately upon purchase of this RS200, the car was taken to Geoff Page Racing in the UK where the engine was rebuilt prior to the car coming to the US. 

Today, this magnificent RS200 Evolution is being sold as a road and rally ready example, having driven less than 100 miles since its engine rebuild and currently holding US title and registration. Receipts and other documentation are included with the sale as is the original leather-bound owner’s manual and toolkit, various items of original RS200 literature and owner’s club magazines.

Group B racing, although a very brief period in motorsport history, produced some of the most technologically advanced, powerful and ferocious rally cars ever built. The Ford RS200 Evolution, one of just 24 ever built, offers not only the performance of a famed Group B Rally Car, but also the mystique that goes along with one of the most exciting eras in motorsport history.

Exterior

When looking at the exterior of the RS200 the design and innovation from the years of rally racing and Group B racing in particular is readily apparent. The styling by Ghia, while certainly performance driven and functional is also quite futuristic. One cannot look at this car without thinking about the Group B rally cars thundering through the forest circuits of the WRC.

The exterior of the car is in excellent original condition with no obvious flaws present. The fiberglass body show no signs of stress or issues. The paint and fit all appear as new/original. The badges are in good condition and show as new. The wheels show some signs of use, as to be expected, but are in excellent shape.

Interior

The interior fitted at the factory in Tickford is sparse but comfortable. The original Sparco seats, red leather steering wheel, grey carpeting and door inserts are all in good original condition. While the RS200 Evo may have a few more creature comforts that the rally car version it still has the feel of a car that is ready to race. The instrumentation and dashboard are in excellent condition with normal signs of use.

Engine

This RS200 Evo started its life being used in hill climbs and rally cross competitions before being returned to street use. The current owner had the engine rebuilt by rally and racing experts Geoff Page Racing in the UK before importing the car to the US. The engine work was completed in February of 2018. Receipts for the work completed can be found in the documentation photos.

It is obvious the RS200 Evo was born from racing when peering into the engine compartment. The powerful 2.1-Liter DOHC turbocharged engine may be small, but it packs a mean punch. The engine compartment itself is in good original condition and shows no signs of issues.

Documentation and Spares

Accompanying the sale is the original RS200 Owner’s Manual and toolkit, as well as receipts from the engine rebuild completed by Geoff Page Racing in 2018.

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1986 Ford RS200 Evolution

Group B Rally Coupe

Auction Begins
12/04/2020

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