Ford registers the RS200 brand in Europe

As a headline in the maelstrom of farewells to V8 engines, new electric players and SUVs of all colors and flavors, don't tell me that it is not encouraging to read that the American brand has registered in Europe the RS200 brand. The name of Ford's legendary group B car appears in the recent list of names registered with the intellectual property office of the European Union and whether you like it or not, it is a small rush of excitement to know what Ford has in mind in the coming years.

Maybe this remains precisely in a headline and does not transcend, but with the emotion of the moment, we are going to do our speculations and remember with good photos how special this model was, do you think?

Rumors

Every time a manufacturer registers a nomenclature it may be due to several factors ranging from the launch of a range or equipmentthis would be the most logical step before thinking about Ford presenting us with some vitaminized model of the Ford Focus (for example) called RS200, something that with so much electrification we know is unfeasible, look how happy we were with Hyundai's i20N models and the short time it took to remove them from production and of course, the Fiesta and Fiesta ST that are already running out of stock units.

Most likely, Ford has registered the RS200 brand in Europe due to the value of the name as a brand. This is a name patent for consolidate the legacy and prevent another brand or manufacturer from using the name for their own legal benefit, and we say legal because RS200 and Ford go hand in hand and we do not conceive of a BMW RS200 or a VW RS200, it shocks us, but it is a firm step for Ford to maintain the denomination under its domains.

The Ford RS200, a model for history

He Ford RS200 It emerged from the golden era of Group B of the World Rally Championship in the 1980s. It was designed to compete in this demanding group of rallies and the RS200 was a car that stood out for its performance, its technology and its great contribution to industrial design. . Development of the Ford RS200 began in 1983 in response to new World Rally Championship Group B regulations. Ford, looking to compete in this highly competitive landscape, partnered with British motorsport specialist, Roush Racingand car designer Ghiato create a radically new vehicle that met the demanding Group B regulations.

The RS200 was built on a platform of fiberglass monocoque chassis, with an aerodynamic design and lightweight structure that made it a formidable competitor in dirt and asphalt rallies. Its distinctive design, as we say, was the work of designer Ghia who opted to combine aggressive lines with functional details to maximize performance on the track.

Technology and engine

One of the most notable features of the Ford RS200 was its Four-wheel drive, a novelty at that time. This system, combined with a turbocharged engine 1.8 liters and four-cylinder inline that provided power and control in a variety of driving conditions. Additionally, the RS200 featured advanced suspension and handling technology, with customizable settings allowing drivers to adapt to the changing demands of different rally stages. Returning to the point of the engine, this generator raw power It was developed for the RS 1700T model that would be called Cosworth BDT, this was located in the longitudinal rear position providing the 1.8L displacement, 16 valves and Garrett turbocharger. Initially, it produced between 250 and 300 HP of power for the street version and between 380 and 450 HP in their competition development. The transmission was designed in such a way that the gearbox was mounted at the front of the car, which gave it a more balanced weight distribution and a lower center of gravity than is common in the segment.

On all wheel drive We have to say that it had a fairly technological component since it had three viscous limited slip differentials that the pilot himself could disconnect from the cabin, being able to regulate the torque delivery from the 37-63% initial configuration (front – rear) to leaving it at a perfect 50-50% if necessary. Finally, the development of trapeze suspension Double shock absorbers and coil springs in each wheel helped make the RS200 the most balanced car in group B at the time.

Your role in competition

The brief but intense foray of the RS200 into the World Rally Championship began in 1985, when Malcolm Wilson secured a victory in the British Rally Championship. However, its official approval within Group B, under the number B-280, did not materialize until February 1986. This meant that the RS200 missed the Monte Carlo Rally, making its debut at Rally Sweden that same year, with Ford registering two units for the pairs of Kalle Gründel – Benny Melander, who reached third position, and Stig Blomqvist – Bruno Berglund, who unfortunately had to retire after several accidents.

This third position in the Swedish Rally It became the RS200's best result in the World Championship during its entire competitive life. However, tragedy struck in Portugal, when driver Joaquim Santos went off in a curve and crashed into the crowd, resulting in several victims. At the Acropolis Rally, both cars retired due to mechanical failures while Gründel led the race and Blomqvist was in third position. In the RAC Rally, Gründel managed to reach fifth place. The unfortunate accident of Henri Toivonen aboard a Delta S4 in the 1986 Corsica Rally, along with the Santos tragedy in Portugal, led the FIA ​​to reconsider the safety of Group B vehicles on the narrow roads used in rallies.

As a result, and despite opposition from the brands that had invested heavily in the development of these cars, the FIA ​​made the unilateral decision to cancel the participation of Group B for the 1987 season. Following the example of other brands, the Ford RS200 found a new home in the national gravel rally championships and on the slopes Rallycrosswhere he achieved numerous victories and demonstrated his formidable performance once again.

A champion legacy to collecting

Although its participation in the World Rally Championship was cut short by the cancellation of Group B, the spirit of the Ford RS200 continued its march in the world of motorsport. An evolved version of the RS200, known as RS200 Evolution, emerged to continue challenging standards with a new commitment to performance. This new version was equipped with new aerodynamic, mechanical and power improvements, the RS200 Evolution proved to be even more formidable on the rally and rallycross tracks, keeping the passion for speed and competition alive.

Whatever the version, the RS200 was synonymous with design distinctive, its technology innovation and performance, three factors have made it a object of desire for collectors and rally enthusiasts around the world. Today, the remaining examples of the Ford RS200 are highly valued and sought after by collectors, with prices that reflect its status as an icon of 1980s motorsport and can reach 180,000 euros depending on its condition.

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