The concept of the RS 1600i Escort was defined in the prototype shown almost at the 1980 Frankfurt car show, and the definitive version of the car went on to be produced in the number of 5000 necessary for homologation in Group A.
The 1600i used the two-door XR3 bodyshell, and engine capacity stayed at 1600 cc, but there were a number of important modifications, starting with the use of Bosch K-Jetronic injection, of the type which cut off the fuel automatically on the overrun, mounted on a very long inlet tract.
The CVH-type cylinder head had been modified in the inlet area, and the self-adjustment feature of the hydraulic tappets had been eliminated. Compression ratio rose from 9.5 to 9.8:1, and there was a special camshaft. With AFT electronic ignition, the engine's power output rose from 71 kW (96 hp) at 6000 rpm to 87 kW (115 hp) at 5750 rpm. Torque output also rose, from 132 Nm (97 Ib-ft) at 4000 rpm to 145 Nm (106 Ib-ft) at 4500 rpm.
Tuning to competitive Group A levels lifted output to between 155 and 160 hp. The front-wheel drive transmission was also modified by comparison with that of the XR3, with a lower fifth gear (0.88 against 0.76) which gives top speed in top gear.
Steering and brakes (disc front and drum rear) were unchanged, but the suspension had undergone a number of modifications at the front. MacPherson struts were still used, but installation of a lower cross-member in light alloy permitted a new mounting for the anti-roll bar and the fitting of reinforcing arms.
The new suspension layout lowered the car by 0.78 inches. Special Koni shock absorbers were used, and the sporting Escort was shod with 195/50 Phoenix ultra-low profiles fitted on 16-inch light alloy rims.
Visible differences between the new car and the XR3 were additional long-range lamps, a larger front spoiler, and a bigger rear wing, which helped the car achieve a top speed approaching 125 mph. The standing-start kilometre was covered in 30.5 seconds, and 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) time was 9.6 sec. Ready to run, the 1600i weighed 1995 Ibs, 22 Ibs more than the XR3.
Ford Escort RS 1600i Quick Specs
1597cc CVH engine was fitted with Bosch K-Jetronic fuel injection and unique AFT twin coil electronic ignition. Solid tappets, revised camwhich blessed the engine with great tuning potential, and Group A racing Escorts produced over 160hp.
The transmission was a Front suspension was very different from other Escorts, it used two longitudinally mounted supporting arms with separate anti-roll bar. These provided the castor angle to be adjusted, which was required for racing purposes. It also reduced torque-steer effect, which is the problem in powerful front wheel drive cars. Outside the car was fitted with front and rear spoilers, these were unique to RS1600i. Optional extras were electric windows, central locking, tinted glass and sunroof known as the Custom Pack.
- CVH, iron block, alloy cylinder head SOHC, 8 valves, solid tappets.
- Bore and stroke 79,96 x 79,52mm , 1597cc, compression ratio 9,9:1.
- Bosch K-Jetronic fuel injection, AFT twin coil distributor less ignition.
- Max power 115hp at 6000rpm, max torque 145Nm at 5250rpm.
- 5-speed B5-gearbox with a different fifth gear ratio of 0.83:1 (instead of standard 0.76:1 ratio).
- Front wheel drive.
- 200mm single plate clutch.
- 5-speed gearbox, 3,84:1 final drive ratio.
- Independent front suspension, McPherson struts, anti-roll bar, individual TCA tie-rods.
- Independent rear suspension, transverse arms, separate coil springs and dampers, longitunal tie-bars.
- 240mm ventilated front discs.
- 180 x 36mm rear drums. Servo-assisted
Escort RS 1600i Production Numbers
- Maximum speed 118mph
- 0-60 mph 8.7s
- 0-100 mph 27.9s
- 1/4 mile / speed 16,7s / 84mph
- The original numbers quoted by Ford
- Sunburst red-560
- Diamond White-530
- Caspian Blue-290
- Stratos silver-250
- Graphite Grey-25