Ford Escort RS 2000
1976 - 1980
|4 spd. man
The RS 2000 was designed by Ford's Cologne styling
department in Germany, home of the company's high performance
European operation. This same factory had also produced
such cars as the super successful Capri RS 3100.
it took Ford Australia quite some time to decide that
the time was right to introduce the RS 2000 to Australia,
despite it not being a stranger to enthusiasts.
its successes in motor racing, especially in events
like the Hardie Ferodo 1000 and to an even greater
extent in rallying, it was a car well known and highly
Introduced in 1976, the Escort RS2000 Mk
II, European manufactured cars were fitted with a 110bhp
Pinto engine, allowing the sporting Escort to effortlessly
reach over 110mph.
Cosmetically, the biggest difference
to the previous model was in the uniquely angled GRP
nose panel which contained four headlamps.
on the Custom model gave the RS2000 an aggressive look
and the model has now become quite collectable. Although
most RS2000's were built in "Custom" trim,
a basic RS2000 with steel wheels and no tinted glass
was also available from 1978.
The Australian version
was not the pure-bred German RS 2000. Instead Aussie
buyers had to make do with a compromise car. Sure,
the styling was the same, but because the RS 2000 was
made in Australia Ford chose to use the standard 2.0
liter OHC Cortina engine.
Although it was a nice suburban
engine, quiet and moderately powerful, it was not anything
like the more highly tuned European RS 2000 engine.
Despite the disadvantage, the Australian RS 2000 still
proved itself to be an exceptional little car for drivers
who wanted extra excitement to brighten mundane driving.
scoop nose of the RS 2000 was actually made of plastic.
The beauty of this, because of its special design,
was that in minor accidents the plastic would actually
pop back into place after twenty-four hours or so,
saving many lucky owners expensive panel-beating bills.
The RS 2000, with its stiffer suspension, naturally
handled much better than the more mundane Escorts.
Of course you had to put up with a choppy ride, but
the handling improvement was quite significant and
well worth such the small inconvenience. The four-speed
gearbox had a sporty short throw and engaged gears
positively, giving the driver utmost confidence. And
as for the 2 liter Cortina engine, well at least it
was very tractable, and few were fortunate enough to
have driven the European version, so they didn’t
really know what they were missing out on.
continued the sports theme of he car. To keep the driver
and passenger firmly in their ,places during hard cornering,
Ford fitted the ultra-comfortable Scheel driving seats
along with other refinements such as a soft-feel steering
wheel and an oversize tachometer.
However, apart from
these sporty extras, the interior was quite barren,
with only an AM radio to add life to the dash. Despite
the fact that the Australian-made RS 2000 was a long
way from being a real RS in the European sense, it
was still a much more exciting drive than the ordinary
Escorts, and that is why it remained
popular with enthusiastic drivers.