Those of you following our dude Ken Block's rally exploits know that the DC co-founder has switched sides. For 2010, KB has left the Subaru team and set up shop with the Monster Ford Rally team. And we're stoked! It's not that we don't love Subie's—they're great, have been great and if they ever decide to reenter rally racing, will more than likely be great again. But when it comes to rally racing, Ford holds a dear spot in our hearts.

From the Ford Escort MK2 to Ken's all-new Fiesta rig. But if we had to pick one Ford it'd be the Escort RS Cosworth. Built as a homologation special to get FIA approval so Ford could race it in the World Rally Championship, this turbocharged, four-wheel drive hatchback carried on Fords storied rally record and gave gear heads one of the sickest hot hatches to ever hit the road. You can't fully appreciate the new without respecting the old, so keep reading to see what made the Escort RS Cosworth so damn cool.


• To power their new Rally racer, Ford tapped London-based engine specialists Cosworth (hence the name) for a powerful, but lightweight lump that could power their four-wheel-drive monster. Cosworth did not disappoint. They provided Ford with the turbo charged 2.0 liter, four cylinder YBT engine that, when not modified, put out 224 horsepower. There were reports of huge turbo lag (the gap in time between the time you press the accelerator and the time the extra turbo power kicks in), but that was a small price to pay for an engine that could get your to 60 mph in around 6 and a half seconds while still getting 25 mpg.



• Ford would have liked to just throw a new engine and drivetrain into the regular Escort body, but it just wouldn't work. To accommodate the new set up, Ford had to come up with a new chassis and body. Only 50% of the Escort RS Cosworth is the same as the regular Escort. Thanks to the 400 or so new parts, the Escort RS Cosworth was twice as rigid as the regular car, and way more stable thanks to the increased downforce. The most obvious of these additions? The huge dolphin tail spoiler slapped onto the back. Looking at it now, it may seem to be completely ridiculous, but anyone that has driven one can you tell that any and all downforce was needed when whipping these things around a track.


• Jeremy Clarkson, one of the most famous automotive writers in the world, and host of BBC's offical Best Show of the Decade, Top Gear, knows a thing or two about cars. His personal car collection boasts some of the our most coveted rides, including a Lamborghini Gallardo Spyder, a Mercedes-Benz CLK-AMG Black Series and a Caterham Seven which, supposedly, was for his wife. So it was no surprise to hear that one of the best cars he's ever owned was the Ford Escort RS Cosworth. Does that make it cool? To us, yes.


• It took Ford four years to realize the Sierra Cosworth needed four-wheel-drive, luckily they retained that knowledge when building the Escort Cosworth. After Audi changed rally racing in the 80s with their Quattro, every team slowly shifted away from two wheel drive. Can you imagine a car about the size of a Volkswagen GTI but with more power and four-wheel-drive? Back in 1992? Crazy.


• The Escort RS Cosworth did just what the Ford racing team hoped it would do, win. Some of the most famous rally drivers to ever left foot brake had some seat time in the Escort, including Carlos Sainz and future four-time champ, Tommi Makinen before he went to Mitsubishi.


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