One of 20 examples of the road-legal Ford RS200 ‘S’ rally car is for sale in the UK – and is expected to sell for more than £300,000 (AU$520,000).
The Ford RS200 is one of the most iconic cars from the golden era of rallying and a limited number of examples have been made available as road cars. Now one of these extremely rare machines will be auctioned in the UK.
Listed by Silverstone Auctionsthis 1986 Ford RS200 is one of 20 “S” variants originally intended for rally motorsport competitions but ended up as a road car.
Accordingly RS200.org – a UK website dedicated to the roadworthy rally car – Ford built 141 RS200s, although 200 examples had to be produced to meet the minimum production requirements to enter the highest tier of rally competition known as ‘Group B’.
The Ford RS200 was designed to compete against legendary rivals such as the Audi Quattro, Peugeot 205 T16 and Lancia Delta S4 on rally surfaces ranging from ice to dirt to tarmac.
Powered by a 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder mid-mounted engine, the Ford RS200 could produce more than 330 kW as a rally car, sent to all four wheels via a five-speed manual gearbox.
The RS200’s high performance was coupled with its low weight, tipping the scales at just 1050kg – some 200kg lighter than the cars currently competing in the World Rally Championship.
After months of delays, the RS200 finally made its world rally debut in 1986 at Rally Sweden, scoring a podium thanks to local driver Kalle Grundel.
But an incident later in Portugal, a Ford RS200 crashed into a crowd, killing three bystanders. Another accident involving a Ford RS200 a few months later killed the car’s passenger.
The Group B rallying era ended in late 1986 with more fatal accidents, leaving Ford with no purpose for the RS200s that needed to be built for motorsport homologation.
Silverstone Auctions Allegedly, 20 of the road-going cars were sent to Canada and fitted with power windows, a more comfortable Tickford interior, improved airflow and ducting to the engine, and a power increase from the road car’s standard 186 kW to 261 kW.
According to the listing, this Ford RS200 S was delivered to a West German car dealer who had already ordered three more copies. Its first owner kept the car in Germany until 2015 when it was purchased by the current owner in the UK, having only driven 1200 miles (1931 km) in its 37 year life.
Silverstone Auctions It is estimated that the Ford RS200 S could sell for between £300,000 (AU$520,000) and £350,000 (AU$607,000) when it goes up for auction on 25 February 2023.
The record auction price for a Ford RS200 was achieved in 2017 when a Ford RS200 Evolution sold for US$550,000 – the equivalent of AU$870,000 today – at one Bonhams Auction in the US.
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