The Ford Sierra RS Cosworth gave more than a scare but assured fun. A real wolf in sheep’s clothing.
In the 1960s, the American manufacturer Ford had achieved numerous triumphs with models such as the Cortina, Galaxy, Falcon, Mustang or Capri, but they began to be surpassed by BMW and, especially, Rover in the competitions in which they entered lists. Therefore, in the 70s and until the middle of the following decade, the American brand put the brakes on all investments dedicated to competition.
Back in 1983, Ford tested the Cosworth- built 16-valve dual-camshaft engine for the Ford Sierra and, almost from that moment, they worked together. The two companies had already established a close relationship for decades, thanks to the collaboration established between Cosworth, founded in 1958 by Mike Costin and Keith Duckworth, and Ford for the development of competition engines that would culminate in the birth of the DFV, the most propellant successful in the history of Formula 1.
Returning to our protagonist, in 1985 the brand jumped on the racing car again, presenting the first version of its Ford Sierra Cosworth.
For the Ford Sierra, at Cosworth, they designed a 16-valve alloy cylinder head that could be applied to a serial car. There was initially no intention of adding a turbocharger to it; This was dealt with by Ford, who thought that to get enough power from a 2,000 cm 3 engine, turbine power was essential. Thus, the mythical propellant of the Ford Sierra Cosworth gave its first blows.
The engine block has managed to withstand preparations of more than 500 HP of power without problems. And today with modern material more can be achieved. But sacrificing its reliability and handling.
It is based on the Pinto block used by the brand for years, with 4 cylinders in line and a short-stroke design and two liters, improved and with an exclusive aluminum alloy cylinder head, with two camshafts that actuate 4 valves per cylinder (two intakes and two exhaust) through hydraulic tappets.
It is powered by an electronic Weber Marelli injection and a Garret T03B turbo, with an integral discharge valve that limits the blowing pressure to 0.55 bar and cooled by an intercooler. With these specifications, the engine delivers 204 hp at 6,000 pm with a maximum torque of 277 Nm at 4,500 pm. Accelerates from 0 to 100 km / h in 6.2 seconds, with a top speed of around 240 km / h.
With these figures, the aerodynamics of the Cosworth became fundamental. So a huge raised rear spoiler, front and rear deflectors. A ventilated hood, bumper moldings, and larger tires were added to the original version. But that is the primitive model … not our protagonist.
In 1987 the first 4-door version of the Sierra appeared, with the name Ford Sierra RS Cosworth (with the same 204 HP of power) and with it an excellent base was obtained to develop the 4 × 4 of 1990.
In its early years, the Ford Sierra RS Cosworth encountered stiff competitors like the BMW M3 E30, Audi 200 Quattro 20V. Or Mercedes 190E 2.5 16 EVO. Rivals who catapulted him towards Olympus of pedigree cars. A vehicle with an engine that stands out above the rest. A mechanical wonder that will last in the history of the automobile
For this four-door, Ford adopted a distinguished and elegant style: thanks to the rear spoiler mounted on the boot lid; semi-concealed windshield wipers with a deflector; or alloy wheels and 15 × 7 ”with 205 / 50VR tires. The front bumper, grille, and spoiler are made of single polyurethane trim. In any case, far from the shrillness of the first Sierra XR4i, for example.
The management of this fabulous engine is entrusted to an ECU (electronic control unit) that is responsible for mainly controlling three parameters: electronic multipoint injection, electronic ignition, and turbo operation.
As a result, it achieves an accurate air/gasoline ratio, optimized ignition advance and turbo pressure management. And modulation to deliver efficient combustion with minimal pull, typical of turbocharged engines.
Wow if they did it, the power comes out in abundance as we sink the pedal. It is a car that stands out for how much fun it is behind the wheel. But, yes, with hands that know what they are doing. More than one will be startled by the great tendency of this bodywork towards oversteer and, behind it, the spinning top. Blessed oversteer is wanted. Terrifying and fatal if unexpected.
Directly imported from the competition, this Ford Sierra RS Cosworth has a high-performance brake system. In the front axle, it equips some majestic 283 mm discs, bitten by sporty calipers. Neither more nor less than a four-piston system exclusive to this model. For the rear, solid discs of 272 mm. Besides, it incorporates an effective ABS electronic system as standard to help stop the Sierra in the worst moments and on especially slippery surfaces.
The 2RM (2-wheel drive) had a production of 13,140 units. The differences with the later version all-wheel drive are few, among them and as most notable. The one mentioned above, the fabulous four-piston brake calipers. Helped by ABS and the viscous coupling self-locking differential.
It is designed to accommodate five adults with their corresponding luggage. It pays special attention to the driver’s environment, offering correct ergonomics in a car with these characteristics. Note the shortage of instrumentation in the panel: it only has a speedometer, tachometer and fuel gauge.
Inside, there are level details such as the leather-wrapped shift knob and steering wheel. The interior of the Cosworth is covered in good quality upholstery with Haley/Angora velvet. And the front seats are signed by Recaro and offer perfect support for the most twisty areas.
In this version, special attention was paid to the rear seats, providing the rear seats with lateral supports, integrated headrests, central armrests and, to top it off, an always welcome practicable sunroof. In England, it was marketed as Sierra Sapphire.
At the wheel, and as long as we know what we are up to. The Ford Sierra RS Cosworth is a spectacular saloon. Suitable for everyone to drive, with a docile, bright and sober engine; good brakes, excellent stability and motor skills; suspension and comfortable interior. Against, its poor soundproofing and its picture, very poor. A wonderful machine that, without reaching the levels of 4 × 4, is effective, fast and brilliant.
Ford Sierra RS Cosworth, end of the saga
In 1990 appears what would be the last version of the Ford Sierra Cosworth, the 4 × 4. With a final power of 220 CV and 4-wheel drive. Thanks to its exceptional propeller and all-wheel drive, this was measured from you to you with cars like the legendary Lancia Delta Integrale, Mazda 323GTR, Subaru Legacy Turbo or Toyota Célica Turbo 4WD.
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