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Ford Escort RS Turbo 1991

General description : Model History

Ford followed up the RS1600i by adding a turbo in 1984, increasing the output from the same 1597cc CVH engine to 132hp to produce an improved 0-60mph time of just 8.2 seconds. Only 5,000 RS Turbos were planned for production for Group A homologation purposes, but this latest assault on the hot hatch crown proved so popular that 8,604 were made.

The car wasn’t just a modified XR3; the suspension settings were altered, the engine’s compression ratio was lowered, and a viscous-coupling limited-slip differential helped to eliminate torque steer. Test-driving the car, MotorSport described the RS Turbo as “perhaps the most enjoyable hot hatch currently available on the British market”.

The series 2 RS Turbo was launched in 1986, this time more aimed at the road user rather than built solely for homologation purposes. Performance was very similar to the earlier car, with a top speed of 128mph, and the only changes to the engine being a water-cooled Garrett turbo, longer gearing, revised cylinder head and new piston, plus improvements to the Jetronic unit and Intercooler.

In November 2015, an RS Turbo with only 5,568 miles on the clock was sold for a world record £60,188 at Silverstone Auctions.


Recaro front seats, Tilt and slide glass sunroof, Heated front windscreen, Electrically-adjustable door mirrors, Electric front windows, Front driving lamps, ABS, Central locking, Tinted glass, Quartz digital clock, Ford cassette radio, Alloy spare wheel, Immobiliser, Spare key, Original sales brochures.


The rare special order black paint presents amazingly well throughout with only a handful of very light chips to the lower part of the front bumper. The paintwork itself remains deeply glossy and free from any unsightly swirl marks. The panels are perfectly straight along both sides, with all glass and lights in flawless condition.

This one owner example has been carefully stored for most of its life resulting in the exceptionally low mileage of just 12k. The whole car is entirely unmodified and very original having never required any restorative work. It is extremely well preserved and would take very little to bring it up to a concours standard.


The exemplary interior appears factory-fresh throughout. Recaro seats of this era are prone to sagging, but no such issues can be seen here. The bolsters also remain in perfect, unmarked condition with absolutely no wear to speak of. On closer inspection the dash is pristine, the steering wheel shows no signs of use, and the rear seats appear to have never been sat in.


The condition of the engine bay is perfectly consistent with the car's low mileage, but certainly not its age! There are absolutely no signs of any corrosion to any of the inner panels or engine components, with all the aluminium parts still looking fresh.

The RS Turbo’s 132hp is achieved with help from the Garrett AiResearch T3 turbocharger. Power is delivered to the front wheels through a limited-slip differential, which minimises power loss in the diff when cornering. The five-speed gearbox remains feeling tight and precise.


The 15-inch alloys fill the arches nicely. Having never required a refurb they present extremely well in their factory paint with the original centre caps still fitted. The tyres are matching all round. The RS Turbo is equipped with ABS and boasts ventilated discs at the front wheels.

History File

The Escort was first registered in February 1991; it was supplied to its first and only keeper by Evans Halshaw Ltd. Ford regularly serviced the car up until 12,500 miles when it was then placed into dry storage because the owner now had use of a company vehicle. Rather than sell it he decided to cosset his pride and joy, never allowing it to deteriorate or fall into major disrepair. It remained away from the elements until 2016 when a light recommissioning was carried out to ensure the car was road-ready after being tucked away for more than 20 years. A major service was undertaken and the cambelt was replaced.

Present in the history file you'll find the original document pack complete with all the dealer-supplied owner's manuals. The New Car Buyer's Order Form is also included, as is the Ford Credit Agreement documentation from new. Service invoices, MOT certificates, tax discs, and sales brochures complete the paperwork.

1991 Ford Escort RS Turbo is listed sold on ClassicDigest in Kingsley by 4 Star Classics for £39995.


Car Facts

Car type : Car Make : Ford Model : Escort Model Version : RS Turbo Engine size : 1.6 Model Year : 1991 Sub type : Pick up Location : Hampshire


Seller Information


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About Ford
Ford, founded in 1902, has arguably changed the history of automotive world more than any other car manufacturer by introducing the first people's car Model T in 1908. They had produced more than 15 million cars by the end of the production in 1927, by which T had become obsolete.

Ford launched the first low priced V8 engine powered car in 1932. 1932 V8 was an instant hit with superior handling and performance to many far more expansive cars of the day. No wonder 32 V8 Ford has become such a favourite among hot rodders around the world with 32 Deuce coupe as their icon.

During the war Ford completely shut down civilian vehicle production to dedicate all its resources to the Allied war efforts (1942-45) They used to build B-24 bombers, aircraft engines, jeeps, M-4 tanks, military trucks and Bren-gun carriers and more than 30,000 super-charged Rolls Royce Merlin V-12 engines for Mosquito and Lancaster bombers as well as P-51 Mustang fighters. After the war Ford cars in the USA got bigger and flashier along with their competitors. In the 60's Ford was back in the forefront again when introducing their commercial hit Mustang in 1964. Mustang was so popular the competition had to follow Ford's example and the ponycar phenomenon took over the US. Over the years the ponies grew some muscles until the oil crisis kill finally killed them off.

In the sixties Ford rushed into international motor sports scene with a fury. After unsuccessful Ferrari takeover, when Enzo Ferrari had cut the deal off with Henry Ford II making the latter absolutely boil with fury, Ford turned to Lola in UK to produce a Ferrari beating long distance racer after. The collaboration between Ford and Lola created the mighty Ford GT40 that absolutely beat Ferrari in Le Mans 24 numerous times.

In Europe, Ford introduced some of the most epic race and rally cars of the 60's based on humble family sedans; Cortina GT, Lotus Cortina, Escort Twin Cam, and Escort 1600RS with the iconic Cosworth BDA engines.

Today classic Fords are extremely popular with enthusiasts and a great selection of classic Fords can be found for sale at