Stratas Auctions is currently auctioning a 1986 Ford RS200 Evolution, one of only 24 RS200 Evos ever produced and constructed with the intention of taking part in the 1980s legendary Group B Competition.
History of the Ford RS200 Evolution
In 1982, rallying and sports car racing observed a brand-new set of regulations for competition vehicles with FIA’s introduction of Group B to succeed Group 4 and Group 5 competition.
To be accepted into the competition, they reduced the number of required identical units that a manufacturer had to produce in a 12-month period down to only 200 units from the previous 400 unit requirement.
Initially, Group B had no restriction whatsoever with regards to car design, the material composition of the chassis or bodywork, exterior or interior dimensions, engine type, drivetrain layout, or power output.
There were a general set of rules that did apply such as the passenger compartment having to be able to fit two seats side by side and it could not have an open roof design.
The minimum race weight was calculated via engine displacement being B/12:2000cc+, B/11: 1600-1999cc, B/10: 1300-1599cc, and B/9: 1299 cc or less.
Another FISA mandate was that forced induction engines would get a multiplication factor of 1.4 in the calculation of the final engine displacement figure. The figure would be used to determine the maximum tire width combinations for each particular model and the minimum weight requirements.
FIA’s motorsport regulatory division, FISA, also added revisions to the former Group 3 “Evolution” (E) Feature, naming it “Evolution/Termination” (ET) under the rules of Group B. The fresh rules allowed 10% more of the entire quantity of cars that were constructed to get further modifications for racing. To introduce a variation, the manufacturer was required to manufacture at least 20 more vehicles to homologate any “evolution” models into competition.
In 1983, production of the Ford RS200 began which incorporated a composite/fiberglass body styled at the Ghia Design Studio by Filippo Sapino. Ford Motorsports Chief Engineer John Wheeler and Formula 1 designer Tony Southgate designed the chassis.
The compact, four-wheel-drive mid-engine coupe was equipped with a turbocharged 1.8-liter, 16-valve Cosworth BDA engine (the BDT).
The placement of the engine and transmission gave the RS200 one of the most balanced platforms compared to its competitors. The engine of the Ford RS200 produced 250bhp in its streetcar version and the rally version produced up to 500bhp.
In 1984, the RS200 was first publicly displayed and was homologated in 1986 after 200 units were constructed.
It made its World Championship debut in the same year at the 1986 Swedish Rally with Kalle Grundel behind the wheel, finishing third overall. In the same year, the RS200 ended up having a total of 19 wins and 32 podium finishes.
There was very little difference between the RS200 street cars and the Group B competition cars aside from the interior. The interior incorporated grey carpeting, door inserts, a red leather XR3i steering wheel, and Sparco seats.
To abide by the rules, Ford fully intended to build 20 more Evolution cars, but after Group B was cancelled, they just modified 20 of the first 200 chassis with 4 more Evolution cars after the initial 20 was completed.
The RS200 Evo was equipped with an upgraded suspension and brakes. It was also given a larger 2.1-liter version of the Cosworth engine developed by the British engineer, Brian Hart. The RS200 produced 600bhp and can reach 60mph in just over three seconds.
In 1986, famed driver Stig Blomqvist set a Guinness World Record of 0-60mph time of 3.07 seconds behind the wheel of the RS200 Evo. He kept the record for an amazing 12 years.
Auction of Chassis 00215
The 1986 Ford RS200 Evolution that is being sold by Stratas Auctions, Chassis 00215, was initially sold by Ford’s Competition Department on April 30th, 1987.
As chassis 00215 was one of the later models designed for the 1987 season, the chassis was outfitted with the more powerful 2,137cc version of the BDT engine.
The first owner used the RS200 for hill climbs and rally-cross competitions. The example was later sold to JBJ Group where they registered it in Sweden. It stayed in the country until September 2000 where it was then sold and registered in Norway.
It stayed with its next owner for the next seventeen years until it was sold to its current owner where it has been part of a prominent US collection of racing cars. Immediately upon purchase, the new owner of the RS200 took the example to Geoff Page Racing in the UK where he had the engine rebuilt before being delivered to the US.
The impressive RS200 is being auctioned as a road and rally ready example which has only been driven less than 100 miles following the engine being rebuilt.
Despite Group B racing only occurring for a brief period, it led to some of the most powerful and technologically advanced rally cars that were ever made.
Only one of the 24 ever made, chassis 00215 displays not only the power of a renowned Group B Rally Car but also the mystique that goes along with one of the most inspiring periods in motorsport history.
Exterior of the Ford RS200 Evolution
Years of rally racing design and Group B racing innovation is evident on the exterior of the RS200. The functional and performance-driven design by Ghia takes on a futuristic appearance.
The exterior of the example is in excellent original condition and no obvious flaws can be seen. No signs of issues or stress can be seen on the fiberglass body.
Ford RS200 Evolution Interior
With the car’s racing heritage in mind, the factory-fitted Tickford interior is comfortable yet sparse.
The interior features are presented in a well-maintained condition that includes the Sparco seats, grey carpeting, and red leather steering wheel.
Further details of the sale of this 1986 Ford RS200 Evolution can be found at Stratas Auctions.