Ford Fiesta Rs Turbo – Ford Fiesta RS Turbo and RS1800 – Reviews, History, Prices and Specifications They may not appeal to Gallic contemporaries, but this hot Fiesta from the ’90s still packs a punch.
There’s no denying that Ford lost its hot mojo in the early nineties. The Fiesta XR2i held its own against the likes of the Peugeot 205 GTi, Renault Clio 16V and the Fiat Uno Turbo (who doesn’t love the blue piped bumper trim and quad fog and driving lights?). Ford had a bit of a sense of humor. It wasn’t just hampered by the Asthma’s aggressively bred 1.6-litre CVH engine, it also had a chassis that was as stiff and communicative as a quiet couch potato. Ford’s marketing and optional discounts helped sales, but good-driving cars were in high demand.
Ford Fiesta Rs Turbo
Help came in the form of Ford’s Special Vehicle Engineering (SVE) division, which previously worked its magic on the Capri 2.8i and Sierra XR4x4. This dedicated team of engineers tasked with transforming the Fiesta delivered the RS Turbo, which upgraded the XR2i with a few tweaks. It was no match for the smart and careful French rivals, but the Boost and Brown RS brought the necessary excitement.
File:1991 Ford Fiesta Rs Turbo 1.6 Rear.jpg
It was later replaced by the naturally aspirated RS1800 – a car that was far more advanced than its predecessor, but unfortunately did not live up to the legend of the hallowed badge, once one of the greatest MK2 Escorts of all time. .
Although the Ford Fiesta is a hot hatch model, it’s hard to beat as some of the best and original options for nineties nostalgia. Both cars are rare, so you’ll make more than the ‘me too’ 205 GTi. Of course, exclusivity comes at a price, meaning you’ll need £10,000 for a decent RS Turbo and around half the budget for an RS1800.
The RS Turbo showrooms in the mid-1990s, a year after the entire third-generation Fiesta range was launched. On its face, the newcomer looked like an XR2i, with an Escort RS Turbo engine tucked into its nose. But it was a little more than that. Of course both cars shared the same 1.6-liter CVH four-cylinder, but the Fiesta benefited from a smaller Garrett T2 turbo (Cavecort, sorry the Escort had a bigger T3), which stepped up at lower revs for more response and a little more torque. The Bosch engine management system was also downgraded, Ford preferring a more powerful EEC IV setup. Finally, the theme is taken from the XR2i and shows a better visual experience. This allowed the same head to produce 133bhp, but peak torque of 134lb ft was reached with a whoosh at just 2400rpm. A similarly tried-and-tested Ford B5 gearbox was used, but the Fiesta has a low-end drivetrain for serious response.
The XR2i’s suspension has been tweaked to help the driver handle this boost bonanza, a hatch combo consisting of MacPherson struts at the front and trailing arms attached to a torsion beam at the rear. In addition to lowering the XR2i and stiffening, the RS Turbo adds a 20mm rear anti-roll bar and other camber and castor adjustments, as well as a steering wheel (although the auxiliary setup has a squishy turn lock-to-lock). What was missing was the Escort differential which was minimal, while the XR2i’s brakes (240mm discs at the front and 203mm drums at the rear) used the same material as the Sierra RS Cosworth, without using the Ferodo pads. Like many Fords of the era, the Teves mechanical anti-lock braking system was available as an option.
File:1992 Ford Fiesta Rs Turbo (15153058338).jpg
Like any racing Ford, the RS Turbo’s exterior is designed to leave road users guessing – if you’ve got it, show it off. The XR2i’s blue pinstriping has been replaced by – very green – green, while the bonnet has been cut to allow for ventilation. Finally there was a spoiler in the color of the tailgate and a set of 14-inch three-spoke alloys for the nineties, wrapped in 185 tires. The color options were Radiant Red, Diamond White, Black and Mercury Gray Metallic, while at the end for 1992 cars were available in Moondust Silver. The interior featured comfortable Recaro seats with a three-spoke steering wheel and gear shifter, along with gray leather upholstery.
A change in emissions regulations in 1993 (all new cars required booster converters) meant that the RS Turbo was dropped after just two years, replaced in 1992 by the RS1800. It wouldn’t be very smart to use a badge with pictures of big MK2 Escorts driving through the woods, BDA whining behind them, but while the Fiesta RS1800 may not live up to that legacy, it’s not. as bad as you can imagine. Most notably, the final run of RS1800s in 1994 was based on the MK3.5 Fiesta, which looked identical to the 1989 original, but included a number of changes that would pave the way for the more brutal MK4 ‘fishface’. This means a change to the power shell, as well as a redesigned underbonnet area that allows the power steering to be installed for the first time. These changes bring a welcome boost to the driving experience, but we’ll see that these changes come at a cost of equipment.
Powering all RS1800 models was the new Zeta (to be called Zetec from the Ford and Lancia franchise line) which was first seen in the stylish Escort and the new Mondeo. Packing a 1.8-litre, twin-cam and 16-valve engine, it was the most advanced Ford in years, although it was quite rugged and equipped by the standards of the day. Boasting an impressive 105bhp, the RS1800 benefited from a larger body, higher cams and an upgraded EEC IV ECU for the 2.0-litre, bringing power up to 130bhp and 120lb ft of torque at 4500rpm. These numbers were lower than the RS Turbo’s, meaning performance was reduced (the 0-60mph sprint rose from 7.7 seconds to 8.1 seconds, while top speed dropped from 132mph to 127mph), but the more linear output offsets the Turbo’s power control. Behavior
The suspension was identical to the RS Turbo, with the exception of slightly longer front bars, and the introduction of power steering for 1994 which reduced the lock-to-turn feature to three turns. .
Rs Owners Club National Day 2005
Obviously the RS1800 owed a lot to the RS Turbo (and the XR2i, which now had a 105bhp version of the 1.8-litre Zetec), but it’s a classic twist from the mid-nineties. Where the green stripes (interspersed with black inserts) went, and the first cars had orange display lines, later models got things that were clear. The wheels have also been updated, with the Fiesta featuring a 14-inch facsimile of the MK5 Escort RS2000’s 5-spoke affair. Cars after 1994 got a power steering system and a stronger shell, and also saw alloy rims drop from the options list, while the more comfortable Recaros were dropped inside in favor of Ford’s wing-guided design.
Despite serving the same market, the two cars couldn’t be more different to drive. For classic fun, the RS Turbo is hard to beat. It can’t compete with the Peugeot 205 or the Renault Clio for quietness and quiet, but there’s no shortage of fun, laid-back luxury. The distance is reduced with time, but compared to modern machines the Fiesta’s ‘pause…whoosh’ system is annoying. The body shape extends to driving, with an unassisted steering wheel instead of steering the Ford into a corner – especially a bicep hit under hard acceleration, where torque steer adds a bit of directional control. However as with most older cars there is a real connection. The low-speed throttle offers incredible traction and control, although we’re talking a little bit – this isn’t a modern hot bike, and it wasn’t in the same league as the Gallic contemporaries.
Later RS1800s added some extra charge, especially for the later electric-assisted cars, which felt much better with their faster racks and lowers. However, this increase comes from an engine that, although there are no frills like the Honda VTEC, gives its power well and is well controlled. The flipside is that this redesign highlights some of the chassis’ flaws and robs the car of the noisy RS Turbo. As a result, with a compelling Fiesta that attracts a strong following and high prices, it is not surprising to know that the best cars start with it.