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Posted by Glenn Rowswell on 10th July 2019

FORD ESCORT RS2000 MK2  (1976-1980)

Tuneable, fun and seriously cool, the Mk2 Escort RS2000 ticks all the boxes…

Older performance cars, classics if you want to call them that, are usually treated as museum pieces to look at and admire, but are rarely used hard. In some respects we understand that as they are very valuable and rare, fixing them or replacing a destroyed one comes at huge expense, but for us this always seems a waste.

There are exceptions to this rule in all cars, but the number one is the Mk2 Escort RS2000, a car that is over 40 years old and commands serious money, but is far more commonly seen squatting under hard acceleration or sideways in a cloud of tyre smoke than it is being polished up for display.

First appearing in 1976, even today the Mk2 Escort RS2000 ticks all the boxes for a fun and affordable performance car. Two-litre engine, rear-wheel drive, 950kg, cool styling inside and out, and eye watering paintwork options that makes the current Focus RS and ST colours look tame; it’s clear why the RS2K was the number one car to tune in the late 70s and 80s.

Under the bonnet is the two-litre Ford Pinto engine, which although fairly unremarkable as standard, is enough to propel the lightweight Escort to some serious sideways fun as standard, and more importantly, has enormous tuning potential. From 2.4 stroker engines running big carbs and well over double the standard power, to aftermarket twin-cam head conversions, the cars were tuned to the hilt and big power RS2000s were everywhere.

As the 70s and early 80s became the late 80s and 90s, a whole new tuning option opened itself up; Cosworth power. As the Cosworth YB is loosely based on the Pinto, the Cosworth engine is a relative straight swap into Mk2 Escort RS2000s and these conversions became hugely popular. Go to any Ford event today and big power RS2000s, many with 500bhp+ Cosworth engines, can be seen tearing up the tarmac.

A ‘classic’ car that not only still gets pushed to its limits today but we would all still love to own and tune? Now that’s a legendary car if ever there was one…

SPEC FORD ESCORT RS2000 MK2  (1976-1980)
Engine 2-litre 8 valve
Power 110bhp
Torque 130lb ft
0-60mph  8.9seconds
Top speed 110mph