Mk1 Escort RS2000

Picture of a Ford Mk1 RS2000 from the original sales brochure

Released in 1973, the Ford Escort Mk1 RS2000 was the progression from a number of successful RS models that dominated the race and rally scene in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s

This configuration of the type 49 reinforced shell and the bullet proof single OHC 2ltr “pinto” engine is still the weapon of choice for many track and historic rally enthusiasts to this day.

The main benefits of the 2ltr engine over the lotus twin cam or Cosworth BDA/BDG engines of the preceding Mexico, RS1600 & RS1800 models is price and reliability.

The tale tell signs that you are looking at a RS2000 include the round headlights, slightly flared arches to accommodate the wide wheels and a slightly lower stance than the standard MK1.

Out of the box, the 1973 MK1 could hit 110MPH and go from 0-60MPH in 9 seconds

The original RS2000 managed to squeeze an additional 2HP out of the motor by ditching the engine mounted fan, instead opting for an electronic thermostatically controlled electric one. This gave the standard factory Mk1 Escort RS200o an engine output of 100 BHP.  Special engine reinforced engine mounts and a baffled oil sump ensured the motor stayed in place and didn’t suffer from oils surge issues.

The RS2000 came with a close ratio synchromesh 4 speed gearbox sourced from the 2000E Cortina , although it was adapted with a higher gear selector pivot point, thus giving a tighter movement between gear positions and turned gear changes into an efficient positive experience and less like stirring a stick through a bucket of porridge.

The suspension and drivetrain was enhanced over the RS1600 with 30% upgrade in front spring rates & the de-cambered rear leaf springs and reduced shock absorbers giving a slightly lower ride height and improved cornering ability.

A 3.54:1 rear axle diff ratio finished off the drive train enhancements which allows the factory spec RS2000 to achieve a 18.7 mph (30.09 km/h) per 1000rpm in 4th gear

All the RS2000’s were offered with the famous decal paint scheme with the options being :

Mk1 Escort

Blue Decal over Diamond White

Red Decal over Sebring Red

Yellow Ochre Decal over Daytona Yellow

Green Decal over Modena Green

Blue Decal over Olympic Blue

Blue decal over Stardust

Length 3984mm / 156.9in
Width 1572mm / 61.9in
Height 1384mm / 54.5in
Wheelbase 2400mm / 94.5in
Front Track 1295mm / 51in
Rear Track 1321mm / 52in
Turning Circle 9.05m / 29.7ft
Engine Mfr Ford EAO/OHC 2.0L
Engine Type spark-ignition 4 Stroke
Fuel System Carburetor
Additional Weber 32/36 DGV
Displacement 1993cm3 / 122cui
Bore 90.82mm
Stroke 76.94mm
Compression Ratio 9.2:1
Plug Firing Order 1342 (1 front of engine)
Horsepower 73.5kw / 100 HP
Torque 146 Nm
Power to Weight Ratio 80.4 Watt/kg
Fuel Capacity 41 ltr / 9 Gallons
Gearbox Manual 4 speed
Rear Ratio Max Speed kmh/mph
1st – 3.651 55 / 34
2nd – 1.968 102 / 63
3rd – 1.368 146 / 91
4th 200 / 124
Standard Tyres 165 SR 13
Top Speed 177KM/h 110 Mph
0-60 mph 9 seconds
0-100 km/h 9.4 Seconds
Kerb Weight 914 kg / 2015lbs


As I mentioned before, the Mk1 Escort RS2000 is still one of the most popular and successful rally cars on the planet. The leaderboards of classic and historic rallies all over the world regularly feature Mk1 Escorts – the below video gives you a little taste of what all the fuss is about

rs2000 ford mk1 escort rally car