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 :
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|
|Additional||Weber 32/36 DGV|
|Displacement||1993cm3 / 122cui|
|Plug Firing Order||1342 (1 front of engine)|
|Horsepower||73.5kw / 100 HP|
|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