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Mk1 RS 2000 – 1973 to 1974

Feb 01,2006 Julian

The Mk1 RS2000 was a big hit with customers from the moment it was released and received favourable reviews in the motoring press as a car that sat neatly between the existing Mexico and RS1600 models, both in terms of price and performance. However, the drop in performance from the RS1600 was only slight, and like the Mexico, offered easier maintenance, servicing and cheaper insurance over the RS1600.

The engine chosen for the task was the 2.0 litre overhead cam Pinto, which had provided sterling work in the Capri and Cortina ranges. However, akin to the early problems of getting the Lotus-Ford engine into the Twin-Cam, the fitting of the Pinto engine to the RS2000 also took some serious thought. The result was to do away with the belt driven fan and install an electric fan under the slam-panel. In addition the sump (alloy) was redesigned to fit neatly around the cross-member.


The standard exterior decals featured bold side stripes, similar to the Mexico but much larger and without the wording, and a bootlid flash. In addition, an attractive bonnet stripe was also added. RS2000 badging was applied to the front wings and bootlid.

Inside the car were great improvements in trim, not least the reclining roll-top seats. The carpeted interior could also boast a centre console and even a wood trim dash as an optional extra! The interior improvements summed up the whole car in essence, a more ‘refined’ machine over its predecessors, which goes some way to explaining it’s popularity during 1974, the only ‘full’ year of it’s production where it outstripped sales for both the Mexico and RS1600, the latter of which was almost redundant in terms of sales by this time bar a few hard-core competition enthusiasts.

The short production life of the Mk1 RS2000 was mainly down to the impending arrival of the Mk2 Escort in 1975, and although the AVO plant closed during the winter of 74/75, there will still a few models available through the dealerships in the early part of 1975.

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