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RS 500 Cosworth – 1987

Feb 03,2006 Julian

In 1986, FIA rules allowed that a homologated Group A car could then lend itself to a so called ‘evolution’ derivative, effectively a small-run improved version of the original. To get this small-run model homologated the FIA dictated that ten percent of the Group A figure (5000) had to be produced, thus 500 cars. From this simple equation the RS 500 Cosworth was born.

Ford had intended to make good use of this allowance for the three door shell Cosworth early on, for it had already been decided that there would not be the same competition impetus on the soon to be announced Sapphire derivative. As such, 500 completely finished RS Cosworth units had been driven off the finished production lines and effectively dust-wrapped until the 500 project began!

Ford already had a good working relationship with Tickford having worked on such projects as the Tickford Capri, and perhaps more importantly, in preparing the Group-B RS200 cars for road use. As such, with efficient lines for short-run volumes, it made sense for Tickford to handle the transformation of the standard RS Cosworth into RS500 guise.


The finished product was a 224bhp variant, capable of 153mph. In relation to the engine, the RS500 was now fitted with a Garrett T04 turbo charger and utilised a second injection rail along with a larger intercooler. Modifications were also made to the rear suspension, and the car was given a more aerodynamic front bumper which had the fog lights removed to house air intake cooling ducts. The rear spoiler also had a small extension lip fitted. Nearly 400 of the cars were black, with the remainder a pretty equal split between Moonstone blue and White, all of which featured RS500 decals.

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