the RS Turbo

In 1990, Ford introduced what would become arguably one of the finest hot hatches they’ve every produced. After the massive success of the XR2i released the year before, Ford decided to turn the heat up a bit by taking the essential parts of the acclaimed XR2i, and adding to it, in the form of a turbocharged engine, hiking the power up to 133bhp

The engine was in essence the same unit as used in the Escort RS Turbo, unleashed 1986, which itself was an update of the earlier Escort RS Turbo available released in 1984. Instead of the earlier fuel injection which used a Bosch KE system, Ford used their own EEC IV system as used in the XR2i, which makes the car much more tuneable without having to use 5th injectors and allows for more accurate air flow readings.

AndyBlacks Custom SCC RST

Ford changed the turbocharger used though to combat turbo-lag, a trait which haunts all turbocharged cars. They opted for the Garrett AiResearch T2 turbo, as opposed to the larger T3 unit that was used in the Escort, allowing the car to start boosting at lower rpm, virtually eliminating the effects of turbo lag and making the car much more responsive. The car produced 133bhp at 5500rpm and 183Nm of torque at just 2400rpm, which for the cars size and weight made it very fast performance Fiesta with a top speed of 127mph and being able to pull itself to 60mph in just 7.7 seconds.

Driving the Fiesta RS Turbo daily was by means a chore, the thrill of the ride was complemented by full Recaro interior, as fitted in the Cosworths and Escort RS Turbos. The steering wheel is leather covered and embossed with the Turbo logo, and complimented by the leather gear knob with the car features including electric windows, sunroof and a Ford radio cassette, it was no cooking model. The car had the option of a heated front screen, with a heated rear screen as standard. Other options were ABS braking, and metallic paintwork.

AndyBlacks Custom SCC RST

Ford made the Fiesta RS for two years until 1992 when new emission standards were being brought in, which meant major revisions to the RS if it were to remain in production and comply. Instead production was stopped and the RS Turbo was replaced with the newer RS1800 Fiesta. The RST remained the fastest Fiesta ever produced until the start of this year when Ford unveiled the ST150, but still, even though this new model is faster, does it have the credibility of the RS Turbo. The name certainly doesn’t hold as much acclaim and history as the RS.

Colours available were typical Ford RS colours, Diamond White and Radiant Red, and at extra cost, Mercury Grey and Black were available. The last 50 Turbos that were made were in Moondust silver and these are considered the rarest. Nearly half of all RS Turbos produced were ordered in Radiant Red, which you’ll notice if you’re ever been looking for buy one. Unfortunately not an awful lot of RS Turbos have survived; many have been crashed, broken or simply left to rot! They can be bought for very little money, but cheep RS’s only means big bills. Examples can be picked up for as little as £1000, but these are in very poor condition or not running. Pristine examples can swap hands for as much as £4500-5000 for a mint Fiesta, but typically they fetch around £3000.