Ford Sierra 1982-1993

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Ford Sierra / Sapphire / Merkur XR4Ti

This topic is for voting on variants other than the 1987 Ford Sierra Cosworth RS500 already in the game.

it would be nice to be able to use the Ford Sierra Sapphire RS Cosworth 4x4

these where pretty popular in Group A rally and are still used in rally

Ford Sierra RS Cosworth 4x4

In January 1990 the third generation Sierra RS Cosworth was launched, this time with four wheel drive. As early as 1987, Mike Moreton and Ford Motorsport had been talking about a four-wheel drive Sierra RS Cosworth that could make Ford competitive in the World Rally Championship. The Ferguson MT75 gearbox that was considered an essential part of the project wasn’t available until late 1989 however.

Ford Motorsport’s desire for a 3-door “Motorsport Special” equivalent to the original Sierra RS Cosworth was not embraced. The more discreet 4-door version was considered to have a better market potential. It was therefore decided that the new car should be a natural development of the second generation, to be launched in conjunction with the face lift scheduled for the entire Sierra line in 1990.

The waiting time gave Ford Motorsport a good opportunity to conduct extensive testing and demand improvements. One example was the return of the bonnet louvres. According to Ford’s own publicity material, 80% of the engine parts were also modified. The improved engine was designated YBG for cars with a catalytic converter and YBJ for cars without. The former had the red valve cover replaced by a green one, to emphasize the environmental friendliness. Four wheel drive and an increasing amount of equipment had raised the weight by 100 kg, and the power was therefore increased to just about compensate for this.

The Sierra RS Cosworth 4x4 received, if possible, an even more flattering response than its predecessors and production continued until the end of 1992, when the Sierra was replaced by the Mondeo. The replacement for the Sierra RS Cosworth was not a Mondeo however, but the Escort RS Cosworth. Based on the Sierra Cosworth platform,[12] the Escort went on sale in May 1992, more than a year after the first pre-production examples were shown to the public, and was homologated for Group A rally in December, just as the Sierra RS Cosworth was retired.

The 4x4 Cosworth made a few appearances as a works rally car in 1990, and then tackled a full World Championship programme for 1991 and 1992. It was not a great success and never won a World Championship event, although in the hands of drivers such as Francois Delecour and Massimo Biasion it did take several second and third places. Initially it was unreliable, the gearbox being an especially weak point, and although by 1992 the reliability problems had been solved the Cosworth was never quite as effective in most conditions as some of its rivals. It was a relatively large car, slightly heavy, and less sophisticated than the latter generations of the Lancia Delta and Toyota Celica in terms of transmission systems and electronics. Biasion was reputedly strongly critical of the car on his first events for the team in 1992, but earned its best World Championship finish on that year’s Rally of Portugal, where he finished second. He also brought its World Championship career to a close with fifth place on that Lombard RAC Rally. By then technical development of the Sierra had ceased, and most of the team’s effort was directed towards the upcoming Escort Cosworth, which promised to be a much more competitive prospect.

Like the rear-drive car, the Cosworth 4x4 was popular at lower levels of rallying and a consistent winner at national championship level, and it remains a popular car among amateur rally drivers.