There have been, over the years, many cars to wear Ford‘s prized RS badge, but the 1970 Ford Escort RS1600 was the very first, and quite the potent contender, too. While it may have been but a variant on the Escort Mk 1 model, it exuded an aura of aggression like few cars do. It was clear that this was no simple cosmetic options package! The RS badge has always denoted a race-ready machine – or as much as local laws allow – something that the RS1600 clearly established. Even today, the RS badge means performance, handling and incredible bang for your buck, so to speak. In addition to all the mechanical bells and whistles this little bomb came with, it was also made to look the part.
The RS1600 was no ordinary pimped-up sedan; under the hood was Ford’s twin-cam, 16-valve 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine, a first for Ford in a production car and something incredibly rare in 1970. This little car could reach a top speed of 113 miles per hour, and accelerate to 60 mph in about 7.5 seconds, both more than respectable figures considering the size of the car and the engine, and the fact that this is in 1970!
The Ford Escort RS1600 offered kick-in-the-groin acceleration, an improved body shell, stiffened for your handling pleasure, an awesome suspension and front disc brakes, all contributing to incredible performance and driving enjoyment. It remained in production until 1975 and was replaced in ’76 with the RS1800, which followed in the tracks laid by the little car that could.