We all love brutal cars; we say we enjoy ride and comfort, but when you get right down to it, brutal acceleration, harsh, uncompromising braking and finicky, difficult to master handling are what we all love. You know it to be true. When it comes to brutal, they don’t make it like they used to, and they broke the mold after the 1985 Ford Sierra RS Cosworth. To be fair, ALL RS Cosworth-badged cars are brutal and scary, but that’s not the point. When it was introduced back in the mid-80s, only 5,000 were supposed to be built in order to qualify for Group A racing, but it proved so popular that an extra 1,000 were produced – and sold – and Ford went so far as to make it even faster, in the form of the RS500, only 500 of which were made. The car was so uncompromising, brutal and difficult to handle that it was an instant success, and developed a religious-like following.
The engine, a 2-liter, twin-cam turbocharged four-cylinder, developed 204 horsepower, or 224 in the case of the RS500. Paired to a necessarily rugged five-speed manual transmission, it could propel the three-door car to a top speed of 145 miles per hour, and accelerate to 60 mph in just over 6 seconds. While the car was all Ford, the engine was left entirely to the tender mercies of Cosworth, who extracted from Ford the promise to purchase a minimum of 15,000 engines, allowing for future generations of RS cars to be built.
The 1985 Ford Sierra RS Cosworth wasn’t particularly pretty; it looked like a tough, thick-legged girl who’s likely to break your nose if you don’t treat her exactly right. And so she should; the RS Cosworth are only meant for the few who can handle them.