Now if there’s something that’s always popular, it’s a four-door sedan with some kick to it, and when it comes to kick, the 1988 Ford Sierra Sapphire RS Cosworth had plenty to go around. Based on the Ford Sierra sedan, it was fitted with a powerful engine, but unlike its predecessor, it was tweaked and tuned for ride comfort rather than all-out handling. It still handled plenty well (I know you’re not supposed to say that), but it was said that inexperienced drivers could be caught by surprise by the engine’s turbo kick, which could come brutally and unexpectedly, causing some serious wheelspin and hard-to-control oversteer. Nevertheless, it was a popular car that looked good and sold well.
At the car’s launch, it was observed by Cosworth boss Rod Mansfield that the car would need to be all-wheel-drive to be complete, and that’s exactly what was in the cards for the Sierra RS Cosworth, starting in 1990. The ’88 model was equipped with a turbocharged inline four-cylinder engine, with a 2-liter displacement that produced 220 horsepower. The top speed was an impressive 150 miles per hour, and acceleration to 60 took only 6.5 seconds.
The 1988 Ford Sierra Sapphire RS Cosworth, usually referred to sans the ‘Sapphire’, which was just a trim level, was a fast, agile car that remained in production until 1992, when it was replaced by the front-wheel drive Mondeo. Most of its drive-train survived in the excellent Escort RS Cosworth.