BUYER’S GUIDE: Escort RS2000
It’s no longer a performance bargain, but the Mk2 RS makes for a cracking classic Ford right out of the box.
It may no longer be a performance bargain, but the Mk2 RS makes a great classic Ford out of the box.
A s Vauxhall had done with its Firenza HS droopsnoot, Ford gave its Mk2 Escort RS2000 a nose job to differentiate it from its cooking stablemates.
By chopping the wings back 100 mm and affixing a sloping polyurethane nosecone that featured a quartet of Cibie headlamps and added 8.6 inches to the Escort’s length, Ford ensured its RS2000 had a distinctive identity all of its own on its January 1976 launch.
The nose cone didn’t just give the RS2000 a pretty face either, it reduced drag by 16 per cent, could shrug off the odd parking misdemeanour and helped the sporty Escort cut through the air to a top speed that nudged 110 mph.
Beneath the boxier shell and fancy front end though, the second- generation RS2000 had much in common with the Mk1 version. It utilised the same 1993cc Pinto engine, Type E four-speed gearbox and, other than 9 inch rear brake drums and a two-piece propshaft, much of the running gear.
Although built for speed, the RS also offered a decent levels of comfort, refinement and equipment. Supportive sports seats, a laminated windscreen, heated rear windscreen, intermittent wipers, centre console, glovebox and instrumentation from the Mexico and RS1800 were all standard, while the exterior was set off with a rubber rear boot spoiler and 6x13 inch four-spoke alloys.
Even better, the RS’s superb package was competitively priced, but for those on a tight budget there was good news in September 1978 when Ford realigned its RS2000 offering to plug the RS entry-level gap left by the axed Mexico. By substituting the RS’s alloys and interior with the steels and cheaper trim of the Mexico, Ford created the Standard version and slashed the price to £3901. At the same time, the manufacturer introduced the plusher Custom version at £4415.
It all added up to a very tempting proposition and it was no surprise that even after the RS2000 was put out to grass in September 1980 that remaining dealer stock was selling for more than list price. Needless to say, the RS2000 is even more in demand today and prices show little sign of slowing. Buying an RS2000 is never going to be cheap, but when it comes to a great RS experience, you’ll certainly get what you paid for.