For years, many people were baffled when they opened up the Guinness Book of Records and discovered that the world’s fastest accelerating car was none other than a Ford – and a curiously small, almost goofy looking one which looked like nothing made on American soil.
That’s because the RS200 was a homologation special produced by Ford of Great Britain. It was specifically designed as Ford’s first four wheel drive contender for the radical Group B class rally racing, but a minimum number of road-certified examples had to be made to meet homologation requirements.
Since the best in the business came out to help Ford, including chief engineer John Wheeler and Tony Southgate, the RS200 Evolution represented the absolute pinnacle of modern racing development. While over 200 standard RS200s were made, only 24 Evolution models were produced to stay ahead of the competition. These included a special BTD-E 2.1 liter engine equipped with a massive turbo to the effect of 580 bhp.
However, the resulting four wheel drive monster was ‘the fastest accelerating car in the world’, and as driven by Stig Blomqvist, a RS200 Evo achieved the 0-62mph (100kph) Guinness world record time of 3.07 seconds, a figure that stood for twelve years!