Ford Escort RS2000

The Escort RS2000 Mk1 was based on the success of the exciting Escort Mexico and RS1600, the new member of the Escort Rallye family has inherited most of their characteristics-heavy duty body shell, wheels and suspension.

The Escort RS2000 was launched in Germany in June 1973 and the demand in this highly sophisticated market was overwhelming. The right-hand drive British version has inherited a level of manufacturing quality that must be the envy of other specialist firms.

The Escort RS2000 uses the same competition-developed type 49 heavy duty, 2-door body as the Escort Mexico and RS 1600 models. The front wheel arches are flared to accommodate the wide sports road wheels: and the front suspension mounting points, together with the chassis side rails, are specially reinforced. The 2 litre OHC engine fitted snugly in the engine compartment.


The combination of a performance engine in a small yet tough body shell enables the RS2000 to achieve: a maximum speed of 110mph, acceleration through the gears from 0-60mph in only 9 seconds.

What was also remarkable was that the Escort RS2000 was able to offer a fuel consumption of approximately 33mpg-a figure to be envied even by owners of more ‘sedate’ saloon cars.

Of course, a performance car of this calibre has also to provide outstanding handling, a high degree of stability and be able to give an acceptable ride as well. This has been achieved by increasing the front spring rates on the Escort RS2000 over the RS1600 model by 30%,while, at the rear, shock absorber settings have been reduced. The ride height at the rear has been lowered by the use of de-cambered leaf springs, to match such exhilarating performance characteristics a direct acting vacuum servo assisted dual-line braking system is incorporated.

Rack and pinion steering and with five and a half inch wide sports road wheels shod with 165 x 13 radial ply tyres put the finishing touches to this exciting car.


The 2 litre single overhead camshaft power unit has been specially developed for installation in the RS2000. The adoption of an electrically operated and thermostatically controlled fan enables the engine to deliver 100 BHP (DIN), two BHP more than the version installed in the Cortina, where a mechanically operated fan was employed.

The RS2000 engine was secured by specially devised engine mountings and was also equipped with a unique baffled alloy sump to prevent oil surge when racing or rallying as well as a central oil pump pick-up.

Proven Transmission

Power from the engine was transmitted through a mechanically operated diaphragm spring clutch to a synchromesh 4-speed close ratio gearbox. This unit was an adaptation of the universally acclaimed Cortina 2000E gearbox and has a raised pivot point for the single selection rail shift mechanism to reduce gear lever movement between the ratios.

An alloy clutch bell housing and a single piece tube-in-tube rubber bonded propeller shaft provides exceptional drive line smoothness for high speed cruising. And to complete the power train a rear axle ratio of 3.54:1 was specified. This affords 18.7 mph per 1000 rpm in top gear, making the RS2000 an economical, long-striding motorway car.


The seating was luxurious. All seats are trimmed in black fabric and the body hugging front seats recline fully. The padded sports steering wheel is in fact absorbent and there is a comprehensive range of instruments, comprising speedometer, tachometer and gauges for oil pressure, water temperature, battery condition and fuel quantity Halogen headlamps, hazard warning flashers and steering column lock was also included in the Escort RS2000’s comprehensive specification.

Choice of Colours

A choice of six colours was offered with decal paint scheme in a second paint colour. If the decal scheme was not required, a thin triple coach line was offered instead.

Body ColourDecal ColourCoach Line Colour
Diamond WhiteBlueRed
Sebring RedRedBlack
Daytona YellowYellow OchreBlack
Modena GreenGreenBlack
Olympic BlueBlueBlack

There were several option packs available “Rallye Pack”, “Race Pack” and “Individual Options”.