For sale: the last Ford Escort RS Cosworth ever built

By topgear, 06 November 2022

For sale: the last Ford Escort RS Cosworth ever built

Famously, it was originally designed with a double-bladed rear wing that got changed to the ‘whale-tail’ production version. Infamously, insuring the thing cost more than life itself. Whatever the lore surrounding the Escort Cossie suggests, one thing’s clear: it’s one of the best cars Ford has ever built.

And this one is the last version of that car. It’s a 1996 Escort RS Cosworth offered by Collecting Cars that’s been under the auspices of a gentleman named Dieter Hahne. Herr Hahne was the manager of Ford’s Special Vehicle Engineering (SVE) department, and has owned this car for 24 years.

Twenty four years. And he was only the second owner – the first was Wilhelm Karmann Jr. Yes, that’s right, from the same Karmann family that built the entire production run of Escort Cossies over in Germany. Wilhelm just happened to be the chairman at the time.

As for lore, this particular car has its own story. Apparently, when production of the car officially ended in January 1996, the team found they had ‘hardware’ for two more cars. So they built two more cars to the original spec, though they had to use the ’93 model bonnets instead of the ’91 cars, because they didn’t have any of those left.

That’s why it looks ever so slightly different to the Cossies you’re used to seeing. Different colour, too – a special ‘Auralis Blue’ with a black leather interior, though there’s nothing different about the drivetrain.

So that immensely tuneable 2.0-litre turbocharged Cosworth four-pot up still lives up front, allied to a five-speed manual gearbox, a limited slip differential and four-wheel-drive.

This one’s got the proper alloys (16s), proper tyres (SportContact2s), had its rust dealt with and been treated to a respray. Apparently the air-con condenser was replaced by a Renault part, there’s a small oil leak, and the CD player is… playing up.

Now 80, Herr Hahne wants to sell his ‘baby’ so that somebody else can enjoy it. And besides the minor niggles, you’re getting one of the most famous performance cars ever built.

Click here for the auction listing.

STORY Vijay Pattni

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