This year marks 25 years since the introduction of the Ford Sierra RS500. The model marked the pinnacle of Ford’s range in the mid-1980s, and was virtually unbeatable in Group A touring car competitions.
The RS500 was launched two years after the Sierra RS Cosworth at the 1985 Geneva motor show and was conceived as an even more potent choice for touring car racing. In Group A, it proved devastating, taking 40 outright wins in succession.
In race trim, the rear-wheel drive Sierra could reliably produce 500bhp, but road car versions, of which Ford needed to sell 500, were sensibly pegged to 224bhp.
Revisions to the standard Cosworth YB engine were extensive, even if an increase of 20bhp over standard sounds small. A Garrett T31 turbo was installed with a larger intercooler and induction system. Twin fuel injectors in each cylinder, pressurised oil-cooled pistons and larger oil and water pumps helped the reliability and pace of the race car.
Performance was impressive, even by today’s standards. It would reach 62mph in 6.2sec and achieve a 153mph, compared to the 6.8sec and 149.5mph of the common-or-garden Cosworth.