Everyone loves homologation specials — these are basically cars that come into existence when racing rules require automakers to have a street-legal version of competition cars. The 1980s Ford RS200 is a Group B dream car for anyone who’s ever laid eyes on it. Though there’s a more significant homologation car out there, which sort of made an appearance here in the USA: the Ford Sierra RS 500 Cosworth.
This is just one of the many, many fun pieces of knowledge to be soaked up by watching The Late Brake Show‘s recent video about this ultra-special car.
Jonny Smith, who you might know from Fifth Gear, as well as one of the best car podcasts/YouTube channels ever, Smith and Sniff, runs The Late Brake Show. It’s a channel filled with brilliant automotive content ranging from reviews to in-depth historic posts like this one, to even some in-depth interviews.
This recent Sierra Cosser episode fits in perfectly with what his channel’s all about.
As you can tell immediately, the owner, Rupe, has two of these: a full-fledged racing version, and an everyman’s-supercar, road-going version. The former pounded the tarmac in the British Touring Car Championship, as well as down under in Aussie touring car racing. It was even driven by Peter Brock!
The discussion between Jonny and Rupe about these two beasts is so good. They chat about why Ford wanted to get back on top of touring car racing, why the Sierra was such a good platform for the brand to start with, how well it did, and of course, how fun the street-legal one is to drive.
The Sierra RS Cosworth was one of the most successful race cars ever, with some of that high hit ratio coming from filling BTCC podiums and then some for three-whole years in the 1980s. It’s seen all forms of touring car racing around the world, even rally. Rupe’s taken his retired ol’ steed out on track too, thankfully. It’s always great to see collectible cars like this get to be used as intended, instead of sitting under museum lighting hidden away from the world.
Like I mentioned earlier, we kind of saw versions of these cool little coupes here in the States in the ’80s. But we knew it as its less-powerful, less-cool sibling, the Merkur XR4Ti. Though refreshingly, these were made into badass race cars, too. They might’ve been less cool than their more focused Euro cousins, but were still quite special indeed.
Definitely watch Jonny’s video from start to finish, there’s an epic amount of history and fun backstory!
Oh, and speaking of Fifth Gear, Tiff Needell drove a Sierra RS Cosworth race car on Old Old Top Gear back in the ’80s -make sure to check out this cool piece of history, too!