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GRAN TURISMO CAR REVIEWS

Ford Rs200

white_fordrs200.jpg

SPEX
 
Year: 1986
Type: Sports Car, Group B rally car
Country of Origin: England
Host: GT2 & GT4
 
 
Price: $100,000 (GT2)
 
Construction: plastic / fiberglass composite body
Length: 163.4" // Width: 69.5" // Height: 56.3"
Wheelbase: 99.6"
Overhang: 5' 3.7"
Track: 59.1" [F] 58.9" [R]
Ground Clearance: 6.1"
Weight: 2,777 lbs.
Tires: 225/50 VR-16
Brakes: Vented Discs
F. Suspension: dual wishbone + twin coils & dampers, anti-roll bar
R. Suspension: dual wshbne + 2 coils & dampers, anti-roll bar, toe control links
Steering: power-assist rack & pinion
 
Engine: 1.8 liter DOHC inline 4
Construction: aluminum block & head
 
 
Tested HP: 384 @ 6,600 rpm
Tstd Torque:
348 @ 4,000 rpm
 
Pound 2 Power: 6.77
HP per liter: 213.33
Credit per HP: $260.42
 
Redline: 7,500 // Rev Limit: 8,000
 
Aspiration: intercooled turbo
Boost: 23 psi
Layout: Mid Engine / 4-wheel drive
Valves per Cyl: 4
Bore x Stoke: 3.39 x 3.06"
Compression Ratio: 7.2:1-7.8:1
 
 
Transmission: 5-speed manual
Clutch: twin plate paddle type
 
0-60 mph: 4.4 seconds
0-100mph: 10.7 seconds
 
Mile: 12.955 @ 110 mph
1 KM:
23.313 @ 143 mph
 
Test Track: 1:46.262
 
Top Speed at Rev Limit
1st: 42 mph
2nd: 60 mph
3rd: 81 mph
4th: 109 mph
5th: 146.35 mph @ 8,000 rpm
 

group_c_rs200.jpg

----------------EXTERIOR / HISTORY---------------
 
The Ford RS200 appears in GT2 as a street car, and in GT4 we can find it both as a street and a rally car. The RS200 was originally planned to be based on the Ford Escort, but has almost nothing in common with this popular econobox. It is a funny bug of a car, originally produced in 1986 by the Boreham division of Ford in England, though the body design was created by Ghia in Italy.
 
The RS200 lived a short life: only 200 were produced (that was the minimum required by Group B Rally regulations), and just six were actual race cars according to some websites, but other sites claim upwards of 20 racing cars were built. There were also some "Evolution" models that were supposed to be built, which were to be improvements over those original 200 customer cars; but as things turned out, these never made it to official production. Some customers had their RS200s converted to Evolution specs, though.
 
 I haven't been able to find out just how much the original RS200 cost. In 1987, it was ruled that the RS200 (along with some other high-powered vehicles like the Lancia 037) could not race anymore, after several accidents in the Irish and Corsican rallies of that year. Some spectators got killed and injured, which halted super-powered Group B, and rightly so.
 
Fortunately, we can experience the thrill of driving one of these as much as we like without anyone getting injured or killed. Though if I could run over some of those annoying paparazzi photographers at Grand Canyon, I certainly would. ;-) If you've been racing ordinary cars up 'til now, this hybrid race/production auto can be a lot of fun. With just a few modifications, I found myself getting ahead of much competition in GT2 with little effort. You can set many track records with this car without even trying, and I'll go so far as to say that it is one of the only high-powered cars that even a novice can race (even if he or she crashes a lot!), simply because it is very well-behaved. Point it in any direction, and It generally goes that way with little fuss.
 
The RS200 is 163.4 inches long, and has 99.6" of wheelbase. Track is 59.1" front and 58.9" rear. This car is very stable, in other words. It's a road-hugger, especially once you've upgraded its suspension. It comes standard with 6.1" of ground clearance (remember, it IS a rally car) but this can be easily lowered with a bettter suspension. Also of note are the ground force figures (in GT2): the RS200 has natural GF of .34 and .53 front & back. These can't be modified since the car doesn't come with racing modifications (though it should), but they seem to be perfect for keeping it on the road most of the time.
 
 
 
----------------ENGINE / DRIVETRAIN ----------------
 
Though the RS200 was made with an economy-sized engine displacing less than a 2-liter bottle of 7-up, it features a turbo-charger designed by Cosworth, which was obsessively making turbos for Ford to race most of their Formula 1 cars in the '80s. The RS200 is VERY fast. I recorded a 0-60 time of 4.4 seconds, 0-100 in just 10.7! The car blazed thru the quarter-mile in just 12.955 seconds.
 
Needless to say, turbo-lag is almost non-existent, especially since there's only one turbo upgrade. It has a top speed of only 146.35 mph, but this is because of the gears, so buy a racing gearbox before you buy any engine parts to raise the ceiling.
 
The RS 200 comes standard with what is essentially a super-close racing gearbox. If you've been racing a regular passenger car thus far, don't be surprised to find yourself shifting gears A LOT if you drive this car without fully-modifiable gears. In racing situations, you'll find that the standard set-up can be used a lot, though; just as long as you don't have to go faster than 146 mph.
 
As mentioned before, the RS200 will only accept one step of turbo charging. Max HP is 491 @ 7,100 rpm (GT2), and torque can be raised to 401 @ 5600 rpm. Still, its got the maneuverability of 4WD, let's not forget. At times, it almost seems unfair to race the RS200 against the computer!
 
 
---------------CHASSIS / DRIVETRAIN---------------
 
GT2
Real-life RS200s feature a double-wishbone suspension with twin coils & dampers front and rear (though the production car only has singles), which is race-proven and generally ready to go if you're rallying, but the tires on this car are really not up to the task for pavement driving.
 
Remember, these cars have a MID-mounted engine. They have 4-wheel drive, but the engine layout makes the front-end very light, prone to understeer due to traction-loss. This is despite the fact that in real-life, the RS200 had its transmission located between the seats. Thus, the drivetrain goes from the middle of the car forward, and then both back and forth to the 2 axles front and rear. It is a complicated set-up.
 
 This is another reason some of you might not want to go for full weight reductions. I find that using soft or super-soft tires up front with a harder grade in the rear helps, as well.
This is not a car that will accept power slides very well on pavement, though it seems born to skirt the dirt! Despite this, it is a poor rally car--at least in the game. Here's why.
 
The one thing you can't modify is the body work. Stage 3 weight is as far as your credits will go ...aerodynamics can't be improved at all, and once you get going in some of GT2's I-C and I-B rallies, you'll find that this lack of extra downforce really hurts the car's abilities. Sideways manuevers can't be corrected fast enuff. Flights thru the air last way too long, which looks fucking cool but when that Lancer you're racing against lands quicker and can get back to speed, the Ford is still flying! Such a shame; the Rs 200 certainly has the power to compete, but it's lacking one simple aid.
 
On pavement, it's all different. Even though the engine is in the back, it's light-weight, and if you try and slide it through corners, it will mostly just understeer instead. Throttle-induced oversteer is possible, though, especially if you set the limited-slip differentials correctly, but mostly this is a car that likes to be driven for grip, not drift. One option is to turn the camber on the rear wheels above 2.5, though drifting will still be rather weak most of the time.
 
Speaking of differentials, the RS200 in real-life has 3 LSD units. 2 of them were between both front & rear axles, and the 3rd was located next to the engine. It could be manipulated so that there was a 50/50 % torque split between the front and rear tires if the driver was racing on questionable surfaces. I don't know if the car in the game has this feature, but it sure would explain why it gets around the tracks as efficiently as it does.
 

fordrs200_gt2.jpeg


------------------------PROS----------------------
 
1). You'll win almost every race and beat your own lap times without even trying! Unless, of course, you've been driving a faster car.
 
2). Lots of power from a small, light weight engine. Well, actually it's the turbo that's to blame.
 
3). Hugs the road.
 
4). Looks like an insect. A cute one.
 
5). Fat tires and good spring rates are standard.
 
6). Race-proven technology in a production car! Plus, you don't even have to 'win' it, you can just go to the Ford dealer.
 
7). Formula 1-ish acceleration.
 
 
----------------------CONS-----------------------
 
1). High price in GT2. Can only be won or traded in GT4.
 
2). Mid-engine makes the front of the car light; prone to understeer (GT2).
 
3). The standard tires that come with the RS200 aren't quite up to the powerful engine's task. The stock suspension was made for rallying; and therefore the stabilizers seem really weak at tracks like Seattle.
 
4). This car can get rather boring to drive in amateur road racing, as you blow away competition again and again, seeing nothing but empty space in the rear-view mirror... The RS200 was actually my inspiration to take close-racing more seriously; the reason why i started making power to weight racing guides.
 
5). Despite the $100,000 you pay (or if you win this car as a prize), the RS can be had in just 2 colors: white or red.
 
6). Standard or close-ratio gearboxes require lots of shifting.
 
7). Lack of downforce hurts this one in most medium to high-paced rally events.
 
8). ‘Only’ 1 turbo upgrade in GT2.
 
 
 
 
Published: July 30, 2004
 

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