Morning all, welcome back to my kitchen table, and to another article, in which I'll be taking a look at 7 of the best road cars to roll out of the garages of Cosworth Engineering, the frankly legendary company most famous for their Formula One prowess (with 176 wins in total, which puts them in 3rd place of all time), their engines and powertrains, but perhaps most notably for their amazing souped-up versions of normally quite conventional and ordinary road cars. So, without further ado, let's stop dawdling and jump in!
7. Audi RS4 B5 Avant (1999-2001)
Introduced in 1999 to replace the previous joint Porsche/Audi developed RS2 Avant, this particular car was now powered by a 2.7 litre twin-turbo V6 designed and built by Cosworth developing 375 bhp, a huge amount of power for a mid-sized family estate. Along with the power increase came a top speed increase, that was electronically limited by Audi to 163 mph, with a 0-60 time of 4.9 seconds, a lightning-quick amount of time considering the Avant's rivals at the time could barely come close (the BMW 3 Series Touring of the time took 6.5 seconds to get there). Overall, a triumph from Cosworth in the estate sector, and it's only number 7!
6. Mercedes 190E 16V (1983-1989)
A car that was designed for rallying first and foremost, Mercedes turned to Cosworth in the early 80s to build the engines for it, however it was never properly able to break out of the shadow of the Audi Quattro, which by this point was already an icon of its time. However, it wasn't a total loss, as the 190E managed to clinch two DTM titles in 1991 and 1992. Power came from a 2.3 litre 16 valve engine pushing out a good 185 bhp, right up there in terms of performance and is in my opinion, better looking than the Quattro. Change my mind, you won't be able to. Moving on..
5. Ford Escort RS1600 (1970-1974)
While this car is perhaps better known for its rallying prowess and wins, let's not forget that it was in this car that Cosworth fitted a gutsy little 1600cc engine producing 115 bhp, which might not seem like a huge amount but taken into consideration the car's light weight and nippy handling made it an absolute stunner to drive. For these reasons, Ford were able to claim a hat-trick of wins in the RAC Rally between 1972 and 1974. Enough said.
4. Subaru Cosworth Impreza CS400 (2010)
While this car is fully road-legal, will pass an MOT and will be eligible for insurance, you're unlikely to see one of these on the road, for a few reasons. First, to even have the chance to see one of these cars, you'll have to go to the UK, where the limited 75 car run was sold exclusively, secondly, a lot of these cars will likely be filling up performance car auctions, as the response when it was launched wasn't great, with buyers complaining of turbo lag as the main problem. However, looking past that issue, if in the unlikely situation that you see of these, you won't see it for long, as this car comes with a Cosworth tuned engine with almost 400 bhp, which will more than likely leave you behind for dust.
3. Ford Escort RS Cosworth (1992-1996)
Much like the Mercedes earlier, the Ford Escort RS Cosworth was born out of Ford's desire to enter the Group A Class for the World Rally Championship. Ford got their rally car. We, on the other hand, got a turbocharged 2 litre four-cylinder block which when new could produce 224bhp, with speed peaking at roughly 150 mph, and the car going from stationary to 60mph in 5.7 seconds. And as you can see, it was a favourite amongst some people on this community, but I won't point fingers..
2. Aston Martin Valkyrie (2019-)
Well, I feel bad for putting a brand new hypercar in front of a classic like the Escort RS Cosworth, but you can't ignore the specs on the new Valkyrie, as not only does this car have some of the biggest players in the industry, including Ricardo, Rimac and Michelin all lending a hand in the making of the car, but the most notable contribution is that of Cosworth's, who brought along a huge 6.5 litre V12 , producing a simply incredible 1,130 bhp, with the car blasting from 0-60 in a matter of 2.5 seconds. I'm not even going to include a simile, I'm just going to leave the figure there. Anyway, onto number 1..
1. Ford Sierra RS Cosworth (1986-1992)
Here it is then- the ultimate Cosworth-powered road motor. A few days ago, a fellow Creator likened the Sierra to a "rusting pile of misery". And you know what? He was right. The standard Sierra is a total gutless bucket of rust that deserves to be completely forgotten. But in 1986, Cosworth were called upon to give the Sierra a boost of power. And they delivered. What they came out with was a car that ultimately changed the perception of the Sierra and believe it or not, made owning a Sierra cool. The Cosworth-tuned engine shoehorned in pushed out 204 bhp and a top speed of 149 mph. While that might not seem too impressive compared to some of the other motors on this list, this car did more than that. It made a totally undesirable rubbish car into a hot, cool speed machine. And that, I feel, makes it far more important and admirable than any other car on this list. I'll leave you with that thought.
Thanks for reading, and I'll see you in the next article!