The engineer’s first priority was to make sure that the car could handle some extra power. They started by re-rating the suspension. Then they fitted a set of sensational caste aluminium wheels and the lowest profile tyres ever offered on a road going Ford, with ventilated front discs and special callipers.It was fitted with a deep front spoiler and a rear wing that’s even more effective than the one at the time on the XR3i. The cockpit needed some changes too. Comfortable as they were the standard seats had to go. In a car with this much grip, you needed more lateral support, so they were replaced by special RS seats with deep sided bolsters. The steering wheel was changed for a smaller, thick rimmed real leather sports model, and a rev counter was added.
Out came the standard engine and in went 115bhp CVH unit with a hot cam, a modified head with solid valve lifters instead of the usual hydraulic ones, K-Jetronic fuel injection and electronic ignition. This was mated to Ford’s new 5 speed gear box. But in the interest of performance they closed up the gap between 4th and 5th gear. Because as well being a demon little road car, it was also competitive in Group A racing.
The Escort RS1600i colours:
- Diamond White
- Sunburst Red
- Silver Metallic
- Blue Metallic
- Grey Metallic
Colour trim was one style and colour known as Shark Grey.