Car Spotlight>> Rouse Sierra Rs500 Cosworth

Graham Robson once quoted the Ford motor sport director once as saying 'The Sierra won the World Touring Car Championship, so FISA cancelled it. The Sierra then won the European Touring Car Championship, so FISA cancelled that too …' Such was the dominance of the RS500 Cosworths in the 1988 BTCC season that Andy Rouse won nine of the twelve rounds in the Kaliber sponsored Sierra Cosworth with the other three rounds won by Jerry Mahoney, Steve Soper and Gianfranco Brancatelli. All of whom also drove Sierra RS500 Cosworths.

Some argue that the BTCC in the late eighties and early nineties was some of the greatest racing ever seen on a race track. With 550BHP on tap, the RS500 could top 180MPH at Spa-Francorchamps and Paul Ricard and weighed 1100KGs, which was the class weight limit.

0-60MPH was completed in 3.5 seconds.

The interior is as you would imagine it. This car has however been fitted with new seats and a passenger seat so the experience can be shared.

Side-exit exhausts (one on either side) sound magnificent.

Air jacks and single stud wheels for easy tire changes.

That wing …

The Sierra Cosworths were so successful that other manufacturers and teams were put off entering the BTCC. The only competition for the RS500 was the other RS500s.

When the rules changed in 1990 which all but removed the RS500 from competition, Ford stated they had no interest in running cars in the new class. There were some attempts at running NA Sierra Cosworth Sapphires but nothing to the dominance and legacy of the RS500.




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Awesome. Would have one of these over a BMW E30 M3


Love the RS-500 Sierra Cosworth - Group A the glory days of touring car racing.

Hate to nitpick, but "single stud" wheels are more commonly refered to as center-lock.


It would have been nice to see the engine bay. These fords are legendary and so hard to come by outside of Europe now. These and the late model Escort Cosworths are just phenomenal


i need those wheels


i can't imagine the noise that thing makes. looks beasty!


These car were good but when the GTR turned up they just looked avarage .


Brilliant picture, I love touring cars


Wish theres video of how this RS500 sound like..


Good lord. Brilliant cars! That wing deserves so much love


These eventually got banned from the atcc as well


The only Ford I would have over this is an RS200.


Not to mention, it was banned form all AUSTRALIAN Touring car competition along with the Nissan GTR. These cars would regular spank the Aussie built cars, so they axed them!


Oh God, more BS about cars causing group A to be banned/being banned from Group A.

Spiralling costs, rampant cheating, lack of manufacturer interest, and lack of spectator revenue killed Group A which was tottering uneasily on its legs by '89; Not Sierras or GT-Rs.


As ugly as they are, If I were rich I would buy one just to park next to my DR30 in the Garage


Even in Japan, before the R32 GTR, Ford Sierras were strong in Group A.

Keiichi Tsuchiya drove one too.


@seventhskyline: I think you'll find most of those things you mentioned are indeed down to the dominance of the Sierra's and GTR's.

Manufacturers lost interest because of the massive cost of developing a car to beat the Sierra - no-one wants to spend a small fortune just to make up the numbers.

Spectators lost interest because it was starting to look like the 'ford sierra cup'.

The same thing happens often in Racing (and Rallying), designers push the envelope and the gains gradually get smaller and smaller, whilst the cost of those gains grows and grows.

To drop a second from a laptime might cost 25k, to drop another half a second may cost 50k - after that you pretty much halve the gain and double the expense. That's just how it is.

It's not the cars fault, they merely represent the pinnacle of that strand of development, under those rules. So a new set of rules are drawn up, and the cycle starts over.

This is why every "new" formula has plenty of manufacturers and close racing to begin with - as development continues those who lag behind slowly drop out until only 1 or 2 remain competitive, then it is time for a shake up of the rules and round we go again.


Saying that these cars looked avarage compared to the GT-R is kind of ignorant really. Nissan had to add half a liter of volume, two cylinders and four wheel drive to even get close. It's like saying Lance Armstrong is faster than Usain Bolt. Of course he is, the terms are not even. Remove two spark plugs and the front driveshafts on the GT-R and see how it will hold up.

The truth is that the Andy Rouse buildt RS500's are among the best racecars ever buildt. The engine bay looked shit, but it worked! And the paint scheme on that Kaliber car is pure racing porn!


The car is a legend - a pitty though it stands no chance to the GTR - I love watchin the old group A races, The RS500 was well better than the E30 M3 but was still crushed by the NIssans.

Its an epic racecar. I see the point regarding the extra half liter in displacement and the 2 added cylinders, but hey who told Ford to build a 4 cylinder? The regulations were given and every manufacturer had a different approach totally free up to them what they do.

Great car, great story


Totally awesome car. So many memories of the BTCC in the 80s'


Fredrik - It's not ignorant. The GTR was a better car. Quite simple. It exploited the rules better than the RS500, did it not? You're thinking of the GTR as having an unfair advantage because it had a larger engine capacity and 2 extra driveshafts. What you *should* be thinking of is how the RS500 was inadequate in those area's and that it didn't make full use of the rules it could have. Let's not get started on how the teams were cheating because we all know about the "brake bias" knobs, etc...

There are 2 sides, but from where I sit, the GTR beat the RS500. End of story :)


OK-the Sierra's won but had to work for it and just didn't sound as fearsome as the RB20DET-R :^)