1990 Ford Escort RS Turbo S2


・Recent bare shell respray
・New gearbox and clutch
・Garret T3 Turbo with remap
・Final production year model

The Background

In 1986, Ford revised the RS Turbo, introducing the S2. This was no mere refresh, the S2 introduced a number of improvements and upgrades over the S1. The 1600cc CVH engine from the S1 was carried over, but now featured a watercooled Garret T3 turbo, an improved gearbox, LSD and clutch, and an intercooler. Stiffer springs and uprated anti-roll bars were fitted, along with larger brakes.

As such, the S2 was a better driver’s car than the S1 and put out a very healthy 132bhp and 133lb/ft, which at the time made it a very quick car. It was a real working-class hero, and remained incredibly popular throughout the 80s and 90s.

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The History

This UK car is a remarkable survivor – not many RS Turbos still exist, especially in this condition. The MOT certificates show it has done just over 90,000 miles from new. It should be noted that the clocks have been replaced, which is why they indicate a different mileage. It comes with a good history and having recently undergone extensive restoration. It features:

・Service history
・MOT until March 2022
・Low mileage (90,000)
・Bare shell respray in Radiant Red
・New gearbox and clutch
・New battery
・New fuel tank
・Original 15” RS cast alloys
・Original owners manuals and work receipts

The Paperwork

The car is accompanied with a wide variety of receipts for work carried out, previous MOTs, and the original handbooks. There is also a 12 month / 12,000 mile warranty on the gearbox, clutch and flywheel (fitted in March 2021).

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The Interior

The current keeper has recently had the seats part retrimmed, so the period Recaro cloth seats are in great condition, as is the headlining. The dash and other internal trim is original and intact. Generally, everything is in good condition and working well, although a couple of trim pieces need to be refixed and the gas struts for the boot lid need to be replaced.

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The Exterior

Externally, this car is in excellent condition – having recently been the subject of a bare shell respray in original Ford Radiant Red. The original 15” RS alloys are also present and in beautiful condition. This model of Escort was always a handsome design, and the unique bodykit of the S2 RS Turbo really does enhance the already fine proportions. It’s a great-looking vehicle, presented in superb condition. 

The Mechanics

Garret’s T3 turbo is the real star of the show in the RS Turbo. In standard trim it gives the 950Kg car a good turn of speed, producing 132bhp. This particular car benefits from a remap, with the paperwork indicating an output of 160bhp+.

A number of major mechanical works have been recently carried out: in September 2020 a new fuel tank was fitted and there is also a 12 month / 12,000 mile warranty on the recently fitted (March 2021) gearbox, clutch, battery and skimmed flywheel. It also features a stainless steel exhaust.

The engine bay is in need of a tidy, but otherwise the car is mechanically sound and in good condition.

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The Appeal

Fast Fords have always been desirable, and RS Turbos are getting rarer and more collectible with each passing year. As such, this hot hatch legend represents great value. Thousands have been spent carrying out major work on the car – the bare shell respray alone means that this car will look fantastic for many years to come. With the new gearbox and clutch, part retrim and many other repairs that have been made to the car, it presents an excellent opportunity to acquire a quickly appreciating, increasingly rare hot-hatch legend.

With a detail and some minor fixes to the interior and engine bay, this car would happily sit in pride of place at any car meet. The 80s and 90s were a fantastic time for hot hatches, and the RS Turbo was one of the best. It still looks fantastic and it drives incredibly well. As a classic performance car from one of the most desirable marques, this represents great value and a wonderful purchase.

These are rare, and getting more so by the day. If, like us, you spent the 80s and 90s lusting after fast Fords, this is the perfect way to recapture the joy of being 21 years old, boosting down a B-road in a great driver’s car.

Well now we need to go for a drive…

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Although every care is taken to ensure this listing is as factual and transparent as possible, all details within the listing are subject to the information provided to us by the seller. Car & Classic does not take responsibility for any information missing from the listing. Please ensure you are satisfied with the vehicle description and all information provided before placing a bid.

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Vehicle specification
  • Year 1990
  • Make Ford
  • Model Escort RS Turbo S2
  • Colour Red
  • Odometer 90,011 Miles
  • Engine size 1597
  • Location West Midlands
  • Country United Kingdom
Bidding history
14 bids from 8 bidders
  • maxime_•••• £10,000 30/06/21
  • stewart•••• £9,500 30/06/21
  • maxime_•••• £9,250 30/06/21
  • Chrisb2•••• £9,000 30/06/21
  • maxime_•••• £8,750 30/06/21
  • stewart•••• £8,500 29/06/21
  • Finbar £8,000 27/06/21
  • Chrisb2•••• £7,200 27/06/21
  • Neil M £6,100 27/06/21
  • Alexbro•••• £6,000 26/06/21

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