Despite the fact that it’s been three-and-a-half decades since the final event was held, the 1980s Group B era is nonetheless remembered as one of the most fondly regarded periods in the history of motorsport competition. This is primarily owed to the ridiculously potent and largely analog cars that were campaigned in the class — a handful of which now stand as bonafide automotive legends. One such car is Ford’s RS200 — a purpose-built rally racer developed from scratch specifically for Group B competition.
Code-named “B200,” the RS200 was created to help Ford try to win another title after its World Rally Championship win in ’79. To bring the project to life, the Blue Oval called on a pair of F1 engineers to design the car’s chassis, while Filippo Sapino was tasked with penning its bodywork. All four wheels sent power to the ground and were also equipped with double-wishbone suspension setups with dual-dampers while propulsion came from a mid-mounted 1.8-liter turbocharged Cosworth BDT inline-four mated to a five-speed manual, AP twin-plate paddle clutch — an arrangement that was good for 250hp in its road-going trim, or 450hp in its EVO (race) spec.
In order to participate in Group B competition, Ford was required to churn out at least 200 production specimens — one of which will soon be going under the hammer. This 1991 example was originally painted red, though before the first owner took possession of it, he asked that the factory repaint it white. After trading hands on several occasions, blue stripes were added to mimic the EVO-spec factory race car versions of the RS200. And, while it has seen some competition in its time, this specimen has spent the vast majority of its existence as a display car, and as such currently only has 4,430 original miles on it — a fact that’s sure to drive up its price when it goes to auction next month, along with the fact that it’s been expertly preserved since leaving the factory.
This 1991 Ford RS200 will be crossing the auction block at Artcurial’s upcoming Salon Rétromobile sale in Paris on March 18th, where the American-made homologation special is expected to fetch between $203,000 and $294,000.