Every car manufacturer has a special suffix to indicate sporty intentions and for Ford it is the RS (Rallye Sport) badge, and most recently ST as well. The first ever Ford to carry the RS badge was the Mk1 1970 Ford Escort RS1600. The body used was a 2-door body and was reinforced to make the chassis stronger. Wider wheel arches showed the car’s sporty intentions. Ford’s ad campaign for the car used the tagline “The Potent Mix”.
It was the first ever Ford road-going car to be fitted with a 16 valve DOHC engine. The RS1600’s engine was based on a Ford Kent engine block. The 16 valve DOHC cylinder head came from Cosworth. It produced about 115 PS and was mated to a 4-speed manual, a pretty impressive power to displacement ratio back in the 1970s. It could reach a top speed of 180km/h and got up to 100km/h in 8.9 seconds.