Ford Sierra Cosworth

Ford Sierra Cosworth 1980s European sports car

The Ford Sierra Cosworth was a people's car! For a start, it was a snip at £16,000. And for that, you got near-supercar performance - and practicality, too. Ford gave their Sierra shell to tuners Cosworth - in Northampton, England. The 'Cossie' was in business! Cosworth installed a two-litre twin overhead-camshaft turbo engine. The production car was an 'homologation special' - a minimum number needing to be built to allow it to compete in races/rallies. Such a car is, de facto, limited-edition. Ford's Special Vehicle Engineering department's brief was to come up with a competitive 'Group A' car. That, they duly did. There were several key components on their spec-list. Toward the top were a close-ratio 5-speed 'box, a limited-slip diff, and power steering. In addition, there were anti-lock brakes, robust anti-roll bars, and firmed-up suspension. Wide alloy wheels were fitted - attached to massive disc brakes, with 4-piston calipers.

The Cosworth's body was modded Ford Sierra. Improvements included widened wheel arches - and a 'whale-tail' rear spoiler. The latter increased down-force - but compromised aerodynamics. And it did not exactly add stability in cross-winds. Nor was it to every taste, design-wise. Still, if you bought a Cossie to make a statement - and you probably did - the rear aerofoil was spot-on! 'Spirited' drivers praised planted handling - as well as fearsome acceleration. Top speed was 149mph.

The Cossie was a nailed-down magnet for thieves and joy-riders. Insurance costs sky-rocketed, as a result. In time, of course, the tearaways moved to pastures new. Once rid of its hooligan 'rep', the Cosworth transitioned into performance car respectability. That was only enhanced by the arrival of the Sierra Sapphire, and 1990's '4x4' set-up. A further 16bhp would be coaxed out of the 16-valve cylinder-head. So, in racing, rallying - and road-going mode, too - the Ford Sierra Cosworth delivered in spades!

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