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Ford Escort RS1600i – (1982-1985)

Ford Escort RD1600i 1982-1985, Buyers Guide, Vital Statistics image

Ford Escort RS1600i – (1982-1985)

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Ford bring RS back in a front wheel drive Escort

Everyone loves a classic Ford. They evoke memories of our youth, as the cars you or your dad drove many years ago. Ford decided to create a new Escort back in 1980, and it wasn’t long after we saw the first front wheel drive RS model in the shape of the Ford Escort RS1600.

The new RS1600i was built in Germany, with only 2,500 reaching British shores. So, this Ford Escort was ultimately rarer than the XR3 and with better all round performance. With the Cologne developed 1600 CVH engine and Bosch K-Jetronic fuel injection developing 115 bhp and capable of 119 mph. Underneath sees more differences to the RS1600i compared to the XR3. With adjustable Koni shocks and suspension that sits an inch lower. As well as bigger alloys, 4 front fog lights and a five speed gear box. This Escort was definitely an RS.

Specification Ford Escort RS1600i:

Years Produced1907 - 1925
Performance0 - 60mph 5.1 sec / Top Speed – 175mph
Power & Torque 370 bhp / 376 Ib ft
Engine7036cc straight 6 12 valves
Drive-train front engine FWD
Transmission4 speed manual
Weight1590 kg

Valuations since launch – Ford Escort RS1600i – 1982-1985

This rare RS1600i is becoming more and more valuable nowadays. Take a look at the market trends over the last 5 years


Get a quote on a Ford classic car

A Buyers Guide -Ford Escort RS1600i – 1982-1985

Ford Escort RS1600i 1982 - 1983 by Thomass, on Flickr (1)Ford only produced limited numbers of the Ford Escort RS1600i with homologation. So they’re a rare car compared to the XR3 and XR3i of the same era. They were also very different cars than their slightly slower cousins. With a tuned engine increasing performance, along with its RS interior and exterior styling.


When you come to buying a Ford RS1600i the first thing to look out for are any signs of rot in all the usual places. With the RS1600i these are: the bulk head, battery tray, front wings, arches and tailgate. So check these areas as well as looking for signs of poor repair.

Under the bonnet

The injected 1600 CVH engine is strong and reliable. If anything is going to go wrong it will usually be ECU, the coils or gearbox leads. Although, if there is top end noise this could mean the solid tappets need adjustment. All of these are easy fixes though.

Steering should be precise and accurate. If not then you may need to replace the bushes. If the car doesn’t feel solid on the road then it may require new springs or dampers so make sure you take it for a test drive. Also check those brakes, if there’s a judder then the discs are bent. Look for signs of leakage from the rear wheel cylinders.

Last but not least you want to check the gearbox. Generally the B5 box is strong, but eventually can suffer with loss of syncro in second and third. Any rumblings could mean worn bearings, so listen out.


Inside the Escort pay particular attention to the dashboard, looking for cracks. Check the shark grey scheel seats, these are difficult to source if you need replacements. Take a look at all dashboard lights and make sure they correctly illuminate, also front fog and driving lamps need to be inspected for condition and originality.

With only around 250 left Ford Escort RS1600i is now a rare classic. It was always the underdog to the Series 1 RS Turbo and was over shadowed by the XR3i but these factors make it so appealing today. Best of luck finding a good one!

Insurance quotes for a Ford Escort RS1600i

These hot hatches are now classic cars with classic car insurance prices. At Heritage Car Insurance with 50 years experience behind us, we offer a tailor made package for one or more cars. All of our policies include free agreed valuation and salvage retention as standard. With limited mileage and club members discounts our annual fully comprehensive policy proves excellent value for money. Here are some typical examples of how little your insurance could be.

  • This quotation has been based on fully comprehensive cover, insured only to drive age 60.

Annual premium – £84.95 with a £150 accidental damage excess.

  • This quotation has been based on fully comprehensive cover, insured only to drive age 45.

Annual premium – £90.99 with a £150 accidental damage excess.

  • This quotation has been based on fully comprehensive cover, insured only to drive age 30.

Annual premium – £134.95 with a £175 accidental damage excess.

*NB: All insurance quotes are based on the same criteria: The vehicle being garaged overnight. Accident, claim and conviction free and a limited mileage of 3000 per annum with full use of a main car daily. All quotations are based on an Agreed Value of £10,000. Prices may alter depending on individual criteria.

Interesting fact

Ford Europe were originally going to call the second front-wheel drive, the “Ford Erika” but ended up retaining the Escort name. Some say this was due to British consumer’s reluctance to let go of the “Escort” badge.

Mark Wilkinson (Managing Partner of Heritage Classic Car Insurance)

“The average classic car enthusiast probably grew up with these eighties icons. The original hot hatch backs are now very much part of the classic car scene with values rising for the stock models. Don’t you wish you kept hold of yours?”

insuring a Ford Escort RS1600i – (1982-1985)