Ford Fiesta RS Turbo
The Ford Fiesta RS Turbo was a performance model of the Mk3 Ford Fiesta. It was introduced in April 1990 and production continued until 1992 when it was replaced with the normally aspirated 1.8 RS 1800.
Based on the XR2i, introduced a year earlier, it was visually quite similar with the differences being 14" alloy wheels (an inch larger than the XR2is) and 185/55 VR14 Pirelli P600 tyres, green rather than blue stripe mouldings, a colour coded rear spoiler, opening rear quarter windows and green tinted glass. Anti-lock brakes and a "Quickclear" heated front windscreen were options at extra cost.
Inside the car the differences included Recaro seats trimmed in "Ascot In Raven" material and a grey leather trimmed gear knob and steering wheel, which also had the RS Turbo logo embossed on the centre cap.
Initially the car was offered in four colours, Radiant Red, Diamond White Black and Mercury Grey (metallic), with the last models in the production run in Moondust Silver metallic.
The RS Turbo's CVH engine retained the same 1597cc capacity as the XR2i, but had a lower compression ratio of 8:1. The Garrett T2 turbocharger supplied 6psi of boost and was chosen as space between the engine and radiator prevented the use of the larger T3 from the Escort RS Turbo. As with the Escort, an air-to-air intercooler was fitted, although this was slightly larger on the Fiesta. The quoted power output was 133ps at 5500rpm, with 183nm of torque at 2400rpm which gave the car a top speed of 133mph and a 0-60 of 7.9 seconds.
The car was not generally well received with reviews citing poor handling and uncommunicative steering as its weak points. The spiralling insurance costs of the early 1990s did not help either, with the car being a particular target for thieves.
Like many of the Ford RS models, the Fiesta RS Turbo has generated a following of enthusiasts who have both maintained standard examples to compete in Concours d'Elegance, and exploited the potential of the turbocharged engine by tuning it to high power outputs for track day and drag strip use.
- Channel4.com : Retrospective: Ford Fiesta — History of the Fiesta