Ford RS200 reimagined as an electric car for new ‘secret projects’ book

Ford’s European design team redraws iconic RS200 as an electric car for inclusion in book on firm's ‘skunkworks’ projects

Ford Vision RS2.00

One of the most iconic Ford models of the past 40 years, the RS200, has been reimagined by the company’s European design team to tie in with a new book revealing some of the company’s most secret projects.

Mid-engined, four-wheel drive and turbocharged, the RS200 was conceived as Ford’s rally challenger for the all-conquering Audi Quattro. But the radical-looking creation was launched relatively late in the life of the spectacular Group B era, and it contested only a handful of WRC rounds in 1986 before the category was banned. Just 200 examples were produced, to comply with homologation requirements.

Earlier this year Ford’s European design boss, Amko Leenarts, asked his team members to submit their vision for how a modern, all-electric RS200 could look. A number of concept drawings feature in the latest book from motor industry insider Steve Saxty, and one of the entries, seen here, features on the design department’s 2021 Christmas card.

The Vision RS2.00 is a dramatic-looking vehicle with clear influences from the original car, notably the round headlights and round lower foglights. Its designer, former Kia man Michael Barthly, says he created the car “to respect the RS200’s DNA but with a futuristic twist”. It’s envisaged as a vehicle that could be chosen and driven in a computer game, much as the Extreme P1 that Ford officially released in 2020.

As such, the design features ‘holographic’, slightly bitmapped Hella foglights in the front bumper, as well as an ‘audio blade’ in the bonnet that creates noise as the air rushes through it. The spoiler, whose presence in the side profile is perhaps the strongest nod to the original Ghia-designed vehicle, incorporates a wraparound tail-light, and there are cooling slats in the rear bodywork. The car carries a modified version of Ford’s mid-eighties motorsport livery.

“Because the original is so strongly linked to its era,” Barthly said, “I thought it was important to imagine a new car that could become an icon for future generations. The Vision RS2.00 plays with the RS200’s pedigree, while offering twists to make it a digital racer that a new generation of race car lovers would find efficient and entertaining to play with.”

Auto Express understands that there are absolutely no plans within Ford to revisit a vehicle like the RS200 in production guise, and that while the design exercise was officially sanctioned, this occurred purely as a contribution to a special ‘RS edition’ of Saxty’s latest book, Secret Fords Volume Two.

The latest title also includes a detailed history of Ford’s planned Ferrari rival, plus exhaustive, never-before-seen galleries of a number of projects that were ultimately canned before reaching production. It is available in a variety of editions, including the special RS version at stevesaxty.com, alongside limited quantities of Volume One.

Check out Skoda's new Kamiq rally concept car plans here...

Editor-at-large

John started journalism reporting on motorsport – specifically rallying, which he had followed avidly since he was a boy. After a stint as editor of weekly motorsport bible Autosport, he moved across to testing road cars. He’s now been reviewing cars and writing news stories about them for almost 20 years.

Recommended

Best new cars coming in 2024
Best new cars coming in 2024 - header image
Best cars & vans

Best new cars coming in 2024

There are some big new models from the likes of BMW, Citroen, Dacia, Ford, MINI, Skoda and more on the way in 2024
29 Jan 2024
How Ford and Vauxhall became national treasures
Assortment of Fords and Vauxhalls
Features

How Ford and Vauxhall became national treasures

We take a look at the rivalry of two manufacturers that have battled for the hearts, minds and money of British car buyers
27 Dec 2023
'Once-dominant Ford and Vauxhall could become also-rans in the future'
Opinion - Ford plant
Opinion

'Once-dominant Ford and Vauxhall could become also-rans in the future'

Editor-in-chief Steve Fowler thinks Ford and Vauxhall need to get their pricing right in the EV era if they are to remain popular with customers
15 Nov 2023
New Ford Capri spied testing for the first time
Electric Ford Capri - front
News

New Ford Capri spied testing for the first time

Iconic Ford nameplate will return on MEB-based crossover
9 Nov 2023

Most Popular

New Renault 4 EV: price, specs, release date and all the details
Renault 4 - front (watermarked)
News

New Renault 4 EV: price, specs, release date and all the details

Renault’s retro revolution will continue with a new version of the iconic Renault 4 as a small electric car. Here’s everything we know about it
2 Mar 2024
"BYD, Dacia, MG and Renault are among the most impressive and in-touch car brands in the world"
Opinion - MG3
Opinion

"BYD, Dacia, MG and Renault are among the most impressive and in-touch car brands in the world"

Mike Rutherford is confused as to why so many car manufacturers avoided the 2024 Geneva Motor Show
3 Mar 2024
Volkswagen Touareg vs Audi Q8: an SUV sibling rivalry
Volkswagen Touareg and Audi Q8 - front tracking
Car group tests

Volkswagen Touareg vs Audi Q8: an SUV sibling rivalry

The updated Volkswagen Touareg and Audi Q8 are premium SUVs that share plenty of tech with each other – but which is best?
2 Mar 2024