RE: All-new Mk2 Ford Escort in development

RE: All-new Mk2 Ford Escort in development

Tuesday 11th June

All-new Mk2 Ford Escort in development

British partnership expects to sell a 200+hp, road-legal version of the rear-wheel-drive icon from next year



We don’t need to delve into the Mk2 Ford Escort’s back catalogue to explain why it’s such a legend. Cooking versions of the rear-driven two-door are widely acknowledged as some of the Blue Oval’s finest driving machines - and the car’s success on the rally stage helped secure its status as an all-time great. 

Thanks to the large number of Mk2s that remain in motorsport competition around the world, production of the model’s precious body shell has continued long after the model went off sale. Now though, with prices for the original car predictably high, two British firms intend on going one step further and building an all-new Escort from the ground up – oily bits included.


Great British Sports Cars (GBS) and Mk2 bodyshell supplier Motorsport Tools (MT) have teamed up for the project, which is being billed as a Group 4 rally car; one tested to IVA requirements so it can be registered for road use. How far along are they? Well, Gwynedd-based MT has already built a rolling chassis, which now sits in GBS’s Nottingham workshop awaiting its powertrain - a Ford-supplied 2.5-litre Duratec engine with ATR billet throttle bodies that will drive through a Mazda six-speed manual gearbox. Ooof.

Heading up the project is MT’s Carwyn Ellis, who explained to PH that output will be “well over 200hp” and split between the rear wheels via an Atlas axle – the hardware of choice for Escort rallyists. Braking is handled by AP calipers and the car sits on ATR coilovers, so the build is very much a motorsport-specification, albeit with the option of carpets “to help keep road noise down” and a power steering kit, should a buyer want it. Ellis said that as standard the Escorts will be fitted with roll cages and receive appropriate body strengthening, alongside 13x8 Minilite alloys and those lovely arch extensions.


The prototype is at least six months away from completion, meaning the two British firms won’t be taking orders until next year. Prices are expected to start at around £60,000, which looks like a bargain to us when you consider that rebuilt originals have gone for 20 per cent more than that in recent years. Of course, you can find ready-to-rally originals for a lot less - but a new-build MT/GBS car ought to offer incomparable modern usability.

We’re totally onboard, and with a virtually proven market thanks to the existing car’s longevity, we predict quite a lot of interest in the progress of that prototype. And that’s just among those of us sitting in the office this morning…



Author
Discussion

Mikebentley

Original Poster:

531 posts

82 months

Tuesday 11th June
quotequote all
Yes please!!!' Often mulled over doing similar with one of the Chinese “new” shells.

jakesmith

4,055 posts

113 months

Tuesday 11th June
quotequote all
Very nice car and certainly an interesting and unique proposition that diverges from the current trend of safety / turbo / heavy type cars

leakymanifold

42 posts

28 months

Tuesday 11th June
quotequote all
Honest question: Can someone explain to me why an ancient ford chassis is so desirable?

Cupramax

8,023 posts

194 months

Tuesday 11th June
quotequote all
PH said:
Cooking versions of the rear-driven coupe are widely acknowledged as some of the Blue Oval’s finest driving machines
Who writes this bks? its a two door saloon, not a coupe.

bloomen

2,491 posts

101 months

Tuesday 11th June
quotequote all
leakymanifold said:
Honest question: Can someone explain to me why an ancient ford chassis is so desirable?
Handling. It's just about the best balanced car ever. Obviously most of that is down to third party development.

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Burwood

12,437 posts

188 months

Tuesday 11th June
quotequote all
bloomen said:
leakymanifold said:
Honest question: Can someone explain to me why an ancient ford chassis is so desirable?
Handling. It's just about the best balanced car ever. Obviously most of that is down to third party development.
From £60K. hehe

bloomen

2,491 posts

101 months

Tuesday 11th June
quotequote all
Burwood said:
From £60K. hehe
And plenty will pay it.

Augustus Windsock

1,692 posts

97 months

Tuesday 11th June
quotequote all
leakymanifold said:
Honest question: Can someone explain to me why an ancient ford chassis is so desirable?
If you haven’t driven one, you don’t know. If you have, you do....


PATTERNPART

644 posts

143 months

Tuesday 11th June
quotequote all
leakymanifold said:
Honest question: Can someone explain to me why an ancient ford chassis is so desirable?
It makes a perfect fairly cheap to run rear wheel drive clubmans rally car that anyone with a bit of practice can drift round a gravel bend. Not bad for tarmac sprints and hillclimbs either. All sorts of engines go more or less straight in. Fun to drive. Perfect wheelbase to track ratio for predictable handling. Light. Easily repaired. Accessories and upgrades very cheap off the shelf. Colin McRae had one in ultimate spec for fun. Pretty safe with petrol tank in the boot as opposed to hatchbacks. Heated windscreens available. Carbon fibre panels available. RX8 gearboxes go in. They can be rebuilt over and over again (eco friendly). They can be converted from LHD to RHD fairly easily. Power steering bolts on if you want it. They look cool. They make nice noises. They are a bit common compared to their rivals back in the late 70's and early 80's though.

Puntoboy

53 posts

159 months

Tuesday 11th June
quotequote all
Now that is a cool car.

mat205125

15,564 posts

155 months

Tuesday 11th June
quotequote all
In a world gone mad with every company thinking they're a Singer reinvented, this is quite a bargain if you can have this on the road for £60k.

Sure, it'll be extremely utilitarian, however sure to be a joy to drive.

It'd cost a fair chunk of that to build one up in your garage.

Hitch

5,577 posts

136 months

Tuesday 11th June
quotequote all
I presume they'll have to sell them under a random name and point you at Ebay for your Ford badges and decals? Gr4eat idea, probably a depreciation proof car.

irocfan

19,424 posts

132 months

Tuesday 11th June
quotequote all
I'm glad that things like this exist - just not for me TBH

P-Jay

8,936 posts

133 months

Tuesday 11th June
quotequote all
leakymanifold said:
Honest question: Can someone explain to me why an ancient ford chassis is so desirable?
Nostalgia, same goes for Classic Minis, old Astons and Jags and 90s Jap stuff.

Okay they're fundamentally good, but it's fashion that says that a load of people would like to buy a £60k Escort, where as a lot less would buy a £60k Sunbeam. maybe more if Lotus lent their badge to it, but perhaps very few a £60k Chevette.

kambites

56,709 posts

163 months

Tuesday 11th June
quotequote all
Lovely thing, but not for £60k. I'm sure some die-hard Ford fans will pay that though so good luck to them.

Water Fairy

2,881 posts

97 months

Tuesday 11th June
quotequote all
Cupramax said:
PH said:
Cooking versions of the rear-driven coupe are widely acknowledged as some of the Blue Oval’s finest driving machines
Who writes this bks? its a two door saloon, not a coupe.
Can you define the difference please?

Mogul

2,363 posts

165 months

Tuesday 11th June
quotequote all
PATTERNPART said:
It makes a perfect fairly cheap to run rear wheel drive clubmans rally car that anyone with a bit of practice can drift round a gravel bend. Not bad for tarmac sprints and hillclimbs either. All sorts of engines go more or less straight in. Fun to drive. Perfect wheelbase to track ratio for predictable handling. Light. Easily repaired. Accessories and upgrades very cheap off the shelf. Colin McRae had one in ultimate spec for fun. Pretty safe with petrol tank in the boot as opposed to hatchbacks. Heated windscreens available. Carbon fibre panels available. RX8 gearboxes go in. They can be rebuilt over and over again (eco friendly). They can be converted from LHD to RHD fairly easily. Power steering bolts on if you want it. They look cool. They make nice noises. They are a bit common compared to their rivals back in the late 70's and early 80's though.
Reminds me of the question: What did the Romans ever do for us?

These are seriously cool, but I would also want a Giulia 105 series in my life.

kambites

56,709 posts

163 months

Tuesday 11th June
quotequote all
Water Fairy said:
Can you define the difference please?
The era of the marketing in question.

sideways man

628 posts

79 months

Tuesday 11th June
quotequote all
Wow,that’s a headline I wasn’t expecting. £60k seems a fair price as 40 year old models go for close to that, and to build one won’t be far away from that figure.
You’re always fighting underbody rust on an original, in that respect this will be a fabulous improvement.
As mentioned above, an escort is all about delicate handling. A modern hot hatch will leave it dead, but the escort driver has a smile that stretches from ear to ear smile

RumbleOfThunder

2,721 posts

145 months

Tuesday 11th June
quotequote all
Water Fairy said:
Cupramax said:
PH said:
Cooking versions of the rear-driven coupe are widely acknowledged as some of the Blue Oval’s finest driving machines
Who writes this bks? its a two door saloon, not a coupe.
Can you define the difference please?
I've never in my life seen an Escort described as a coupe.