The 1996 Ford Escort RS Cosworth Is As Sharp As Any Modern Sports Car (Jalopnik Reviews)
Sport compact cars have come a long way since the days when they were warmed-over econoboxes. We’re now spoiled with fire-breathing, 300-plus horsepower compacts that’ll rip a new one to genuine high-performance machines, cars like the current Honda Civic Type R or the I’m-still-hanging-in-there Subaru WRX STI.
The new breed of high-performance compacts is so good, that when we get behind the wheel of an older-generation pocket rocket, we typically tend to be disappointed by how slow and not all that well put together it actually is.
There are, however, some exceptions to that rule.
Take the Ford Escort RS Cosworth from the early 1990s, for instance. Back in its heyday, it was regarded as one of the best hot hatchbacks money could buy. It was so good, fast and dangerous, that insurance companies in Europe actually tried to kill it. And they kind of succeeded.
Curious to find out if it can still hold a candle to the current crop of super-quick small hatchbacks and sedans, I took one out for a spin under a diluvian downpour, its natural habitat.
I’m here to tell you that even 26 years later, the “Cossie” is still up there among the automotive greats.