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Old Top Gear's Then-Young Host Tiff Needell Explains What A Group A Cosworth Is

Illustration for article titled Old iTop Gear/is Then-Young Host Tiff Needell Explains What A Group A Cosworth Is

The 1989 Ford Sierra RS500 Cosworth was built to compete in a compromised formula, Group A. According to Jalopnik science, all this means is that Ford should really turn the new Focus RS into a touring car already.


According to Colin Pitt’s book, it was back in 1983 that the freshly appointed head of Ford Motorsport Stuart Turner decided it would be best for the company to dominate Group A racing again. With the Sierra, powered by Cosworth and a giant Garrett T04 turbo.


It had to be the Sierra Cosworth because Ford had to base its racer on a model of which they sold at least 5,000 units a year. Then came a run of 500 Cosworth RS500s, the upgraded homologation specials as close to the Group A specifications as a number plate allowed. But despite their name, those did not come with 500 horsepower. Or even half of that.

Tiff Needell’s Group A car did. It was a gutted street car with a turbo lag the size of Lincolnshire and beefy brakes. It had a tendency to oversteer. You could call them “lively.”

The new RS has 350 horsepower in street tune. Your move, Ford Motorsport!

Photo credit: Brian Snelson


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Hmmm, what other Group A race car also had 500 homologation specials made......