Powered by Cosworth
For more than 45 years now, the words "Powered by Cosworth" have meant domination. CART, Formula 1, World Rally Championship, and Touring Car victories are all well-known to teams using Cosworth engines. From the street-racing 2.0L YBT I4 to the F1-dominating 3.0 DFV V8, Cosworth engines are recognized as some of the most powerful and reliable on the planet.
Cosworth was founded in 1958 by Mike Costin and Keith Duckworth of London, England. From the very beginning, they had ties with Ford Motor Company. Their first successful engine was the Ford 105E, a 1-liter engine powering the 1959 Ford Anglia. In contrast to earlier models of the Anglia/Prefect line, the new Anglia 105E was capable of up to 75 miles per hour. In 1960, the world saw its first Cosworth victory, when a Formula Junior competition was won by a Lotus 18 using one of the Cosworth-prepared 105Es.
The legendary Twin-Cam Escort was their next triumph. The engine was designed by Cosworth and Lotus, and powered one of the first rally-winning Escorts (a model which would continue to win for almost forty years). Impressed by the young company's track record, Ford employed Cosworth to design a new dedicated race engine for Formula 1 competition: the DFV. This 3.0-liter V8 won the 1967 Dutch Grand Prix, the very first race in which it was entered. It was one of the first engines designed to serve as a structural member, and was narrow enough to fit between the ground effects that were coming into use for Formula 1. Over the next fifteen years, the evolving DFV would power more than 150 F1 victories, including nine back-to-back Formula 1 World Championships. Its low cost, power, and availability led it to be the engine of choice for privateer teams through the 1970s. Modified for Indy/CART competition, the DFW became the DFX, and won ten driver's championships and ten Indianapolis 500s.
In 1993, the World Rally Championship saw the first Ford Escort RS Cosworth. The turbocharged, all wheel drive Escort announced its entry with five WRC victories in its first season. The evolution of the rally Escort led to the 1997 World Rally Car Escort, which produced a WRC-standard maximum of 300 horsepower. Since the retirement of the Escort, the Ford Focus RS WRC has taken over, using a Cosworth-tuned Duratec R engine.
Thanks to the numerous Cosworth-powered victories in the world of motorsport, Ford has released several special-edition Cosworth models. The first was the Ford Sierra Cosworth, and the even-more-elite Sierra Cosworth RS500, a race-prepared Sierra of which only 500 were produced. The most powerful of the Ford-Cosworth vehicles was undoubtably the RS200, a mid-engined, four wheel drive sports car sold only to homologate the vehicle for Group B competition (the RS200 Evo version produced over 300 horsepower per liter!). The most beloved, however, was the MkV Ford Escort RS Cosworth, which featured the most distinctive spoiler in automotive history. Escorts Cosworth have been modified to over 700 horsepower while retaining street legality.
Cosworth spends most of its time in upkeep on the various competition engines in use. They power 30% of Formula 1 teams, along with every car in the CART championships. Together with this, they continue to develop the Duratec R that powers the WRC Focus, along with developing an upgrade for the US-market 2.3 liter Focus engine adding almost 100 horsepower. Rumours abound of the mythical Ford Focus RS Cosworth, which is in development as an all wheel drive beast with power and handling to shame the Evo and STi. Cosworth has been a wholly-owned subsidiary of Ford Motor Company since 1998.