I have been reading Motor Sport now for some 18 months and never had just cause to put pen to paper. However, having just read your article entitled “Improved Trio of RS Escorts” I feel that I must write in support of my 1600 Sport (although in no way bringing down any of these new RSs).
Firstly, to quote “there is a far cheaper but much less sporting Escort Sport.” Now who am I to argue, never having driven the new Mexico. But let us consider performance. On gear speeds I think you will agree that they are identical; the 0-60 time of 11.1 is the same as is the top speed of slightly over 100 miles per hour, this speed bringing a reading of 5,700 r.p.m. As far as stopping goes, the Sport is fitted with 9 1/2 in. discs on the front and 9 1/2 in. drums on the back which perform superbly in conjunction with the Michelin ZX 175 x 13 low profile tyres which I have fitted on mine. These tyres have proved themselves more than adequate, although specifically not asked for when ordering the car!
I have had the Sport now for some six months, clocking up 8,000 miles plus in the first two months, touring Southern Europe, a couple of trips from work (Osnabruck, West Germany, to home, Berwickshire, Scotland), and whenever possible rallying it. One rally in particular near Holland springs to mind, when an overall fuel consumption of 17 miles per gallon was averaged (this was very muddy, wet, involved a lot of cross-country driving). However, it went very well throughout and since then my confidence in it has been further increased. In comparison to the worst m.p.g. figures I have achieved 39 m.p.g. when running in on a journey between home and Dover although when cruising between 80 and 90 miles per hour (on the Autobahn) I would reckon on getting between 27 and 30 m.p.g.
As far as cost is concerned, I paid £1,900 (tax free) including such items as sunroof (metal as opposed to canvas), black vinyl roof, tinted glass, fabric trim, heated rear window, rear fog, the ZX tyres, headrests, and a couple of smaller items, which, I think is not too bad.
My two complaints are firstly the way the exhaust is incredibly badly slung under the car, chapping some three inches below the bottom (for rallies this was altered by fitting a specially made sump guard which, when fitted, sent continual vibrations through the car) and secondly the oil consumption which, although I don’t have a figure, is fairly high, especially after long, fast runs or rallies.
To end, I feel, perhaps wrongly, that you might be being just a little hard on the Sport and, speaking personally, I think it is an excellent motor, all things considered, especially for the price—show me a better bargain.
BFPO 2nd Lt. R. T. R. McCROW