Ford announced its all-new Mk III in 1980, the new car being the first Escort model to feature front wheel drive and a transverse mounted engine. Ford had by now mastered the marketing art of offering a whole range of engine and trim options, from base models to Ghia and sporting derivatives.
A "hot-hatch" version, the XR3, was available from the start and was followed by a much "hotter" limited edition version in 1983, the RS1600i. The RS1600i only lasted in production for the 1983 season, for 1984 Ford launched the new Escort RS Turbo.
The RS Turbo used a combination of a tuned 1.6 litre Escort engine and then added a Garrett Turbo. This package worked very well in the Escort and produced a healthy 132bhp, making it one of fastest Escorts.
To start with the RS Turbo came only in colour-coded White paintwork, in 1986 the whole Escort range received a facelift with the RS Turbo gaining alternative paint colours and ABS brakes. The RS Turbo was very successful for Ford, becoming a favourite with tuners and remained in production until 1990.