It was designed to qualify as a Group A car for the World Rally Championship , in which it competed between and It was available as a road car from — in very limited numbers. The first cars made before 1 January are in fact "Homologation special versions. One of the main selling points was the Cosworth YBT , a highly tunable turbocharged 2.
The Ford Escort is a small family car which was manufactured by Ford Europe from to The Ford Escort name was also applied to several small car types produced in North America by Ford between and In , Ford revived the Escort name for a car based on the second-generation Ford Focus sold on the Chinese market. The first use of the Ford Escort name was for a reduced specification version of the Ford Squire , a s estate car version of the British Ford Anglia E. The car was presented in continental Europe as a product of Ford's European operation. Escort production commenced at the Halewood plant in England during the closing months of , and for left hand drive markets during September at the Ford plant in Genk.
Sharing its name with the third-generation European Ford Escort , the model line is the first front-wheel drive Ford developed and sold in North America. Overcoming the tarnished reputation for quality and safety established by the fuel tank defect of the Pinto, the Escort became highly successful in the American marketplace. After , the model line became the best-selling car in the United States, a position it held during most of the s. The replacement of the Pinto by the Escort was the first Ford model line to adapt front-wheel drive.
For the s Ford Escort estate car, see Ford Squire. In UK the Four-door saloon and the Three-door hatchback was discontinued in The first generation was produced from to