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Old 02-18-2005, 07:34 AM
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The Ford Sierra Story

1985-86 Ford Sierra XR4Ti
In 1984, Ford was searching around for a competitive car to homologate into Group A for use in the European Touring Car Championship (ETCC). At the time Ford had several “performance” coupes available for sale in Europe or the USA which were able to be homologated into Group A. The Ford Capri 2.8i was long in the tooth and no longer competitive. The Ford Sierra XR4i had more up to date aerodynamics and suspension, but the same engine as the Capri, which effectively ruled it out as a competitive proposition. Then there was the Mustang – either the V8 GT or the 2.3-litre Turbo SVO version. The problem with the Mustang wasn’t lack of competitiveness, but rather that it wasn't marketed in Europe, therefore Ford Europe wasn’t interested in homologating and developing it. German tuner Zakspeed did prepare and use Mustangs in the 1984 DTM, and Australian driver Dick Johnson choose the Mustang GT V8 when Australia adopted Group A regulations. Both had limited success, but since Ford USA wasn’t interested, the V8 Mustang was never developed to its full potential and the turbo Mustang SVO wasn’t even homologated.
Finally, there was a fourth, more suitable car. Ford USA imported the Sierras into the US at this stage, but instead of being fitted with the 2.8 litre V6 injected engine like in the UK, the US Sierras received the Mustang SVO’s 2.3 litre turbocharged engine. In the US the car was sold as the Mercury Merkur XR4Ti. Here lay the interim solution as to which car Ford could race in Group A in Europe until something better could be developed. The car was homologated, had the Sierra badges put back on it and became the Sierra XR4Ti.
Top UK touring car driver Andy Rouse was the first person to campaign the Sierra XR4Ti, and won the BTCC in 1985 in it. As 1985 went on, the XR4Tis started to appear in the DTM and toward the end of the year in the ETCC.
For 1986, Ford became serious about developing the car. By then it was known that the Sierra Cosworth was under development, and the XR4Ti made an ideal base to develop suspension components. Top Swiss tuner, Eggenburger Racing was recruited to develop and race two Sierra XR4Tis in the 1986 ETCC. Eggenburger had just won the 1985 ETCC with a Volvo 240 Turbo, so they knew their stuff. Top drivers of the time, Steve Soper (recently voted best ever touring car driver by the UK Motorsport magazine), Klaus Niedzwiedz and Pierre Dieudonne were recruited to the driving lineup for the factory Eggenburger Sierra XR4Tis,
The car was progressively developed during the 1986 season, eventually winning the final round of the 1986 ETCC, the Estoril 500 in Portugal.
At the end of 1986, after two seasons of development, the XR4Ti made way for the newer, lighter Sierra Cosworth.

Major championship and race victories 1985-86
1985 British Touring Car Championship – Andy Rouse
1986 ETCC Round 14, Estoril 500, Portugal – Steve Soper/Klaus Niedzwiedz.

Specs:
Engine:
2,300 cc 4-clyinder, 8 valve, SOHC, turbocharged.
Power: 248kW (330bhp)

Transmission: 5-speed

Driving Wheels: Rear.

Homologated Kerb Weight: 1,110 kg
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Sierra XR4Ti Eggenburger Silv-1986-3.jpg (59.4 KB, 134 views)
File Type: jpg Sierra XR4Ti RouseDon-1986-32.jpg (58.6 KB, 128 views)
File Type: jpg Sierra XR4Ti Mertes Reuter Zol-1986-31.jpg (46.5 KB, 113 views)
File Type: jpg Sierra XR4Ti Grohs Don-1986-26.jpg (58.5 KB, 93 views)
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UCP's biggest Ford Sierra RS500 and BMW M3 E30 fan. My two favourite cars of all time.

Last edited by motorsportnerd; 02-18-2005 at 07:41 AM.
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