For nearly half a century, the most exciting Fords built in Europe have been the ones with RS badges. RS stands for Rallye Sport, and it generally signals that the Ford in question has the highest performance of any car in a particular model range.
Most, though not all, RS models have some connection with motorsport, which Ford, like other manufacturers who take part, uses to promote itself throughout the world.
The very first RS cars were built in Germany in the late 1960s. They were based on the 15M, 17M and 20M, technically versions of the Taunus, though by the time they came along Ford had dropped the Taunus name.
A 20M RS won the 1969 East African Safari Rally, but since neither it nor any other Taunus was ever sold in the UK we won’t be dwelling on it here. From a UK perspective, the RS story began a year later.

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