Een van die auto’s arriveerde in 1986, maar hoe zit het in 2021? We vergelijken twee nogal verschillende snelle Fords
Wat hebben een snelle Ford uit de jaren 80 en zijn volledig elektrische afstammeling uit 2021 met elkaar gemeen? Zijn ze het krijt en kaas of twee erwten in een peul?
In 1986, 35 jaar geleden, lanceerde Ford de Sierra RS Cosworth, toen de snelste productieauto voor de weg tot nu toe, met een topsnelheid van bijna 240 km/u. Dit jaar markeerde Ford de lancering van de Mach-E, zijn eerste echte EV, dus de kans om de twee samen te brengen en na te denken over hoeveel dingen er zijn veranderd, is te mooi om te missen.
Deze Sierra was een speciale homologatie, ontworpen om de basis te vormen voor een Internationale Groep A racewagen. Vijfduizend was het aantal dat fabrikanten moesten verkopen met in wezen dezelfde mechanica die ze op het circuit nodig zouden hebben. De belangrijkste reden voor de productie was het winnen van het FIA Touring Car Championship (nu het European Touring Car Championship), en dat deed het met vlag en wimpel.
Lees het originele verhaal hieronder in het Engels
True blue: Ford Sierra RS Cosworth vs Mustang Mach-E
One such car arrived in 1986, but how about in 2021? We compare two rather different fast Fords
What could a 1980s fast Ford and its 2021 all-electric descendant possibly have in common? Are they chalk and cheese or two peas in a pod?
In 1986, 35 years ago, Ford launched the Sierra RS Cosworth, then its fastest production road car to date, with a top speed close to 150mph. This year marked the launch of the Mach-E, its first proper EV, so the opportunity to get the two together and ponder how much things have changed is too good to miss.
This Sierra was a homologation special designed to form the basis for an International Group A racing car. Five thousand was the number that manufacturers were required to put on public sale with fundamentally the same mechanicals that they would need on the track. The main reason for producing it was to win the FIA Touring Car Championship (now the European Touring Car Championship), and it did that with flying colours.
My example is the last known remaining car from the fleet of 10 run by Ford’s press garage in Brentford and wears its original aluminium plates, carrying only the registration number and the Blue Oval. The actual car I ran for 12 months on long-term test from 1986 to 1987, it spent around 25 years in Australia in private ownership, and when it appeared again in the UK, I was able to buy it and return it to original specification.
While the Mustang Mach-E is entirely different and with a different purpose, it’s still very much a performance Ford. This one is the four-wheel-drive Extended Range version, powered by an electric motor on each axle. Like all EVs, it’s at the cutting edge of technology, whereas even back in the day, the Sierra wasn’t. Its 2.0-litre 16-valve Ford Cosworth YBB engine was essentially an up-to-date version of the famous 1970s BDA engine with the addition of a turbocharger.
So let’s cut to the chase. How do these cars illustrate the change in trends over the past 35 years? All cars inevitably reflect the culture in a car company and the character of the people who created them. In that respect, the apple hasn’t fallen far from the tree. The Sierra was developed at Ford Special Vehicle Engineering at the Dunton Technical Centre in Essex. The Mach-E is the product of the newly formed Ford Team Edison working out of an old factory in Corktown, Detroit.
Ford chose anti-hype in its advertising for the Sierra, letting the visual drama of the winged beast do the talking. A double-page spread carried a moody studio image of a Moonstone Blue car like this one over the understated headline ‘Sierra by Cosworth out of Special Vehicle Engineering’. With the Mach-E, Ford has upped the ante a bit but still kept it tastefully reined in. ‘Electric. And untamed’ reads one headline and ‘The future of exhilaration’ another.
Naturally, the two are technically worlds apart. The dual motors of this Mach-E are fed by a lithium ion battery pack containing 376 cells with 88kWh of usable energy. Peak power is 346bhp and torque 427lb ft – both figures unthinkable in 1986. But equally unthinkable back in the day was the idea of a 2.0-litre European production Ford making 201bhp at 6000rpm and 203lb ft of torque – twice that of the basic 2.0 Sierra with the potential for twice that again.
The Sierra can get to 60mph in 6.1sec and has a top speed of 149mph. The Mach-E can sprint to 62mph in 5.1sec and has a top speed electronically governed at 112mph. But here’s the thing: although classed as a medium to large D-segment car in its day, the Sierra feels tiny by comparison and weighs a delightful 1205kg. At 2182kg, the Mach-E weighs just 23kg shy of a tonne more.
Infotainment? The Sierra has a stereo on which you could listen to Sade, Alison Moyet or whoever else took your fancy in the 1980s. The sound quality depends on how bumpy the road is and the age of the cassette. There’s FM radio, too – as long as you remember to pull up the chrome aerial from the rear wing.
In contrast, the Mach-E has Ford’s latest Sync 3 system, which presents 80 vehicle settings via a giant touchscreen. Even standard sound systems today are better than the most expensive aftermarket ones back in the Sierra’s day. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto allow you to morph a mobile phone onto the dashboard, whereas a ‘briefcase’ mobile phone in 1986 would occupy most of the passenger compartment and just about make a call if you were lucky.
The Sierra’s interior is famously old-school Ford in that, apart from the bespoke Recaro seats, it’s cheaply made to look as good as possible. Since then, materials and manufacturing technologies have moved on, Ford has raised its game a long way and the Mach-E is lusciously finished inside.
Long-distance travel is no problem in the air-conditioned luxury of the Mach-E, while the only chance of staying cool in the Sierra is a sunroof, air vents and open windows. The Mach-E may be an SUV and the Sierra a mere family hatchback, but both have five seats and the luggage compartments aren’t dissimilar at 385 litres for the old car and 420 litres for the new one. Park the two side by side and the trend towards bigger and heavier cars since the 1980s is obvious to see. Which brings us to the driving experience.
The Sierra is smooth and easy to drive and, thanks to its light weight, its handling and agility through the switchback turns of the Scottish Borders set my heart fluttering with delight.
The steering is analogue and the change of direction predictable and linear, with natural feedback through the hydraulic power-steering rack. The Mach-E’s steering feels digital and synthetic by comparison – sharp and almost over-responsive. There’s a sense of piloting by wire rather than being directly connected to the road.
Even though its weight is masked by clever engineering and technology, the Mach-E feels colossal. Admittedly, Ford has done an impressive job of keeping the weight down: even with its large battery, this car weighs only marginally more than some ICE SUVs of a similar size. But while the Sierra sails over crests and effortlessly changes direction, he Mach-E feels less poised on these twisting, undulating roads.
The early turbocharger technology and electric drive share something in common, though. The instantaneous torque from the EV’s powerful electric motors continues to spool out endlessly, and although the Ford Cosworth engine needs to get above 3000rpm to really get going, when it does, that slingshot feeling is similar.
Driving these two cars back to back gives me the sense that over the past 35 years, mainstream manufacturers across the board have taken both forward and backwards steps. Cars could be smaller and lighter yet remain safe and spacious and be more involving to drive as a consequence. Too much connectivity to the outside world is distracting and lane-keeping assistance systems are annoying and hit-and-miss, but adaptive cruise control makes motorway driving less tiresome and the sophisticationof modern infotainment and sat-nav systems is a huge bonus.
Despite the past few decades of evolution, perhaps the perfect car has yet to be made. A Sierra-sized electric Mustang Fastback GT to partner the SUV would be something else, wouldn’t it?
Ford’s high-performance EVs
It looks like Ford has plenty of ideas for upholding its Performance heritage in the future. For example, the Mustang Cobra Jet 1400 dragster has the power of more than three Mustang V8s and recently turned in an 8.27sec quarter mile (that’s 168mph) in testing before making its public debut at the NHRA US Nationals. It’s powered by four integrated inverter motors spinning at up to 10,000rpm, each making 469bhp, giving it a total of 1502bhp at the wheels.
Klik HIER voor meer over de Mustang Cobra Jet en de All Electric Ford Mustang Cobra Jet 1400. Inclusief Video
Source | Autocar.co.uk