After Group B's abolition by FIA at the end of 1986, Ford found itself without a suitable Group A rally car like most other manufacturers. The Ford Sierra RS Cosworth was powerful but it was beaten by other 4WD competitors, the 4WD Sierra XR4x4 has the 4WD drivetrain but was held back by its outdated engine, churning out only 200 bhp as opposed to 300 bhp like other Group A cars. For the 1987 World Rally Championship Ford Motorsport used both XR4x4 and the Cosworth on loose surfaces and tarmac respectively, but the XR4x4's power disadvantage was too great.
The RWD Cosworth never won any loose-surface WRC races, but with drivers such as Stig Blomqvist, Carlos Sainz and Ari Vatanen it frequently finished in the top five. However, thanks to strong support from Ford Motorsport the Cosworth became popular with the private teams at national chamionship level. Colin McRae's father, Jimmy McRae and Carlos Sainz took the British Rally Championship and the Spanish Rally Championship respectively, both with a Sierra in 1987 and 1988. Colin himself also drove a Sierra RS Cosworth in 1989's WRC.
“Driven by Colin McRae in the early stages of his career, the Ford Sierra RS Cosworth was more famous for its success in the world of Touring Cars. The Sierra held it's own in national rally events, with its powerful Cosworth engine capable of pushing it through any rally stage.” — Car Viewer description
The Ford Sierra Cosworth RS500 is a 80's-class Rally car in DiRT 3. Tt is only available by activating the VIP Pass.