Jay Leno and Tim Allen are among a handful of celebrities that are true car people, and both have certainly owned their fair share of amazing rides over the years. Via the show Jay Leno’s Garage, the comedian has also driven a number of notable Blue Oval models such as George Bush’s Ford F-150, Joe Kugel’s 1932 Ford roadster, and the 2023 Ford F-150 Raptor R, to name just a few. Now, Leno is back with yet another video, this time one in which he gets to sample Allen’s own 1986 Ford RS200 – a famous and incredibly rare rally-inspired machine.
In total, just 200 examples of the homologated Ford RS200 racers were built to dominate Group B in the World Rally Championship, and just 24 were upgraded to EVO specifications. As such, we rarely see these special machines pop up for sale – let alone anywhere – and when they do, they rake in big bucks at auction and via various other methods of sale. However, when they do appear in the wild, it’s pretty easy to spot the RS200, which is certainly the case with Allen’s personal ride.
From the distinctive rally lights across the front fascia to the unique bodywork, everything here screams “1980s race car,” which is, well, precisely what the Ford RS200 is. The EVO models also touted an upgraded suspension, bigger brakes, and a fortified 2.1L I-4 turbocharged Cosworth BDT-E powerplant that can churn out an incredible-for-the-time 580 horsepower, which propels it from 0-60 in just a tick over three seconds.
As one might imagine, that means that the RS200 is every bit as exciting to drive today as it was decades ago, and Leno certainly falls in love after his short time in the car. In fact, he calls it “one of the most fun cars” he’s ever driven, and even notes that it’s more enjoyable to flog on California roads than a typical sports car, as it’s built to withstand tremendous abuse. Unfortunately for most of us, we’ll never get to experience that, but at least we can live vicariously through this video.