Monday, August 19, 2013

2k: Forgotten Gem: 2000 Ford Escort ZX2 S/R

The North American Escort was Ford's compact replacement to the Pinto, predecessor to the Focus, and has long since been forgotten by anyone who doesn't have wheels on his home.  The European Escort is a fantastic car and earned the praises of pundits and drivers...the American Escort...not so much.  However, in response to the sport compact fads in the late 1990s, Ford Racing teamed up with the Ford Small Vehicles Group to created a limited edition of the Escort ZX2, called the S/R.  Find this 2000 Ford Escort ZX2 S/R for sale in Fairmont, WV for $2,500.


The Escort ZX2 S/R version featured a number of improvements over the standard ZX2 versions, including stiffer Eibach springs, Tokico struts, poly suspension bushings, reprogrammed ECU, cold air intake, stiffer clutch, short throw B&M shifter & unique sport seats.  The Ford Zetec engine was good for 143 horsepower in the S/R trim and shifted with a 5-speed manual trans connected to the front wheels.  It was attempting to compete with the Neon ACR, Civic Si and other factory hot rod front drive coupes, but it couldn't stem the inevitable sales volume slide of the Escort when the Focus was released.  This ad isn't the best for showing what the ZX2 S/R looks like, so we are including the picture below.


For those who think the Escort ZX2 isn't an awesome race car for the street, we would like to point your attention to this video of a ZX2 doing a barrel roll.

See a better forgotten classic? email us here: tips@dailyturismo.com

23 comments:

  1. You know what that S/R package got you? .2 seconds slower to 60, almost 1/2 second slower in the 1/4 mile, and a worse skidpad.

    The only 2 performance metrics that improved were Slalom by .2 mph and a few extra feet braking from 70. Perhaps that's the "other" reason the sales never took off... or the fact that they only made 100 or so according to MT.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. where are you getting your information? i still have the original sales brochures and a slew of articles from magazines that did testing that say otherwise. i've also owned two S/R's and two non-S/R's in the past. the S/R is noticeably faster...but it's still slow. on the same set of tires (literally, took them off one car and put them on the other) i was a full 1.5 seconds faster in my buddy's stock S/R than i was my other buddy's stock 2003 zx2...same course, same day..72 some odd second second course.

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    2. http://www.motortrend.com/roadtests/tuners/112_9909_1999_ford_escort_zx2/

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    3. dude thats not true at all. it handled way better on the skidpad. it pulled a .87 which is nowhere near what a stock zx2 would do. What have you been smoking ? lmfao

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  2. They definitely made over a thousand of these things (in yellow, black and red) but unfortunately they share the same body as the lesser ZX2 and I can see the rust in the rockers from here. I've seen a few for sale cheap but I wouldn't even want to jack one of them up to change a flat tire for fear of it breaking in half. Grassroots Motorsports did an article about them recently which can probably be found on their web site.

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  3. Is it me, or does it looks like the owner used his handbrake to slide sideways into the parking location for the first photo?

    ReplyDelete
  4. I have one for sale if anyone is interested: http://cincinnati.craigslist.org/cto/4476340573.html

    ReplyDelete
  5. Fleetwood T. BroughamMay 22, 2014 at 7:15 AM

    My wife won't let me buy one because it's almost impossible to keep attractive gold diggers from flinging themselves at you when you're behind the wheel of one of these little panty-droppers.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. i had the same problem with this 95 grand am - no way the CFO would sign off

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  6. I have a 2000 SR with a stage 2 transmission hot shot cold air intake, light weight clutch and fly wheel premium sound system, racing suspension, and 17 inch rpm aluminum rims with low profiles that grip the road just right. Im doing in 80MPH in 3rd gear before red lining. That's without it being tuned or boosted. It only has 90k on it its my show stopper for now but dont worry im not done tuning when its done i will definitely post some pics of it.

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  7. anyone have a s/r for sale? e-mail me eireannach85@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  8. I own two. Yellow with under 40,000 miles and original, one owner...
    Black with over 100,000 miles and purchased used. Husband hoped to also get a red one for shows... having a trio.

    ReplyDelete
  9. speedsmithscott@gmail.comMarch 22, 2016 at 11:41 PM

    I ordered a 2k s/r as new and still enjoy it. They didn't sell in any great numbers because they were not formally promoted. I felt they were under equipped (and underpriced) by not having a factory limited slip differential, which would have helped greatly improve its performance on track.Overall, I have greatly enjoyed it.The Zx2 S/R is the only Escort ever sold in north America with a premium fuel calibration from the factory. It is also the only four cylinder car ford produced for competition purposes in north America other than the 1985 Mustang SVO comp prep pkg model. It is an uncommon car in many ways.

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  10. speedsmithscott@gmail.comMarch 23, 2016 at 12:03 AM

    I also wanted to add that the author of the article regarding the Escort in north America seems to fail in understanding that the Escort served its buyers quite well as an economy car. Most buyers who sought performance stepped into a Mustang or Thunderbird. As for the snarky comment on "people who live in trailers" the author might do a bit more research and discover the EXP coupe version of Escort had the highest buyer demographics of any fwd small car sold in n. America in 1984/5!Highest demographic means educated,good income level and young enough to be a potential multi time customer. It was only unseated from that by the Honda Preludesin 1986.Escort also had among the highest repeat purchase rates of any domestic small car. So it was not "hated" by its owners.just felt that needed to be said.

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