CC Capsule: 1999-2000 Ford Escort ZX2 S/R — A Rare Hot Coupe

It was after midnight, and I had the shuttle bus driver drop me off where I thought my car was in the airport parking lot, but I was wrong. So I went on a long walk trying to find my car, my keyfob in hand, pressing the Lock button, hoping to hear my car’s horn honk. Then I came upon this little Ford Escort ZX2. Since these were new, I always thought it would be fun to own one. Little did I know that I had stumbled upon a genuinely rare ZX2.

That little mark under the ZX2 badge reads “S/R.” Ford worked with the tuner companies to bolt on a lot of go-fast-and-handle-well bits to this car: progressive-rate Eibach springs, Tokico struts, Energy Suspension anti-roll bar bushings, Goodyear Eagle F1 P205/55ZR15 tires, a B&M Pro-Edge shifter, a Borla muffler, a Roush intake system, and a Centerforce Dual Friction clutch and pressure plate. It was a tuned car you could order right from the factory. Motor Trend brought their test ZX2 S/R t to 60 mph in just 7.6 seconds. Not bad for 1999!

Ford made only 100 ZX2 S/Rs in 1999, but bumped that number to 2,000 in 2000. Statistics dictate that the S/R I found is probably a 2000 model. Ford made these in yellow, red, and black, but when you Google this car, you find only yellow S/Rs.

ZX2s were everyday cars for everyday people. But with the S/R, Ford had a little fun. This was the end of the line for the venerable Escort, as the Focus had already appeared on the scene, and Ford’s SVT (Special Vehicle Team) was busy juicing the newest car to wear Ford’s subcompact crown.