Ford Capri, European Mustang (Part III)

Today, we conclude the Ford Capri story with its third and final generations.later Mark I’s A promising start as a simple, affordable and sporty coupe, Mark II As Ford tried to appeal to a larger audience, it was a bit too soft and comfortable, branching into many different trims.

“We can fix that!” Ford exclaimed. Caprimark III time.

The Mark II Capri’s box-shaped early ’70s styling looked pretty outdated by the second half of the decade and needed some rework. Since the introduction of the Mark II, sales have been on a downward trend. This is a secret sign that every mass market coupe has. Instead of designing a whole new Capri, the Mark III was a remake of the Mark II. The project, known as Carla in Ford, used the styling that made its debut in the Capri show car at the 1976 Geneva Motor Show.

That year, Ford exhibited a modified and updated Capri II. It wore a front end similar to the modern Escort RS2000 and was known as the Capri Modular Aerodynamic Concept. With a badge that says “MA / PF-11”, the concept was a bit like the Saab 900. In particular it focused on the aerodynamic line and had a small rear spoiler, a front end down to the leading edge, and a quad-enclosed headlamp.

The general look of the concept was mostly achieved with the Mark III, with the exception of the aero wheels and sealed headlamps. The III black slat grille, as well as its engraved rear lamp design, was a feature of the new family design of Ford’s European lineup. The shape was written by Ford’s design director, Uweburnsen, who was responsible for the Mark II Capri, European Escort, Sierra, Scorpio and Transit.

Mark III had a more serious look than its predecessor, with the edge of the hood pulled down above the headlamps. BMW later used that trick to make a big difference. The Mark III wheelbase has grown to just 101 inches (previously 100.7 inches), but the width has increased from 66.9 inches to 67 inches. The height was reduced by nodding to smoothness and aerodynamics, dropping from 53.4 to 51 inches. The overall length was 167.8 inches, almost the same as before, but the weight increased with modernity (about 100 pounds regardless of engine and trim), ranging from 2,227 pounds to 2,688 pounds.

When production began in March 1978, the Mark III continued the engine and trim combination from the Capri II. The sportiest model was the 3.0S, but with the same engine, softer characteristics, and auto, the Ghia sold well in the UK.that was After all, the height of a personal luxury coupe. At the entry level, there were 1.3-liter in-line 4-cylinders in the Crossflow family and 1.6-liter and 2.0-liter focus in-line 4-cylinders. The smallest V6 offered was the 2.0-liter Cologne, with the addition of the 2.3-liter and 2.8-liter Cologne brothers. The top tier for some time running Mark III was 3.0 Essex V6, but we’ll talk more about that soon. In 1983, the old 4-speed manual was replaced by 5-speed, but the 3-speed C3 automatic remained the same throughout the ride.

The Mark III’s debut sales were promising, and the well-equipped coupe proved to be a profitable product in the UK market. The first two Capri established a nameplate in the UK, after which Capri had an enthusiastic follow-up, even if not fully translated into other markets. Over time, Ford realized that Capri made more money than other British models, as Capri was sold exclusively to individual buyers. British models with four doors were often sold as fleet cars to buyers of companies that requested volume discounts. In addition to the high-end 3.0S and Ghia trims, Ford has sold profitable RS trim packages and parts to maintain its appeal to enthusiastic customers.

In 1982 Ford dropped the Essex 3.0 V6 from Capri, removing what had been the top model since 1969. The old Essex engine was terminated not by lack of demand, but by tightening emission regulations. Instead, there is a 2.8-liter Cologne V6 whose trim is known as 2.8 injection. Buyers were thrilled with the new engine with its flashy jets and 150 horsepower, and sales experienced a great boost. From there, the injection was transformed into a more upscale injection special with a partial leather interior and a limited slip differential. Early in the run, there were several specially tuned versions of the Mark III, including the British Series X and GP1, the German-only 2.8 turbo, and the very expensive and handmade Tickford turbo.

In Europe, the era of affordable coupes changed, and when the 1980s began, they brought a lot of competition to Capri’s front door. At the bigger end was the European performance sedan. This made it more comfortable to do everything Capri did while carrying the entire family of businessmen.

On the smaller side, Capri felt pressure from the rapid increase in popularity of hot hatchbacks. Affordable hatchbacks could also carry the entire family of enthusiasts, were fun to drive, and were more economical to run and insure. Capri’s insurance premiums were high because Capri was one of the most stolen cars in Britain in the 1980s. Ford announced new sporty models such as the Fiesta XR2, Escort XR3 and Sierra (Merkur) XR4i, so it played a unique role in replacing (and ruining) Capri. All new Ford products were more competitive and balanced than the improved II-now-III Capri. With the competition for the Vauxhall Cavalier coupe, Renault Fuego, and the old MG B gone, everyone’s affordable coupe has blended into history.

Towards the end, Ford continued to narrow down its trim and engine options, leaving only three flagships in the final model year of 1986: 1.6 lasers, 2.0 lasers and 2.8 injections. The Laser debuted as Trim in 1984, combining the base model engine with some of the features of the S Trim that departed.

Capri’s conclusion came first in markets other than the UK when the Cologne factory stopped production of all left-hand drive Mark III on November 30, 1984. From now on, we will only produce right-hand drive vehicles sold in the UK market. By that time Capri had been on sale for seven years and its fate had been sealed. All other Ford sporty products had better sales, and Ford decided not to make a fourth Capri. The company had not entered the European dedicated two-door coupe market until it returned with a US-made probe in 1994. It worked.

[Images: Ford]

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Ford Capri, European Mustang (Part III)

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