Specification

   
  • Manufacturer Ford
  • Production 1977-1986
  • Assembly Dagenham, Halewood, United Kingdom
    Genk, Belgium
    Saarlouis, Cologne, Germany
  • Body style(s) fastback coupĂ©
  • Class Mid-size sports car
  • Engine(s) petrol:
    I-4 1.6L, 2.0L,
    V6 2.8L, 3.0L
  • Transmission(s) Manual transmission,
    Automatic transmission
  • Layout FR layout

The history of the Ford Capri III

   

The Capri Mk3 was referred to internally as "Project Carla", and although little more than a substantial update of the Mk2, it was often referred to as the Mk3. The first cars were available in March 1978, but failed to halt a terminal decline in sales. The concept of a heavily facelifted Capri 2 was shown at the 1976 Geneva show: a Capri 2 with a front very similar to the Escort RS2000 (with four headlamps and black slatted grille), and with a rear spoiler, essentially previewed the model some time before launch. The Mk3 featured improved aerodynamics, leading to improved performance and economy over the Mk2 and the trademark quad headlamps were introduced.
At launch the existing engine and transmission combinations of the Capri 2 were carried over, with the 3.0 S model regarded as the most desirable model although in truth the softer, Ghia derivative with automatic rather than manual transmission the bigger seller of the two V6 engined models.
Ford began to focus their attention on the UK Capri market as sales declined, realizing the car had something of a cult following there. Unlike sales of the contemporary 4-door Cortina, Capri sales in Britain were to private buyers who would demand less discounts than fleet buyers allowing higher margins with the coupé. Ford tried to maintain interest in 1979 with "X Pack" options from the performance oriented "Rallye Sport", or "RS" parts range. Although expensive and slow selling these proved that the press would enthusiastically cover more developed Capris with higher performance.
In 1981, the 3.0 V6 powerplant was dropped from the line-up, while a new sporty version debuted at the Geneva Motor Show, called the 2.8 Injection. The new model was the first regular model since the RS2600 to use fuel injection. Power rose to 160 PS (118 kW) giving a top speed of 210 km/h (130 mph), but the car still had a standard four-speed gearbox. The Capri 2.8 Injection breathed new life into the range and kept the car in production 2–3 years longer than Ford had planned. The four-speed gearbox was replaced with a five-speed unit early on – at the same time Ford swapped the dated looking chequered seats for more luxurious looking velour trim. A more substantial upgrade was introduced in 1984 with the Capri Injection Special. This development used half leather seating and included a limited slip differential. Externally the car could be easily distinguished by seven spoke RS wheels (without the customary "RS" logo since this was not an RS vehicle) and color coded grille and headlamp surrounds. At the same time the 2.0 L Capri was rationalized to one model the 2.0 S, which simultaneously adopted a mildly modified suspension from the Capri Injection. The 1.6 model was also reduced to one model, the 1.6 LS.
Although the Capri no longer had a racing career, Ford of Germany developed a limited edition, left hand drive only, turbocharged model with 190 PS (140 kW), which could propel the car to 220 km/h (137 mph) in April 1982. This wild looking derivative featured widened bodywork and "RS" badging of the engine and wheels. Although rare and collectible it was not regarded as a car of equal stature to the later Tickford - the other Ford "official" turbo Capri.
From November 1984 onwards, the Capri was sold only in Britain, with only right hand drive cars being made from this date. The 1.6 and 2.0 variants were rebranded with a new trim level – "Laser" – which featured a fully populated instrument pod, leather gear lever, leather steering wheel and an electric aerial along with colour-coded grille and mirrors. The last run limited edition "Brooklands" Green, 280 model, featuring a limited slip differential, full leather Recaro interior and 15 inch versions of the seven spoke 13 inch wheels fitted to the superseded Capri Injection Special. Ford originally intended to make 500 turbo charged vehicles (by Turbo Technics) complete with gold alloy wheels and name it the Capri 500 but a change of production planning meant a name change to Capri 280 as the cars were simply the last models that ran down the production line. A total of 1,038 Capri 280s were built. Contrary to some reports these cars were not called "Capri 280 Brooklands", the name of the famous Surrey race track only being applied to the paint colour rather than the car itself.
When the last Capri was made on 19 December 1986, 1,886,647 cars had rolled off the production lines. Production had ended at Halewood, UK in 1976 and the Capri was made exclusively in Germany from 1976 to 1986. Most of those (more than a million) were the Mk 1, mostly because the Mk 1 sold well in North America and Australia, while the Mk 2 and Mk 3 were only exported outside Europe (to Asia and New Zealand) in limited numbers.

Type 1960s 1970s 1980s
0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 5
Supermini     Fiesta I Fiesta II
Small family car Anglia 105E / Super Anglia 123E Escort I Escort II Escort III
Large family car Consul II Cortina I Cortina II Cortina III / Taunus TC Cortina IV / Taunus III Cortina V / Taunus III Sierra
Taunus G13 Taunus P4 Taunus P6
  Classic Corsair    
Executive car Taunus P3 Taunus P5 Taunus P7 Taunus P7.2   Granada I Granada II
Zephyr II Zephyr 4/6 III Zephyr 4/6 IV  
Zodiac II Zodiac III Zodiac IV  
CoupĂ©   Consul Capri   Capri Mk1 Capri Mk2 Capri Mk3
Type 1980s 1990s 2000s
0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
City car     Ka I Ka II
Supermini Fiesta I Fiesta II Fiesta III Fiesta IV Fiesta V Fiesta VI Fiesta VII
Small family car Escort Mk3 / Orion I Escort Mk4 / Orion II Escort Mk5 / Orion III Escort Mk5b Escort Mk6 Focus I Focus II
Large family car Cortina V Sierra Mondeo I Mondeo II Mondeo III Mondeo IV
Executive car Granada II Scorpio I / Granada III Scorpio II    
CoupĂ© Capri     Puma  
  Probe   Cougar  
Crossover SUV       Kuga
Mini MPV       Fusion
Compact MPV       C-Max
Large MPV       S-Max
    Galaxy I Galaxy II Galaxy III

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