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Somewhere inside Ford the Capri is still alive…

by DrivingEnthusiast

..at least in the minds of Ford marketers in Europe. This morning’s press release from Ford of Europe highlights a television show tonight (only available in the U.K.) that will feature one of the best Capris of them all, the 1986 Ford Capri 280 “Brooklands” – named for the green color of this limited edition 1038-car production run. This was the last model for the European Capri – and the last true Capri (the next Capri being simply a rebodied Mustang – albeit a good car, and the last being a Mazda 323-based convertible built in Australia).

At this point in the life of the original Capri, the car was becoming dated and needed a replacement – however no development funding was available. The chassis and drivetrain were essentially the same as the original 1st generation car (which itself, like the Falcon chassis to the Mustang, went back even further into the ’60s), although Ford invested in “labor of love” updates all along including a new sleek hatchback body for the second generation, a new front end for the third generation, fuel injection for the V-6 engine, and the option of Recaro seats.  However, imports to the North America had ended (where the Capri hardly fit into the Mercury dealer lineup), and the market was moving to front-wheel drive cars.

Engine 6-Cyl. V-formation at 60 degrees
Crankshaft Four main bearings
Bore x Stroke 93mm x 68.5mm (3.66in x 2.70in)
Capacity 2972cc (107.4 cu in)
Valves Overhead
Compression ratio 9.2:1
Fuel system Bosch K-Jetronic injection
Maximum power 160bhp at 5700rpm
Maximum torque 162 lb ft (22.5kgm) at 4300rpm
Transmission Five speed manual, limited slip differential standard
Gear Ratios 5th 0.825, 4th 1.00, 3rd 1.26, 2nd 1.81, 1st 3.36, rev 3.37
Final drive 3.090
Top gear speed 25.7mph (41.4kmh) per 1000rpm
Brakes Ventilated Front disc / rear drum, servo assisted
Wheels / Tyres 7x15in alloy wheels with Pirelli P7 195/50 15 tyres
Length 172.8in (4376mm)
Wheelbase 100.9in (2563mm)
Width 66.9in (1698mm)
Height 51.1in (1298mm)
Front Track 53.3in (1353mm)
Rear Track 54.5in (1384mm)
Unladen weight 2712lb (1230kg)
Top speed 130 mph (210kph)
0-60mph 7.8 secs

We’re an original Ford Capri owner ourselves, and were sorry to see the car leave the market. Ford did move quickly into the front wheel drive enthusiast market; one example we were very fortunate to encounter in person was this Escort RS1600i in 1983. It’s where the market went, and stayed. The Focus ST is the direct descendant of the RS1600i, as is the last Focus RS, which we recently found an example of live and in person.

Ford has in the past considered a 2-door version of a rebodied Focus a new Capri, but no known movement is occurring. We’d personally much rather have that than a 4-door Focus ST since we have no use for the extra doors (or length). The market here is driven by Europe, where 2-door hot hatches are rare and of course the economy is in extremely bad condition.

Ford of Europe Press Release follows:

Ford Capri featuring in Jamie Oliver’s Food Fight Club

BRENTWOOD, Essex, 6 December, 2012 – The last Ford Capri ever produced by Ford will feature in Jamie Oliver’s latest TV project – Food Fight Club. Jamie has joined forces with his old friend Jimmy Doherty to take brilliant British food to the Continent in the most entertaining way possible.

Partly filmed in front of an audience in a café on Southend Pier, Essex, the show aims to bring the country together in their love of British food. Jamie has high ambitions for Food Fight Club: “It’s set up to be the most exciting, interesting and funny cooking show ever to be shown on TV.”

The Ford ‘Brooklands’ Capri was chosen by Jamie since he and Jimmy have been friends since the 1980s and despite having a Ford Fiesta, the Ford Capri was the car that they both aspired to when they were growing up together in Essex.

Developed by the then Ford Special Vehicle Engineering (SVE) division at the Dunton Technical Centre in Essex, the Ford Capri 280 was limited to a production run of 1,038 units. It has a five-speed, manual transmission and a 2,792cc V6 OHV engine capable of propelling the coupé to a top speed of 127 mph.

Food Fight Club airs tonight on C4.

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