Is the Ford Capri Coming Back as the Mini Ford GT We All Deserve?
Ford actually has everything it needs to bring back the Capri but the design - we’re pretty sure it can cover that easily enough, thoughby Robert Moore, on
Ford has brought back the Bronco and Puma name, and let’s not forget about the revival of the Ford GT, so what’s next on the Blue Oval’s plate? Well, word has it that there could be a revival of the Capri name, and we’re thinking it could be a smaller sports car that would fill the gap between the Mustang and the Ford GT – a BIG gap, I know – and it could even take on the likes of cars like the Jaguar F-Type, Porsche 718, or the Audi TT.
There’s No Confirmation on the Capri, But It Wasn’t Ruled Out Either
In an interview with Autocar, Amko Leenarts – Director of Ford’s European Design Studio – opened the door for a Ford Capri revival. When asked about bringing back the Capri, he said,
“Who would not want to bring back the Capri as a design? We’d love it. But it’s got to be in the zeitgeist and has to fit, and work as a plural, not just exist as something for a designer to bring back an old car.”
Unfortunately, Leenarts also said that he’s not pushing the idea of making a concept too much as the company is more interested in live internal demonstration than creating concepts, but the Bronco is coming back, the Ford GT came back, and the Puma came back all with impressively modern designs in comparison to their spiritual predecessors, so we can hold out hope.
What Would a New Ford Capri Look Like?
Luckily, independent artist, Fabien Rougemont, has published a bunch of sketches that give us an idea of what a revived Capri could look like, and we like what we see.
Much like the original, it’s a two-door coupe, but it takes on some serious modern styling cues that would position it as a smaller Ford GT or, at the very least, a sports car that would fill that huge gap between the Ford Mustang and Ford GT.
To be feasible, however, it couldn’t be incredibly expensive, but it could compete with high-end models like the Porsche 718 or Jaguar F-Type – that’s exactly what Ford needs.
The design that you see in these renderings properly depicts what I would call a blend between an evolved version of the current Ford Mustang and a tiny Ford GT. Based on the design sketches, it could potentially be mid-engined (probably a four-banger at best…maybe that EcoBoost four-cylinder from the Mustang with some tuning?) or it could be front-engined to allow for a small rear seat. Personally, I’d prefer the mid-engined or maybe even a rear-engine configuration.
What the Ford Capri Needs to Compete On Today’s Market
Outside of a stellar design, the new Ford Capri would have to be fast and fairly powerful. I’m not talking about Bugatti Chiron fast, but fast (and powerful enough, for the matter) to take on cars like the Porsche 718, the Audi TT, or even the Jaguar F-Type.
Power isn’t everything, as the weight plays a major role in how quick a vehicle is and how well it handles, but it at least needs to be taken into consideration.
The good news is that Ford’s EcoBoost four-cylinder – like that found in the Focus RS, for example – will easily float the bill.
That 2.3-liter engine delivers 350 horsepower and 350 pound-feet of torque, enough to get the 3,458-pound RS to 60 mph in 4.7 seconds and a top speed of 165 mph.
|Engine||2.3-liter engine four-cylinder|
|0 to 60 mph||4.7 seconds|
|Top Speed||165 mph|
In comparison, the current Porsche 718 Cayman delivers just 300 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque from a 2.0-liter four-cylinder. It’s capable of hitting 60 mph in as little as 4.5 seconds with the right optional equipment. On the other side of the spectrum, the two-seater Audi TT pumps out 220 ponies and 258 pound-feet from a 2.0-liter and can hit 60 mph in 5.3 seconds. If Ford wants to compete with the Jaguar F-Type, that RS EcoBoost engine will be just right, as the F-Type in standard form delivers 340 horsepower and 332 pound-feet of torque.That’s enough to get to 60 mph in 5.1 seconds and to a top speed of 161 mph. The only caveat here is that the F-Type has a 3.0-liter V-6.
|Porsche 718 Cayman||Audi TT||Jaguar F-Type|
|Horsepower||300 HP||258 HP||340 HP|
|Torque||280 Lb-ft||258 Lb-ft||332 Lb-FT|
|0 to 60 mph||4.5 seconds||5.3 seconds||5.1 seconds|
Needless to say,
Ford does have an efficient four-cylinder that can do the job, but it will all boil down to how heavy the Capri would be.
With Ford’s major investment in the Ford GT, it certainly has the experience in weight reduction, so that’s not outside the realm of possibilities, either.
Ford Capri History
The old Ford Capri was a funky, long-hooded coupe that was sold between 1968 and 1986 with the intention of being the European equivalent of the U.S.-based Ford Mustang.
It borrowed a lot of DNA from the Ford Cortina as well. That design was okay for its time, but it’s not something that would stand a chance on today’s market in Europe, the U.S., or elsewhere.
Over the course of three generations, the Ford Capri was offered with various engines that ranged from the 1.3-liter Kent and 1.3-liter Crossflow four-cylinders all the way up to the 5.0-liter Windsor V-8 (Mk1 only) and the 3.0-liter Essex V-6 in Mk2 and Mk3 generations. By the end of its life, the range-topping 3.0-liter Essex engine was dropped, and the 2.8-liter Cologne V-6 took over with somewhere around 157 horsepower.
The most impressive model was the Tickford Turbo Capri that delivered 205 horsepower and could reach 60 mph in as little as 6.7 seconds or 100 mph in 18.5 seconds
– boring figures by today’s standards but highly impressive for the late-70s and early-1980s.
Oddly enough, the Mercury brand – a subdivision of Ford at the time – was importing the Capri and selling it as a Mercury. It didn’t turn out anywhere near as successful as the Capri in Europe, though, and by 1979 Mercury started using the name on a restyled Ford Mustang body instead. Overall, Ford managed to move some 1.9 million units of the Capri in its lifetime, so it is considered one of Ford’s more impressive and successful models.
Ford reviving the Capri name is, honestly, a longshot. And, it might not carry a lot of weight here in the States but the design in the sketches you see above and a new sports car very well could. I honestly wouldn’t hold my breath for this to happen anytime soon, but there is a very real possibility, even if it’s a small one. The question is, would you be interested in the Capri name coming back, and would you be interested in a model that looks like the one shown in the sketches above?
Renderings courtesy of Fabian Rougemont via Behance