The Ford Capri (SA30) is an automobile which was produced by Ford Australia from 1989 to 1994. The launch of the car marked a revival of the Ford Capri name, previously used by Ford of Europe from 1969 to 1986 and Ford USAs, Mercury Division, on their Fox-bodied, Mercury Capri, from 1979 to 1986.

The Australian Capri, codenamed the SA30, was an entry-level convertible, based on Mazda 323 engines and mechanicals that Ford Australia had also used in the Laser. It had a body shell designed by Ghia and an interior by ItalDesign. During development of the Capri, Mazda was developing the MX-5, a vehicle that, although considerably more expensive, was commonly considered its direct competitor.[4] Unlike the MX-5, the Capri was a 2+2 rather than a strict two-seater.

History

1989-1992 Ford Capri (SA) convertible (pre-facelift)

The Australian-built Capri was intended primarily for export to the US. Exports began in 1991, as the Mercury Capri. When the car was new, it had a poor reputation for reliability,[5] although many still exist today perhaps due to the mechanical robustness of the Laser/323 upon which it was based.[6] In particular, the Capri's roof was prone to leaking, due to poor-quality materials being used; although Ford quickly resolved the issue, the car's poor reputation stuck.[5] As a result, the MX-5 was comfortably more popular, particularly as that car was rear-wheel-drive, and enthusiasts were skeptical about the front-wheel-drive arrangement that the Capri used.[5]

1992-1994 Ford Capri (SE), (facelift)

Two models were initially offered in the Capri's range: a base model, with a 1.6 L B6-2E SOHC inline-4 engine that produced 61 kW (82 hp; 83 PS),[1] and a turbocharged model, which used the 1.6 L B6T DOHC inline-4, which produced 100 kW (134 hp; 136 PS).[2] The base model was available with a 5-speed manual transmission or a 3-speed automatic transmission, whilst the turbocharged model only had the manual gearbox.[2] In 1990, the naturally-aspirated 1.6 L B6D DOHC unit, which produced 75 kW (101 hp; 102 PS), was added to the range,[7] and this was the only engine available in 1991.[8]

For 1992, the Capri was updated, and given the codename SC; the turbocharged engine was also re-added to the range.[9] An XR2 trim level was also introduced for both engines, whilst the base trim for the naturally-aspirated model was renamed Barchetta, and the base trim for the turbo model renamed to Clubsprint.[9] In 1993, the Capri was updated again, and this time was given the codename SE.[3] Production ended in 1994, after a total of 66,279 Capri convertibles had been built; 10,347 of these were right-hand-drive (RHD) models for the Oceania/Southeast Asia market. 9,787 Capris were sold in Australia, whilst the remaining RHD Capris went to New Zealand and Southeast Asia.[10]

The 1989–94 Capri was assessed in the Used Car Safety Ratings 2006 as providing "worse than average" protection for its occupants in the event of a crash.[11]

References

  1. ^ a b c d "1989 Ford Capri 1.6L (model since mid-year 1989 for Australia ) specifications & performance data review". automobile-catalog.com. Retrieved 19 December 2014.
  2. ^ a b c "1989 Ford (Australia) Capri SA-series Convertible all versions specifications and performance data". automobile-catalog.com. Retrieved 19 December 2014.
  3. ^ a b "1993 Ford (Australia) Capri SE-series Convertible all versions specifications and performance data". automobile-catalog.com. Retrieved 19 December 2014.
  4. ^ "Ford Capri XR2 convertible - Used Rivals". GoAuto. John Mellor Pty Ltd. Archived from the original on 24 September 2015.
  5. ^ a b c Smith, Graham (22 January 2009). "Used car review Ford Capri 1989–1994". Herald Sun. Retrieved 19 December 2014.
  6. ^ GoAutoMedia. "1992 Ford Capri XR2 convertible | GoAuto – Our Opinion". GoAuto. Retrieved 21 October 2012.
  7. ^ "1990 Ford (Australia) Capri SA-series Convertible all versions specifications and performance data". automobile-catalog.com. Retrieved 19 December 2014.
  8. ^ "1991 Ford (Australia) Capri SA-series Convertible all versions specifications and performance data". automobile-catalog.com. Retrieved 19 December 2014.
  9. ^ a b "1992 Ford (Australia) Capri SC-series Convertible all versions specifications and performance data". automobile-catalog.com. Retrieved 19 December 2014.
  10. ^ "Australia Convertible Capri". Capri Car Club Inc. 5 January 2008. Archived from the original on 20 July 2008. Retrieved 19 December 2014.
  11. ^ "Ford Capri 1990 (1990–1994)". How Safe Is Your Car. Archived from the original on 19 December 2014. Retrieved 19 December 2014.