Ford Capri set for return after electric makeover

·4-min read
The car is coming back in electric form - Magic Car Pics/Shutterstock
The car is coming back in electric form - Magic Car Pics/Shutterstock

The Ford Capri is to return to the road after receiving an electric makeover.

The 1970s classic, which became known as the "working man's Porsche", is expected to go on sale again next year with 300 horsepower and a £40,000 price tag.

The new electric version will have a range of up to 310 miles on a full charge and accelerate from 0 to 60mph in 6.4 seconds, according to the Sun.

It will also reportedly keep its traditional four headlights, with the added modern features of an interior touch screen and wireless phone charge.

The Telegraph understands that Ford is planning to release three new electric models in the next two years – the Explorer, the Puma and a third model, as yet unnamed.

However, Ford sources told The Telegraph that the company is wary of naming it the Capri because its SUV style could trigger a similar backlash to when Ford revitalised the Mustang.

The car is making a revival - Ford
The car is making a revival - Ford

The original Capri, which was popularised on shows such as Only Fools and Horses, sold 400,000 in its first two years and more than 1.8 million by the time production ceased in December 1986.

Ford marketed it as “the car you always promised yourself" when it was first unveiled at the Brussels Motor Show in 1969.

A Ford spokesman said: “There is media speculation about future products which we do not comment on.

"We have just revealed our new all-electric Ford Explorer for Europe, which we are very excited about, and Ford is proud of the success of our Mustang Mach-E – representing two iconic electric vehicles in the market. We will present the electric Ford Puma and a fourth electric vehicle in 2024."

The Mk1's most beloved features included its spotlights, Rostyle wheels, low gauges, rasping engine, bulging bonnet and sculptured “‘vents”’ ahead of the rear wheel arches.

Prices started at less than £900, though if you wanted one with half-sensible performance the 88bhp 1600GT was yours for about £1040 – a fusion, then, of style and relative affordability.

The launch of The Ford Capri Mk1 - Reading Post
The launch of The Ford Capri Mk1 - Reading Post

Ever since, the Capri has starred at motor shows across the world, celebrating its 50th birthday at the Silverstone Classic in 2019.

The former Ford chief executive Alan Mulally said that Ford should not abandon its historic car names, which have had years of marketing effort and spend poured in, as he saved the US-only Taurus.

“Think of how much time and attention and money it takes to establish a brand,” he told The Associated Press in 2007.

“It’s going to take unlimited effort and time to try to build up the brand that we have with the Taurus.”

Among the celebrities today who still own Capris are Jamie Oliver, the chef, and the singer Harry Styles.

Oliver put his 1970 Ford Capri 3000GT on sale last year, with other buyers fetching £74,250 in recent years.

In addition to becoming popular on the UK’s by-ways, Capris also established a competitive foothold on the world’s racetracks.

The Capri was both affordable and a successful race car - Magic Car Pics/Shutterstock
The Capri was both affordable and a successful race car - Magic Car Pics/Shutterstock

Dieter Glemser and Jochen Mass won the European Touring Car Championship title in 1971 and ’72 respectively, at the wheel of their potent Capri RS2600s, and Klaus Ludwig clinched the 1981 Deutsche Rennsport Meisterschaft in one of German tuning company Zakspeed’s somewhat wild-looking ‘Capris’.

In the UK the Capri was a widely used – and successful – option in production saloon car racing, introduced in 1972, and a familiar sight in the mainstream British Saloon Car Championship from 1971 until 1982.

Gordon Spice, one of the most successful of all Capri racers as a five times BSCC class champion, previously recalled: “I have lots of happy memories of Capris because they were such easy cars to drive – they inspired so much confidence.

"The handling was predictable – and when you know what a car is going to do you can take bigger risks and go faster.”

Did you own a Ford Capri? What are your memories of it? Join the conversation in the comments section below