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New Ford Capri: Is it worthy?

2 weeks ago

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Writer:

James Mills | Managing editor

Date:

10 July 2024

The original Ford Capri couldn’t have been better timed. Following hot in the still-smoking tyre tracks of 1964’s smash-hit Mustang, it arrived as European drivers were growing tired with ageing, affordable sporty numbers like the MG B GT, Triumph’s Herald and Spitfire or even the GT6.

After the wraps were pulled from the Capri at the 1969 Brussels Motor Show, drivers voted with their cheque books and it wasn’t long before the sales department was sending telexes to the factories in Cologne and Halewood instructing them to double production. It went on to become one of Britain’s most popular nameplates.

It was no exaggeration to say that the Capri was ‘The car you always promised yourself’ because there hadn’t really been anything quite like it at the price and from a dependable name that had a dealer on every high street. It added a touch of glamour to the brand and went on to lead Ford’s European motorsport campaigns. And along the way, countless drivers cut their teeth on its front-engined, rear-wheel drive chassis, while no TV cop show worth its salt was without a Capri slewing sideways in a chase scene.

So what are we to make of the new, 2024 Ford Capri?

The new Capri is no petrol-powered two-door coupé...

Ford says it is ‘the car the iconic sports coupé was destined to become’ and adds that it is ‘rebellious to its core’ but, somewhat depressingly for car enthusiasts like us – and even with Eric Cantona lending himself to the ad campaign – it doesn’t appear to be any of those things.

In actual fact, the Capri badge looks to have been applied to a play-it-safe SUV. Ford is on a mission to make money and isn’t about to buck the trend – and who can blame it?

The new model is all-electric and broadly similar in size and concept to any number of crossovers – BMW iX2, Nissan Ariya, Toyota bZ4X, Volvo EC40, take your pick. That suggests it will be priced below the Mustang Mach-E, which costs from £43,830, and above the Explorer, which starts at £39,875, but ahead of its unveiling today Ford wasn’t willing to release such detailed information about the new Capri.

What we do know is it is a product of Model E, the electric vehicle division of Ford, and is built around the joint-venture platform that underpins a range of Ford and VAG models, from Audi Q4 to Ford Explorer.

There will be two trim variants – Capri and Capri Premium – and a choice of two powertrains. The Capri comes with a lithium-ion battery pack with a 77kWh usable capacity, which can accept up to 135kW of DC charge or 11kW of AC juice. The swiftest charging time from 10–80 per cent is 28 minutes. The motor musters 282bhp and Ford claims an impressive WLTP range of 389 miles, and an average consumption of 13.3kWh/100km. Rounding off the stats, the 2024kg Capri is claimed to run from standstill to 60mph in 6.4 seconds and the top speed is 111mph. There’s also an all-wheel drive, 335bhp version which needless to say is a bit faster and a bit less efficient, simply called Capri AWD.

The new Capri comes with a myriad of active driving safety features, has some neat details such as a SYNC touchscreen that’s height adjustable and the 582-litre boot (loaded to the tops of the seats) is genuinely family-friendly.

What it isn’t is the Capri many of us would like to see return – a sporty four-seat coupé that puts the fun into driving an electric car without breaking the bank. As it stands, no matter how polished the new crossover may be to drive, it will never endear itself to the nation the way the original did.

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