Page 1 of 1 Five years after the very successful introduction of the Mustang, Ford introduced a similar model on the European market. Although scaled down to suit the European market, the Capri featured all elements that made the Mustang such a success in North America. The combination of a long nose and a small cabin gave the Capri the right looks and the cabin was still large enough to seat two adults and two childern, which made it a sensible family car as well.
At its launch the Capri had the looks and practicallity to become a big hit, now all it needed was a powerful engine to go with it. At its 1969 launch it was equipped with a V4 engine, which produced just over 50 horses. Clearly this was not going to be enough to give the Capri the required performance. Ford fixed their mistake by the introduction of more powerful four and six cylinder engines, but most importantly with the V6 engined RS 2600.
Launched together with the Escort RS 1600, the RS 2600 was intended to homologate the Capri for Group 2 racing. RS was short for Rally-Sport. To be eligible for competition use, Ford had to produce at least 1000 examples. The heart of the new Capri was a V6 engine with an extensive competition history already behind it. In its original shape it displaced just over 2.5 litres, which was subsequently uprated to just under 2.7 litres for the road going version. The 150 bhp available was more than enough to give the Capri the required performance.
In order to make sure enough examples were sold, Ford gave the Capri RS 2600 a very attractive price. This enabled the Capri to beat its nearest competitors both in performance and price. Boosted by tthe many racing success, the sales of all Capri models increased. Production of the first series Capri ended in 1974, but production of the subsequent series two and three lasted up until 1987. In total over two million Capris were produced in its long lifespan. It also remained Ford's main GT racer, raced with a lot of success all over Europe. Page 1 of 1