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  Article Image gallery (60) Chassis (3) Specifications  
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Country of origin:United States
Produced in:1981
Numbers built:6
Author:Wouter Melissen
Last updated:October 17, 2012
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Click here to download printer friendly versionSoon after the popular 'Group 5' regulations were adopted by the competitive German DRM Championship, Ford of Cologne commissioned long-time partners Zakspeed to prepare a suitable racer based on the third generation Capri, which was due in 1978. The DRM Championship was split was into two devisions; the first for engines displacing over two litres and the second for engines of under two litres.

Although Group 5 regulations did dictate that the racers had to be based on production road cars, relatively few actual components had to be carried over. This allowed Zakspeed to craft a purpose-built spaceframe chassis. Construction from aluminium tubing and incorporating the roof structure from the production Capri this very lightweight structure tipped the scales at just 70 kg. In addition to the road car roof, the new chassis also used the same windscreen and side windows dimensions to comply with the regulations.

Ford and Zakspeed opted to run in Division 2 with a turbo-charged four cylinder engine. Its cast-iron block was derived from the production 'Kent' engine and fitted with the Cosworth developed alloy 'BDA' head. This featured twin overhead camshafts and four valves per cylinder. Taking in account the 1.4x equivalency formula for turbo-charged engines, the Zakspeed engine displaced just over 1.4 litres. Equipped with fuel injection and a KKK turbo-charger, the new engine produced around 370 bhp in its first guise.

Mated to a Getrag-sourced, five-speed gearbox, the compact engine was mounted slightly off-set to the right in the chassis. Much of the Zakspeed Capri's running gear was derived from the earlier Capri RS3100 racing car also developed by the German team for Ford. Among these tried and trusted components were the front suspension, rear axle and brakes. For an optimal weight balance, the new racer also incorporated the RS3100's rear-mounted radiators.

In addition to the roofline and the glass, the Group 5 Capri also sported the production car's radiator grille. This fed fresh air to a pair of intercoolers mounted ahead of the engine. The rest of the very wide 'silhouette' body was crafted in lightweight Kevlar composites. The nose featured a full-width splitter and the rear deck sported an equally impressive wing. Thanks to the use of alloy and composite materials throughout the car, the Ford Zakspeed Capri weighed less than 800 kg.

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  Article Image gallery (60) Chassis (3) Specifications