A Brief Look at the Mercury Capri
The Mercury Capri: A Brief History
The Mercury Capri is a compact car that was produced by the Ford Motor Company and its subsidiaries from 1970 to 1994. It was first introduced as the European Ford Capri, but was later rebadged and sold as the Mercury Capri in North America. Over its four generations, the Capri has undergone significant changes, and today remains a fan favorite among car enthusiasts.
First generation (1970-1977)
The first-generation Mercury Capri was introduced in the North American market in 1970. It was a two-door fastback that was originally marketed under the Lincoln-Mercury division. The car was intended to compete with other compact sports cars of the era, such as the Datsun 240Z and the Chevrolet Camaro.
The first-generation Capri was initially offered with a 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine, but a 2.0-liter engine was later introduced as an option. The car was also available with a five-speed manual transmission, which was a rare feature for a car of its size at the time.
During the first generation, the Capri was produced in a number of different variations, including the Capri RS and the Capri GS. The RS was the sportier of the two, and featured cosmetic changes such as blacked-out grilles and taillight surrounds. The GS, meanwhile, was a more luxurious version of the car, featuring more amenities such as power windows and air conditioning.
Second generation (1978-1986)
The second-generation Mercury Capri was introduced in 1978, and was sold until 1986. It was produced in a number of different variations, including the Capri II, the Capri III, and the Capri IV.
The Capri II was first introduced in 1978, and featured a longer body and more angular styling. It was available in both coupe and hatchback models, and was offered with several different engine options, including a 2.3-liter four-cylinder and a 3.3-liter V6.
The Capri III was introduced in 1980, and was a more refined version of the Capri II. It featured a more aerodynamic body and a larger, more powerful engine. The Capri III was also offered with a number of different options, including power windows, a sunroof, and a cassette player.
The Capri IV was the last of the second-generation Capris, and was introduced in 1985. It was sold until 1986, and was only offered with a 2.3-liter four-cylinder engine. Despite its limited engine options, the Capri IV was still a popular car among car enthusiasts, thanks to its sharp styling and nimble handling.
Third generation (1991-1994)
The third-generation Mercury Capri was a joint venture between Ford and Mazda, and was based on the Mazda 323 platform. It was only sold in the North American market, and was marketed as a sporty, affordable two-seater.
The third-generation Capri was only produced for four years, from 1991 to 1994. It was offered with two different engine options, a 1.6-liter four-cylinder and a 1.8-liter four-cylinder. Both engines were paired with a five-speed manual transmission, and the car was only offered in a convertible model.
Despite its limited engine options, the third-generation Capri was well received by car enthusiasts, thanks to its nimble handling and attractive styling. The car was also relatively affordable, compared to other sports cars of the era.
Fourth generation (1999-2002)
The fourth and final generation of the Mercury Capri was introduced in 1999, and was produced until 2002. It was based on the Australian-market Ford Cougar, and was marketed as a sporty, affordable two-door.
The fourth-generation Capri was offered with two different engine options, a 2.0-liter four-cylinder and a 2.5-liter V6. Both engines were paired with a five-speed manual transmission, and the car was only offered in a coupe model.
Despite its limited availability, the fourth-generation Capri was well received by car enthusiasts, thanks to its sharp styling and impressive performance. The car was also relatively affordable, compared to other sports cars of the era.
Over its four generations, the Mercury Capri has undergone significant changes, but has remained a fan favorite among car enthusiasts. From its introduction as a European Ford Capri to its final iteration as a sporty, affordable coupe, the Capri has left a lasting impression on car enthusiasts worldwide. Today, the Capri remains a popular collector’s item and a testament to the innovative spirit of the Ford Motor Company.