The Capri was Ford’s Mustang for Europe, so it should come as little surprise that Ford might give the Capri the same treatment it gave the Mustang not too long ago: Recycle the name for a battery-electric SUV with a sporty roofline. That’s the rumor from British publication Auto Express anyway, which reported Wednesday that a new Capri will be based on Volkswagen’s MEB platform, just like the recently revealed Explorer.
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Of course, Ford isn’t ready to confirm this news just yet — though a spokesperson added a bit about “making electric iconic” that they certainly didn’t need to, which suggests to me that the company is leaning into this one:
A Ford spokesman told Auto Express, “We don’t comment on future products, but Ford is on a mission to make electric iconic.” That follows on from the company’s exterior design manager, Jordan Damkiw, telling us at the launch of the Explorer, “We’ll be expanding on other iconic names.”
After the Mach-E and Bronco, this seems like something Ford would be inclined to do. The difference with the Bronco, of course, is that in that particular case, the name was used for a vehicle of the same body style and general purpose as the original. There’s no point in me arguing whether it’s right or wrong for Ford to do this — we all made our minds up in 2019, and I’m not going back to 2019, thank you very much.
Instead, I’ll just suggest that the original Capri was a neat sports car for the people, and doesn’t the electric version of that actually sound fun? What if the new Capri was the EV equivalent of the GR86 or BRZ? It’s something literally nobody else is doing yet. And I know SUVs are the move these days, and profit margins are what they are, but at least Americans don’t seem to have any trouble setting aside their supposed disdain for sedans to buy Model 3s in droves. You don’t actually know if something’s going to fail until you try it.
Ford instead cynically cashing the Capri name in on a high-riding “four-door coupe” doesn’t mean it can’t do this later on, of course. It could suddenly rename this one the “Capri X.” There — branding nightmare solved. I’ll even give Ford another free of charge and recommend they pronounce “X” like “cross,” as Sony does on the PlayStation controller. Doesn’t that sound like someone thought about it?
Whatever you want, Ford, I don’t care. It’d just be nice for an automaker to come out with an electric car that trades on the positive associations of an old name without everyone inevitably rushing to its attack or defense. My heart goes out to our friends across the pond, who at least had the benefit of distance when observing this from afar with the Mach-E.
As for this Capri, it will likely be very “family-friendly,” because it essentially sounds like the euro Explorer without the high roof. Auto Express reports a top-line version carrying 335 horsepower via dual-motor all-wheel drive and a range of more than 300 miles (WLTP-tested, I’d presume), just as the Explorer has. The magazine’s rendering of it looks like a Model Y. Welcome back, Capri. Last time we saw you, you were a chunky Miata.