We react to the reborn Capri: Ford or fraud? | CAR Magazine

We react to the reborn Capri: Ford or fraud?

Published: 10 July 2024 Updated: 10 July 2024

► Released after teaser campaign with Eric Cantona
► Based on the Volkswagen ID.5 platform
► Replaces coupé look with athletic electric SUV

The new Ford Capri has arrived after a long teaser campaign that included some guerilla marketing in our site title Classic Car Weekly. However, the car revealed today is quite different to the classic Ford Capri we used to know. Instead of a low-slung pony car, in 2024 the Capri has morphed into an electric SUV/hatchback mash-up, based on VW’s ubiquitous MEB platform.

Has Ford played a blinder by attaching some nostalgia and emotion to an all-new electric product, or has it plundered its history with no respect for classic nameplates? We did a straw poll in the office to elicit a few strong opinions from around CAR Towers. Keep reading to see what we thought – and be sure to let us know what you think of the bold new 2024 Ford Capri in the comments below. 

Curtis Moldrich, digital editor, CAR

When Ford first teased the return of the Capri, I was almost certain it’d return as a mid-sized electric SUV – because that’s usually what happens these days, isn’t it? The Blue Oval has previous with the Puma and Mustang but the reappropriation of old badges has become a trend across the motoring industry.

The exhumation of iconic models is a necessary evil in 2024. Brands are scrambling to add character and differentiation to their shared platforms (this is a VW ID.5 underneath) and they’re pillaging their archives as a result. That way they’ll tug on the heart strings and at least get some emotion from the public.

Just ask our friends at MCN about the ‘new’ Yamaha R7 or the Triumph Daytona. Both have filled the magazine’s mailbags with angry, bemused readers – but I ended up ultimately buying the former.

That said, the new ‘Capri’ doesn’t work for me aesthetically. Only the rear quarter windows really remind of the pony car I used to covet as a child. The rest looks like it’s been club-sandwiched or Big Mac’d. What do I mean by that? Well, there’s a good amount of extra height somewhere in the middle – and it looks a bit weird… 

Ford Capri (2024) rear three quarters static

Jake Groves, deputy news editor, CAR

Has anyone made the ‘It looks like a Polestar 2’ comparison yet? But hey – the 2 is a popular EV for plenty of reasons, so I’m sure Ingenlath & co will be flattered. I still wince about the name in relation to what it’s ended up becoming, though, even if this is far from the first time Ford’s committed that particular sin over the years. My Dad had two Capris – a red Mk1 1600 XL, then a gold 1975 GXL he used to hoof around in his twenties – and he loved them both. I, too, have such a massive soft spot for them and, even to this day, I’d love to own a late model Mk3 Capri. 

They’re just so damn cool – and a car people dreamed of owning. And yet, despite this one being so different from what it used to be, Ford’s still pinning it as ‘the return of a legend.’ Will buyers dream of one day owning a new Capri when it’s basically an EV crossover-type-thing mixing in with a load of similar EV crossover type things already on the market? Nope. Will it be a successful model for Ford? It’s the right size, shape and performance for many, so maybe…

Keith Adams, editor, Parkers

I don’t actually mind what they call the new car, as long as it’s good. It’s easy to separate the Ford Mustang Mach-E and Ford Puma SUV from their classic car namesakes, as they’re so different. So, crack on and call the new EV a Capri – I doubt it’ll generate any additional sales or goodwill in what is a highly competitive new car market sector right now. 

Ford Capri RS2600

What it has done very successfully, though, is create a buzz about an upcoming car that could otherwise have been lost in a sea of background noise. And let’s face it, this is a damned sight sexier name than Frontera…

Tim Pollard, group digital editorial director, Bauer automotive

The dusting-down of the Capri badge for another me-too electric crossover will fuel the argument that car makers are creatively bankrupt. Why look back when the bold new era of EVs should be a chance to peek into the brave new world of zero-emissions motoring?

Ford is not alone: everyone from BMW to DS, Volkswagen to Porsche has raided their back catalogues to bastardise bloodlines hitherto associated with combustion heroes. You can’t blame manufacturers for wanting to make the electrification pill easier to swallow. But a little part of me will die inside every time I see an electric Capri in the years ahead. If it were a low-slung coupe, I’d be onboard. That it’s a portly, tallboy Polestar 2 clone makes it a bitter pill.

Luke Wilkinson, deputy editor, Parkers

I’ve been following the return of the Capri for a couple of years now. In my corner of the northwest, the 1980s Mk3 Capri is somewhat of an icon because it was the default getaway car for local miscreants. In fact, my family and friends still talk about a local celebrity nicknamed Plonky who used to terrorise the local constabulary in his Capri.

One of his partners in crime had a false fence outside his house that could be lowered and raised like a drawbridge. So, Plonky would come screaming into his estate (with several bus lengths on his pursuing plod) and drive into his mate’s front yard over the lowered panel. His mate would then whip the fence up and the police would tear past, wondering where the Capri they were chasing had vanished to.

I was immensely hopeful that, when Ford reintroduced the Capri, it would be able to capture the original car’s slightly rebellious streak. But, looking at these images, I fear it’ll fall victim to the same dowdy image as the Mustang Mach-E.

The only aspect of the new car that reminds me of the original Capri is the rear quarter window, which shares the same curved profile as the Mk1 model. But that’s it. To my eye, it looks like someone’s crashed the front half of a Honda Civic into the rear end of a Volkswagen ID.5. Still, an electric coupe SUV is what the market wants right now, so I’m sure Ford will sell millions.

Ryan Gilmore, head of affiliate content, CAR

The blue-collar coupe as a concept is dead. A new Ford Capri was as likely to have been a convertible pick-up as the svelte two-door it’s fondly remembered for. So instead, it’s to be plastered over a big EV crossover. Is it a little knee-jerk to bemoan the diluting of such an iconic name? Probably.

But to dust off the name of the Capri, a name not seen since 1986, does raise an eyebrow. It’s not going to appeal to the classic Ford enthusiast who will see Ford Venetian Red over the styling, and the name will be meaningless to the average car buyer. It all comes across as a rather ham-fisted approach to nostalgia.

I do wonder if we’d be having the same discussion if they’d decided to reintroduce the Probe name instead… 

Alan Taylor-Jones, new cars editor

My colleagues seem to have their Y-fronts in a knot about the new Capri. It’s certainly a name that means a lot to plenty of people, but let’s not forget a couple of things. First, cars must move with the times or die. Secondly, the original Capri wasn’t that great. 

Let’s tackle the bombshell first. Admittedly, I’ve only driven one Capri for about 10 minutes on a damp day, albeit the Blue Oval’s own mint Ford Capri 280 Brooklands, yet it was enough to draw a few conclusions. Traction is terrible, the engine is wheezy, and mid-corner bumps are best avoided at all costs.

Besides, if Ford introduced a rear-wheel drive two-seater coupe now, nobody would buy it. What people do buy are SUVs, including those that sacrifice some practicality for a jauntier roofline. Add a fondly remembered name and a few styling nods to the original, and you’ve got a big seller, just like the Puma.

By Curtis Moldrich

CAR's Digital Editor, F1 and sim-racing enthusiast. Partial to clever tech and sports bikes