Monday, 28 November 2011
The Ford Capri's back, and it's Japanese this time
STICK your men's fragrances back on the shelf and unplug your smoothie maker. Metrosexual is out and hairy-chested is back in this season.
I know this because the Ford Capri, that most medallion-wearing, bitter-swigging, cigar-chomping of cars is back, even if it isn't actually a Capri. Or a Ford, for that matter. The only way isn't Essex (or more specifically, Dagenham) anymore. Thanks to Toyota, the only way if you want an outrageously powerful but surprisingly affordable performance car is their new sports coupe.
Yes, I know the newly announced GT-86 - the worst kept secret in motoring until this week - might be Japanese but it really is the iconic Ford reincarnated. It is, like a Capri, rear-wheel-drive, which I know from experience is intoxicating and intimidating in roughly equal measure, depending on the conditions and the weight of your right foot.
Like the later Capris, it's got a big, beefy engine (197bhp 2.0 litre flat four, if you're interested) under an endlessly long bonnet, and just like Essex Man's favourite it's got a swoopy coupe bodyshell. Prices haven't been announced yet but if the pundits' predictions of about £25,000 are on the money, it'll be the performance car bargain of the year. Like a Capri.
The funny thing is that there's a remake of The Sweeney on the way next year, but rather than going for the spiritual successor to all those leather-jacketed Fords of decades gone by they've gone with an actual Ford, in the shape of the front-wheel-drive Focus ST. A hot hatch which I'm sure will be brilliant in the best fast Ford tradition, but can you see the original Regan and Carter riding around in one? Or The Professionals, for that matter? Really? I'm not too sure, Guv.
I suspect Essex Man Junior - if such a medallion-wearing, unbelievably Seventies throwback of a bloke actually exists - would go for the hairy-chested rear wheel driver. I can only hope the baddies in the new Sweeney film, which comes out next year, do pick a GT-86 as their getaway car of choice, in the hope we'll at least be promised the Focus ST being involved in some proper car chases.
Which would be faster? Answers on a postcard to the usual Champion address...