1 Oct 1989
By CHRIS HARRIS
Loosely styled on the 1983 Ford Barchetta convertible concept car by Italian coachbuilders Ghia, the KC/KE Laser-based, front-wheel drive, 4-seater Capri carried the export hopes of the Australian motor industry, as it was primarily intended for American market consumption.
But a costly US regulations change and teething durability issues delayed the programme by over the year, and by the time the Capri hit the streets locally in October 1989 it was comprehensively overshadowed by Mazda MX-5 mania – the drop-top the Capri ironically shared some mechanical parts with.
On going quality concerns, a leaky roof and the early ‘90s recession never ignited sales. Two engines were available – a 66kW 1.6L single-cam 8-valve base model (in 5-speed manual or 3-speed auto variations) and a manual-only 100kW 1.6L twin-cam 16-valve turbocharged unit.
All Capris come with air-con, alloy wheels and power steering, while a steel hardtop was optional.