The weeks preceding Motorfair at Earls Court were by ones for the Ford press people, who introduced three important cars on one day sessions all over the country. Inevitably the driving and overall impressions of the car tended to be confused, but here are brief details.
Granada: a new body shape encasing either the 2-litre, four-cylinder s.o.h.c. engine of Cortina/Capri/RS 2000 type, or two German V6s of 2.3 and 2.8 litres. Better suspension and excellent power steering are immediately obvious behind the wheel. As an enthusiast buy, the Granada S comes of age with the installation of new TRX radials from Michelin, which complement the suspension superbly, and make little noise even when pushed really hard. The S also shows off the fuel injected option to the 2.8 litre V6, this ultra smooth unit (originally developed for Mustang II) yielding 160 b.h.p. That is enough to provide an honest 120 plus m.p.h. and 0-60 m.p.h. acceleration in the claimed 8 1/2s. Compared with the British 3-litre V6s which continue in Capri and Transit the 2.8 units lack a little torque, but offers smoother operation and better fuel Consumption. All Granadas, as with Capris, are made in Germany. Prices are from £4,144 to nearly £7,000 for the 2.8i Ghia.
Fiesta: a 1300 engine had long been forecast and is now available in either Ghia or S trim. The engine is more closely related to Escort crossflow four cylinder units, offering five main bearings (instead of the smaller Fiesta three bearing layouts) and 66 b.h.p. Naturally there is more torque and acceleration from rest to 60 m.p.h. is said to take 10.7s., coupled to a top speed of just short of 100 m.p.h. In our experience the cars handle well, but heavier steering and the bumpy ride may damp the ardour after a levy months ownership. Prices for this sporting small car are £2,844 (Fiesta 1300S), or £3,213 for the Ghia version, increases well justified by the number of engineering changes made.
Cortina: Simply the 108 b.h.p. V6 of 2,294 c.c. allows 20% more torque and a far higher degree of refinement than the 2-litre of four cylinders that previously comprised the top of the British Cortina range. To be sold in S, Ghia or GL trim, we found the 2.3 S Cortina a very interesting car to drive, combining comfort (again the power steering included with the V6 is excellent) and a reasonable turn of speed. Performance claims include 106 m.p.h. and 0-60 m.p.h. in 10 sec. Prices are from £3.901 to £4,791, the latter figure for a 2300 Ghia Estate. – J.W.