Currently reading: New 2024 Ford Capri: electric crossover to be revealed shortly
Cult classic sports car's name set to return for 'sports crossover' based on the Ford Explorer

Ford’s second electric crossover based on the Volkswagen Group’s MEB platform – which is tipped to revive the fabled Capri name – will be revealed shortly, the company has confirmed.

The new EV, which has already been spied testing in prototype form, will be a sibling to the larger Explorer and rival the likes of the Peugeot e-3008Volkswagen ID 5 and Volvo C40. 

Ford has now begun production of the MEB-based Explorer at its new Electric Vehicle Centre in Cologne – its first dedicated EV manufacturing facility in Europe – and has confirmed that a second EV will go into production there later this year.

It has described this second machine as a “sports crossover” and says that it will be “revealed shortly”. While Ford has yet to officially confirm the name for the new model, the Capri tag has been widely reported.

Ford's Electric Vehicle Centre is an extensively refurbished factory that used to house manufacturing of the now-discontinued Ford Fiesta. The firm has invested £1.6 billion in the site.

Ford has equipped the site with “cutting-edge AI” and more than 600 robots, and it claims the use of “digital twin” monitoring technology will monitor production in real-time to yield what manufacturing chief Rene Wolf called “unprecedented levels of quality”.

The spy shots previously captured of the Capri suggest that it will look more like a raised saloon than some other coupé-SUVs, and there are hints that it will have a raft of bespoke design cues to differentiate it from the more rugged Explorer. 

It's clear, for example, that the new EV features a unique LED headlight design that apes that of later Capris.

Underneath, it's expected to be technically identical to the Explorer, with a choice of three EV powertrains ranging in output from 168bhp to 335bhp, and either a 52kWh or a 77kWh battery pack for a maximum range of around 374 miles. Charging will be at speeds of up to 170kW.

The Capri was originally due to launch around six months after its Explorer sibling. But the Explorer, first shown in March 2023, has only just gone into production following delays due to the need to comply with new battery legislation coming into effect next year.

Autocar first reported in 2019 that the Capri name was in the frame for a revival. Speaking to Autocar late last year Amko Leenarts, the firm's Europe chief designer, heard just how important historic nameplates will be for Ford as it progresses with its electric revolution.

Leenarts spoke excitedly and passionately about the next stage in the company’s evolution as he showed Autocar around Ford's expansive Merkenich Design Studio, just down the road from the company's Cologne factory.


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He joined Ford 11 years ago (when its range was several times larger than it will be by 2025) and is charged with leading the brand into its bold new electric future, starting with the Explorer.

Amko leenarts

Importantly, he said, Ford’s redeploying of historic names does not herald the advent of nostalgic styling cues: “Retro designs aren’t moving us forward. It’s always about totally new interpretation: that’s what makes it interesting.”

What happened when we had a go at resurrecting the legend? Back by popular demand: reinventing the Ford Capri

The Explorer, for example, is an entirely different proposition from its much larger US-market namesake but, highlighted Leenarts, has been designed with the same focus on active customers and functionality. “It’s not a surprise that that is the first car in our Adventurous Spirit range,” he said.

He did not offer any hints as to which other Ford names are up for revival, nor did he indicate what qualifies an old badge for a comeback, but he revels in “the tension between something that’s got the equity of an older name and the new interpretation”.

It’s a topic that will have been debated hotly in Ford’s customer focus groups over the past few years, since the firm reused the names Puma for a crossover and Mustang for an electric family SUV.

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Ultimately, thinks Leenarts, “the public loves that we’re bringing nameplates to new territories”, because they tap into a “unique perspective that nobody else has”.

While the names may be familiar, though, the designs really won’t be. As the first of a new breed of Fords conceived under the Adventurous Spirit banner, the Explorer sets the tone for every bespoke EV that will follow it over the coming years. Direct references to previous Ford models are few and far between, both inside and out.

Leenarts explained that the onset of electrification provided an opportunity to cater to evolving customer requirements with what’s arguably the biggest shift in Ford design since the New Edge ethos of the late 1990s: “We started researching first: how do customers look at us? I felt personally that we were looking too positively on our own brand; we needed a health check on where we really were. And that’s why we did work with the customers.

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“What was really hurting me was them saying we were boring. And that was the part I got really engaged in. I said: ‘Okay, we have to come up with unique proposals: car designs that are clearly differentiated, that offer a unique perspective that nobody else has.’”

That the Explorer looks nothing like the Puma or Kuga, for example, is testament to Ford’s commitment to conveying its new American-flavoured image and serves as proof for the enhanced freedom afforded to car designers by flat-floored, engineless EV architectures.

“Electric car [design] language for us automatically came with simplification: cleaning it up, making sure that we get not only the bold proportions and stance, the language much more simplistic, but with that it almost feels more expensive, more premium, more approachable as well. So we’re not doing aggressive cars here. We’re actually doing cars that you can love easily,” summarises Leenarts.

“I want to make a product that’s exciting. I want to make a product that you really love. And in order to do that, it needs to have a beautiful sculpture; it has to have a couple of details that really stand out but are, again, easy to love.”

Asked whether there are any pitfalls of EV design that he tries to avoid, he says: “I think there are some products out there that try a little bit too hard, and in the end it gets to something that’s almost an appliance design. So a pitfall is appliance design. Don’t make it look like an appliance; it’s got to be sexy.”

Felix Page

Felix Page
Title: News and features editor

Felix is Autocar's news editor, responsible for leading the brand's agenda-shaping coverage across all facets of the global automotive industry - both in print and online.

He has interviewed the most powerful and widely respected people in motoring, covered the reveals and launches of today's most important cars, and broken some of the biggest automotive stories of the last few years. 

James Attwood

James Attwood, digital editor
Title: Acting magazine editor

James is Autocar's acting magazine editor. Having served in that role since June 2023, he is in charge of the day-to-day running of the world's oldest car magazine, and regularly interviews some of the biggest names in the industry to secure news and features, such as his world exclusive look into production of Volkswagen currywurst. Really.

Before first joining Autocar in 2017, James spent more than a decade in motorsport journalist, working on Autosport,, F1 Racing and Motorsport News, covering everything from club rallying to top-level international events. He also spent 18 months running Move Electric, Haymarket's e-mobility title, where he developed knowledge of the e-bike and e-scooter markets. 

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ricequackers 4 June 2024

Hurray for yet another forgettable, bloated cuckover. 

Pietro Cavolonero 4 June 2024

Has no one else spotted the trend? Affordable small cars disappearing off the price lists, bloated, over priced EV alternatives appearing at £35k+ for poverty spec models... previous chip shortage pushes manufacturers to concentrate on higher margin models.  Western governments have had enough of the masses choosing their mode of transportation, those of us over the age of 50 have enjoyed one of the most liberated periods in human history, welcome to the beginning and the end of choice and free will.

tman247 4 June 2024

Ford using the 'Mustang' name on the Mach-E was bad enough, but using the Capri name just to try and drum up some interest in a very ho-hum, forgettable EV is one step too far. The Capri is a car that went down in history - this one will just be forgotten.