Ford's sporty new Capri EV is heading across the pond to Europe, so US car buyers will have to look elsewhere for zero emission mobility.

Ford Launches Sporty New Capri EV… Across The Pond

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EV enthusiasts in the US have been eagerly anticipating a sneak peek of Ford’s secret/not-so-secret skunkworks electric car project, but meanwhile the iconic automaker has been cooking up another surprise: an electric makeover of the ultra-cool Capri, which personified the era of sleek, rocket-to-the-moon automotive design in the 1960s and 1970s before heading for the dustbin of history when the dot-com boom descended on the 1980s.

The New Capri EV Is A 4-Wheeled Blast From The Past…

The new Capri EV actually resembles a typical crossover SUV. However, Ford is pulling out all the nostalgia stops for the car. A scroll through the Ford website reveals page after page of mouth-watering classic Capris from yesteryear, only a dim echo of which is present in the styling of its current, electrified firm.

That’s consistent with Ford’s aim of marketing the car as a “sports coupe for the family.” The styling of the reflects a more utilitarian purpose in contrast to the me-centered inference of the 20th century tagline, “the car you always promised yourself.”

“No other family EV has heritage like this,” the company says of the new Capri, emphasizing the family-friendly angle. “Soulful sports car for the family” is another way they put it.

…And It Respects The 2-Wheelers, Too

So much for the complaints. This car was designed to please, and please it will. The only question is how much, and that will soon be revealed when the first sales figures roll in.

In the meantime, how about sharing some love with Ford on account of the company’s attention to cyclist safety? That’s a rather unusual detail for an automaker to underscore, but it’s there.

Ford created a one-page fact sheet that lists just five highlights of the new Capri. One of them is “Intelligent Technologies,” which refers to features “can help keep Capri on best behaviour on the open road and in the city, from automated lane changes at the flick of a switch to watching out for cyclists as you open your doors.”

That may seem like a small detail, but its a big deal for anyone who uses a bicycle, scooter, or e-bike. After all, who among us does not know of someone “doored” straight into the hospital by people who open their car doors without looking?

The emphasis on preventing injury to cyclists didn’t just pop up out of nowhere, by the way. When I visited the Ford campus in Michigan back in 2016, the running theme was already bicycles, e-bikes, and other “last mile” solutions aimed at supporting electric vehicles sales while offering drivers some complementary strategies for avoiding urban congestion and other mobility-related hitches.

“We are very serious about bicycles,” Dr. Ken Washington, the company’s VP for Research and Advanced Engineering told me.

Thank you, Ford.

US Car Buyers Can Look At The New Capri EV, But Don’t Touch

If you caught that thing about “behaviour,” that is the way some people spell behavior in Europe, which is where the new Capri is for sale, which also explains the attention to cyclist safety. So, US car buyers will have to wait for a chance to wrap their hands around the new Capri and its 620-kilometer driving range and 570 liters of boot space.

Or, maybe not for long. The unveiling of the new Capri EV follows a broader electrification program Ford launched back in 2022, in which the company assigned its electric vehicle business to the newly formed Ford Model e division, while continuing to ply the ICE field under the Ford Blue umbrella.

Ford Model e and Ford Blue will be run as distinct businesses, but also support each other — as well as Ford Pro, which is dedicated to delivering a one-stop shop for commercial and government customers with a range of conventional and electric vehicles and a full suite of software, charging, financing,” Ford explained explained in a press release dated March 2, 2022.

In a press release earlier today, Ford Model e COO Marin Gjaja described how the new Capri EV fits into the company’s plans for Europe.

“If you want the perfect example of how Model e is transforming the Ford business in Europe, look no further than our new all-electric Ford Capri,” Gjaja said.

“A cutting-edge EV, designed and built in Europe — Capri has soul that can only come from a brand with genuine heritage,” he added.

We’ll Always Have The Skunkworks EV

As for the US market, could there be a connection with Ford’s skunkworks project, aimed at manufacturing a relatively inexpensive electric car before Tesla gets there first? Possibly a smaller car, like Hyundai’s new Inster electric city car?

If you have any thoughts about that, drop a note in the comment thread. It does seem possible that the Capri EV is a harbinger of things to come here in the US, and the rumor mill over the skunkworks project has been churning. Word of a mysterious, affordable electric car for the US market dropped earlier this year in February, then again in April, and again in June when Detroit News reporter Breana Noble scooped the news that Ford plans to open a new electric vehicle R&D center in Long Beach, California. “It’s an outgrowth of the Dearborn automaker’s ‘skunkworks’ group,” Noble observed.

On the other had, Ford has hinted that the skunkworks project will go where no other Ford project has gone before, which makes it unlikely that the skunkworks team will burp out a copycat version of the Capri EV for the domestic market.

Speaking of the domestic market for electric vehicles, I guess now would be a good time to bring up Project 2025, the Heritage Foundation’s detailed, ready-to-roll plan for a soup-to-nuts takeover of the US government under a second Trump term.

Mainstream media has finally begun paying attention, but EV stakeholders and other decarbonization advocates have been sounding the alarm for months.

You can find a deep dive into the implications for decarbonization on the LinkedIn page of Levi Tillemann, who is the VP for Policy and International Outreach at the US battery startup Ample. “The resulting roadmaps for asserting conservative power and priorities within the federal government paint a vivid picture of regulatory capture…they give an indication of what a Republican administration on autopilot will look like,” Tillemann wrote last December.

Spoiler alert: It’s not pretty.

Tillemann probably would have had better luck getting attention if he hosted the annual Black Entertainment Network awards show in June, but actress and Howard University alum Taraji P. Henson beat him to the punch. As host of the show, Henson delivered a barn-burner of a warning about Project 2025.

Pay attention. It’s not a secret: Look it up…The Project 2025 plan is not a game. Look it up!” said Henson.

To look it up online for free, check out the Heritage Foundation’s Mandate for Leadership” series. The 922-page document is also available for sale in book form, so it’s not like they’re trying to hide anything.

Follow me via LinkTree, or @tinamcasey on Threads, LinkedIn, and Instagram.

Photo (cropped): Ford’s sporty new Capri EV is heading across the pond to Europe, but US car buyers still have plenty of other options for zero emission mobility (courtesy of Ford Motor Company).

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Tina Casey

Tina specializes in advanced energy technology, military sustainability, emerging materials, biofuels, ESG and related policy and political matters. Views expressed are her own. Follow her on LinkedIn, Threads, or Bluesky.

Tina Casey has 3382 posts and counting. See all posts by Tina Casey