1983 Ford Escort XR3

Ford Escort XR3 Classic Car HireOur Escort XR3 is a beautiful example of the original ‘British Hot Hatch’.
Finished in black with all the mod cons, alloy wheels, sunroof and electric windows, unfortunately it is missing the ‘go faster’ stripes. This version has the Weber carburettor and five speed gearbox making it a rare and desirable member of the XR3 range. The Escort XR3 was and still is the thing young boys' dreams were made of so why not treat yourself to a bit of fun!

Some History of the MK3 Capri
Codenamed "Erika", the third generation Escort was launched in September 1980. The code name alluded to the leader of the product planning team, Erick A. Reickert. The North American Escort introduced at this time was a derivative. The two vehicles were intended to share component designs, but separate engineering organizations and government regulations made this impractical.

The Escort Mk3 was intended to be a hi-tech, high-efficiency design which would compete with the Volkswagen Golf, and indeed the car was launched with the advertising tagline "Simple is Efficient". The Mk3 was a radical departure from the two previous models, the biggest changes being the adoption of front wheel drive, and the new hatchback body. Also new were the overhead camshaft CVH engines in 1.3L and 1.6L formats, with the Valencia engine from the Fiesta powering the 1.1L derivative. The suspension was fully independent all around, departing from the archaic leaf spring arrangement found on its predecessors, the setup of positive camber to the front wheels and negative camber to the rear wheels gave the Escort Mk3 it’s ‘knock kneed’ stance. The Escort Mk3 was voted European Car of the Year in 1981. From launch, the car was available in Base (Popular), L, GL, Ghia and XR3 trim.

A selection of features were available, either as standard fitment or optional extras depending on model, including a tilt-and-slide sunroof, central locking, and electric windows. All models except for base and L were fitted with a check-light system for low fuel, low oil, low coolant, low screenwash, and worn out brake pads. Power steering was only available on the American version of the Escort.

In order to compete with Volkswagen's Golf GTI, a hot hatch version of the Mark III was created from the outset — the XR3. Initially this featured a tuned version of the 1.6L CVH engine fitted with a twin-choke Weber carburettor, uprated suspension and numerous cosmetic alterations. Despite the initial lack of a 5-speed transmission and the absence of fuel injection, the XR3 instantly caught the public's imagination and became a cult car which was beloved by boy racers in the 1980s. Fuel injection finally arrived in 1983 (creating the XR3i), along with the racetrack-influenced RS1600i. The final performance update arrived in the form of the turbocharged RS Turbo model in 1984. A convertible version, courtesy of coachbuilder Karmann appeared the same year, significant as it was the first drop-top car produced by Ford Europe since the Corsair of the 1960s. The Escort Cabriolet was initially available in both XR3i and Ghia specification, but the Ghia variant was dropped after a couple of years.

Original Mk3 Escort XR3 Specification:

Engine 4-Cyl, in line cast iron block
Crankshaft Five main bearnings
Bore x Stroke 79.96mm x 79.52mm (3.15in x 3.13in)
Capacity 1569cc
Valves Overhead
Compression Ratio 9.5 : 1
Fuel System Twin-choke Weber carburettor
Maximum Power 105.0bhp @ 6000rpm
Maximum Torque 98ft·lb @ 4800rpm
Transmission 5 speed manual gearbox, all indirect with synchromesh
Gear Ratios 1st 3.15, 2nd 1.91, 3rd 1.27, 4th 0.95, 5th 0.76
Final Drive 3.84
Brakes Front disc / rear drum, servo assisted
Wheels / Tyres 5½j 14in diameter cast-alloy, with 185/60 HR radial-ply tyre's. Tyre pressures, 26psi front and rear.
Length 159.8in (4058mm)
Wheelbase 94.5in (2400mm)
Width 62.5in (1587mm)
Height 52.6in (1336mm)
Front Track 54.5in (1384mm)
Rear Track 56.3in (1430mm)
Weight Distribution (Front) 60%
Top Speed 118 mph
0-60 mph 9.5 secs
Classic Car Hire : Ford Escort XR3

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