FORD Escort Cabrio
Generations Timeline, Specs and Pictures
The Escort Cabriolet received the credits for bringing the convertibles to the masses.
It was a car that could transport four passengers in a rag-top vehicle that didn’t break the bank.
Ford introduced the cabriolet version for the fifth generation of the Escort in 1990, and the customers were happy. But five years later, the carmaker decided to make a better offer with the introduction of the sixth Escort generation. It wasn’t quite an entirely new model since it was built on its predecessor’s platform. It was more of a significant facelift, and even Lady Di owned one.
The 1995 model featured new headlights, a new hood, and an oval-shaped grille that looked better than its predecessor. Depending on the trim level, the designers painted that in body color. The customers were confused, but the strategy worked well, and Ford sold the car in large numbers. For the convertible version, the carmaker strengthened the bodywork, and the car handled better. It still kept the safety arch as a B-pillar. One particular detail was that the vehicle was manufactured by Karmann coach-builder in Germany.
The most significant differences were inside, where Ford introduced a completely new dashboard with improved materials and shapes. Its instrument cluster featured arched lines instead of the bulky form of its predecessor. Depending on the trim level, an oval-shaped clock was placed next to the steering wheel, while the center stack sported the HVAC units and the stereo-cassette sound system.
Ford offered the Escort Cabriolet with a choice of four engines, including a controversial 1.8-liter turbodiesel. Most of the customers went for gasoline versions. For selected markets, the Escort Cabriolet was available with a twin-cam engine that provided 130 hp.
Ford introduced the fifth generation of the Escort range in 1990, but the open-top version came in 1993, and it was a blast, like its predecessors.
The blue-oval brand started the Escort’s fifth-generation sales while the fourth-generation convertible was still on the market. All customers were waiting for the new rag-top Escort, but that one came only in 1993, and Ford claimed that it worth the wait.
With a new bodywork and a new suspension, the 1993 Escort Cabriolet was a budget open-top vehicle. It was priced more or less like a family car but offered the fun of an expensive convertible. Moreover, its running costs were similar to a regular hatchback. The open-top Escort shared the lower side of the bodywork with its three-door sibling, but the frameless windows at the front featured a different system to withstand the side air-pressure while driving. Ford had no other option than to install a safety arch where the B-pillar on the three-door version was, to enhance the vehicle’s structural rigidity. The car sported differently styled taillights in the rear, with an up-kick on the inner side, on the trunk lid.
Inside, the dashboard featured a rounded instrument cluster, starting above the center stack and onto the instrument panel’s outer side. Depending on the trim level, it featured a wood-trim on the dash. The sport bucket seats at the front were comfortable and didn’t provide too much bolstering. In the back, there was hardly room for two adults due to the lack of legroom.
Under the hood, Ford installed a choice of two engines: a 1.6-liter and 1.8-liter gasoline. Both were paired to a five-speed manual gearbox.