Ford Sierra All Models
The Ford Sierra is a large family car that was built by Ford Europe from 1982 until 1993. It was designed by Uwe Bahnsen, Robert Lutz and Patrick le Quément. The code used during development was "Project Toni".
First unveiled on 22 September 1982 and with sales beginning on 15 October 1982, it replaced the Ford Cortina. Its aerodynamic styling was ahead of its time and as such, many conservative buyers (including company car drivers) did not take fondly to the Ford Cortina's replacement.
Possibly for this reason (and the fact that the smaller Escort was enjoying an increase in sales during the early 1980s), and the early lack of a saloon variant, it was mainly manufactured in Germany, Belgium, and the United Kingdom, although Sierras were also assembled in Argentina, Venezuela, South Africa and New Zealand.
The Sierra was the 1983 Semperit Irish Car of the Year in Ireland.
The first Ford vehicle to have the bold new "aero" look styling was the 1981 Ford Probe III concept car. The good reception this received encouraged Ford's management to go ahead with a production car with styling almost as challenging. This "aero" look influenced Fords worldwide: the 1983 Ford Thunderbird in North America introduced similar rounded, flowing lines, and some other new Fords of the time adopted the look.
By September of 1981, it had been confirmed that the Cortina's replacement -
The aerodynamic features of the Sierra were developed from those first seen in the Escort Mark III—the "Aeroback" bootlid stump was proved to reduce the drag coefficient of the bodyshell significantly, which was a class leading Cd0.34 at its launch, though not as good as the Cd0.22 of the visually similar Ford Probe III concept car of the previous year, and also behind the contemporary third generation Audi 100 that was unveiled the same year -
At first, many found the design blob-
Early versions suffered from crosswind stability problems, which were addressed in 1985 with the addition of "strakes" (small spoilers), on the rear edge of the rubber seals of the rear most side windows. These shortcomings saw a lot of press attention, and contributed to early slow sales. Other rumours that the car hid major crash damage (in part true, as the new bumper design sprung back after minor impact and couldn't be "read" to interpret major damage) also harmed the car's reputation. This reached near-
At its launch some of the Sierra's external styling differed depending on the specification. In place of the model's regular 2-
In 1987 the Sierra was facelifted. The front end was completely revised, with the biggest difference seeing the indicators now positioned above the bumper and to the side of a new headlight design, and while the grille again remained blanked-
The XR4x4 was now based on the 5 door hatchback bodystyle and featured different front and rear body-
From 1988 a Sierra-
It was narrowly beaten to the European Car of the Year award by the Audi 100.
The Sierra was Ford's answer to the similar-
 Body styles
Ford Sierra estate, with original aero design, and front panel of higher-
1993 Ford Sierra Sapphire, a the four-
In another departure from tradition, the Sierra was initially unavailable as a saloon. At its launch it was available as a 5-
During the life of the car, two different styles of 3-
The Ford Cortina had been manufactured in saloon and estate bodystyles but after the switch to the Sierra, combined with the redesign of the Escort to Mark III level in 1980 and the introduction of the Granada Mark III in 1985, Ford had changed its saloon-
The company launched the Ford Orion in 1983 to fill the gap in the saloon range between the late Cortina and the new Sierra. Ford found that customers were more attached to the idea of a saloon than they had expected, and this was further addressed in 1987 by the production of a saloon version of the Sierra. In the UK, this model was called the Ford Sierra Sapphire. This differed from the other Sierra models in having a traditional black grille, which only appeared in right hand drive markets. The 3-
Sierra model range
The Sierra was available with a wide range of engines:
1.3 OHC (1294 cc; 60 PS (44 kW; 59 hp) Pinto engine, available in standard or economy tune;
1.6 OHC (1593 cc; 75 PS (55 kW; 74 hp) Pinto engine, available in standard or economy tune;
2.0 OHC (1998 cc; 105 PS (77 kW; 104 hp) Pinto engine;
1.8 OHC 90 PS (66 kW; 89 hp) Pinto engine (from 1984);
2.0 OHC 115 PS (85 kW; 113 hp) Pinto engine with fuel injection (from 1985);
1.8 OHC 90 bhp (67 kW; 91 PS) CVH Engine (from 1989)
1.8 TD 75 PS (55 kW; 74 hp) Endura-
2.0 DOHC (1998 cc; 125 PS (92 kW; 123 hp) DOHC engine (from 1989);
2.3 V6 (2294 cc; 114 PS (84 kW; 112 hp) Cologne V6 engine;
2.3 D (2304 cc, 67 PS (49 kW; 66 hp) Peugeot Diesel engine;
2.8i (2792 cc; 150 PS (110 kW; 148 hp) Cologne V6 engine (XR4i, from 1983)
2.9i (2935 cc; 145 PS (107 kW; 143 hp) Cologne V6 engine (XR4x4, from 1987)
RS Cosworth (1993 cc; 204 PS (150 kW; 201 hp) YB Turbo) (from 1986)
1300, 1600 and 2000 engines all have a 4-
Sporting models utilized the 2.8 / 2.9 litre V6 engines coupled to a four wheel drive system (GLS4X4/XR4x4) and, more notably the well known Cosworth model which was powered by a turbocharged 16 valve 4-
In 1987, Ford introduced a four door saloon (marketed in the UK as the Sierra Sapphire), which was sold alongside the hatchback and estate until the Sierra was replaced by the Mondeo in early 1993. The last Sierra rolled off the production line in December 1992.
Sierras outside Europe
In South Africa, the Sierra range featured both the hatchback and station wagon and production began at the Silverton (Pretoria) plant in 1985/6. The restyled Sierra range differed from its European equivalent by featuring the traditional black grille of the Sierra Sapphire sedan (known simply in South Africa as the Sapphire) on the hatchback and wagon. (Later, the grille would feature on these models in Europe.)
Ford Sierra P100 pick-
Versions sold in South Africa were available with 1.6 (Kent engine) and 2.0 (Cologne) 4-
Versions were LX, GL and GLX, the Ghia trim level was not available for the South African market except on the Ford Sapphire, the sedan version and the Ford Falcon.
As the 2.8/2.9 Cologne was never launched in South Africa, the venerable and popular Essex V6 remained the best normal production engine fitted to the Sierra. At the top of the range, the 2.3 GLS quickly gave way to a 3.0 GLX flagship model (producing less power but more torque than the XR6) and that was the end of the Cologne in South Africa, even the station wagon receiving the 3.0 V6 Essex. By 1985, the Sierra had become the largest Ford model, following the demise of the Granada.
Towards the end of its production life, the Essex was modified again -
Uniquely, the South African market also saw the introduction of a 5.0L XR8 between 1986 and 1988. A limited number of 250 Sierras were made for the purposes of homolgation, as this model was the premier Ford used in Group A racing. The XR8 was fitted with the 302ci engine from the US Ford Mustang, and the Borg Warner T5 heavy duty transmission. Front brakes were AP Racing 4-
The 1.6 Kent continued almost unchanged during the 9 year life of the Sierra/Sapphire, while the 2.0 Cologne was revised several times, being fitted to the Sierra 2.0 GL and GLE and later to the stripped down Sierra 2.0 LX and Sapphire 2.0 GL and GLE models. It eventually even received fuel injection in the Sapphire 2.0GLi, boosting the power from 77 kW (103 hp) to 85 kW (114 hp).
The Sierra was eventually replaced in South Africa by the Telstar in 1993. Samcor, which assembled Ford models under license after Ford had divested from the country, was already assembling the smaller Laser and Meteor, alongside the Mazda 323, on which they were based, as well as an earlier version of the Mazda 626. The Telstar was finally replaced by the Mondeo in 1998.
Whereas British buyers rued the absence of a saloon version of the Sierra, in New Zealand, it was the absence of an estate (a "station wagon" there) that customers missed, when Ford New Zealand replaced the Cortina with the Ford Telstar range. This led to Ford importing CKD ("completely knocked down") kits of the Sierra wagon for local assembly in 1984. The wagon was offered in 1.6 (base) and 2.0 litre "L" and "Ghia" models initially, and proved to be a strong seller. In one month in 1987, the facelifted Ford Sierra, by then a single station wagon model, was the country's top-
However, Ford cancelled the Sierra once Mazda, which developed the Telstar, could offer a station wagon. The Telstar wagon, while popular, never reached the Sierra's heights, especially its competition successes overseas. Further reasons could be customers' knowledge of the Telstar's Japanese roots, and that the equivalent Mazda 626 wagon offered a considerably longer warranty at a similar price.
Relative rejection of the Telstar forced Ford to import completely built-
The Sierra was withdrawn from the New Zealand market in 1992, and it would be another five years before its European successor the Mondeo would arrive there. Sierra Cosworth's remain sought after performance cars.
By contrast, the Sierra was never sold in Australia, as there was less demand for a medium-
 South America
In South America, the Sierra was produced in Argentina and Venezuela. In Argentina, it was offered in three and five-
GL model was the base model replaced by the LX with same equipment. XR4 was replaced by the 4-
Main article: Merkur XR4Ti
1985 Merkur XR4Ti, showing front panel also used by pre-
In the USA, the Ford Sierra and the Ford Scorpio were offered under the failed Merkur brand. The Sierra was imported as a three door only, and called the XR4Ti (similar to sub-
The car was offered from the start of the Merkur brand in 1985 until 1989. It was equipped with a 2.3 L variant of the SOHC "Lima" engine, equipped with a turbocharger and fuel injection but no intercooler.
The Merkur brand is claimed to have been a commercial flop. The reasons vary. Safety and emissions regulations in the U.S. forced Ford to make costly modifications, resulting in relatively high prices. Exchange rates also fluctuated too frequently. Moreover, since Merkurs were sold at Lincoln–Mercury dealers, many customers were more attracted towards Mercury models because of their lower prices.
Unlike many of its rivals, the Sierra retained rear wheel drive, albeit with a modern, fully independent rear suspension, departing from the Cortina's live axle.
In the beginning the Sierra used engines and transmissions from the Taunus / Cortina. The engines were of two types, the SOHC Ford Pinto engine in 1.3, 1.6, 1.8 and 2.0 L displacements, and the OHV Cologne V6 engine (in 2.3 and 2.8, rarely 2.9 L capacities). Towards the end of the 1980s due to tightening emission standards, the Pinto engine began to be phased out-
The Sierra also had a diesel option on the engine, namely at launch the 2.3 L normally aspirated 67 PS (49 kW; 66 hp) Diesel made by Peugeot. This engine was also used in contemporary Granadas and whilst reliable and economical it made an unrefined, noisy and very slow vehicle, but remained a popular option for Taxi firms. This was later superseded in 1990 by a 1.8 L turbocharged powerplant of Ford's own design which offered better response times and slightly more power.
 XR4i and other sporting models
1987 Ford Sierra RS500 Cosworth
In 1983, the high-
In South Africa, there was a 3.0 L V6 version, called the XR6, also made in South Africa was a limited run of 250 eight-
In 1985 the XR4i was replaced by the XR4x4, which was based on the five-
In 1989, Ford nodded towards its past and created the Sierra 2.0i 2000E, a model name used with limited success on the Mk3 Cortina. The Sierra 2000E had two-
In Argentina the non-
In July 1986, a special version called the Ford Sierra RS Cosworth was launched, using the 2.0 OHC bottom end with a 16V DOHC cylinder head specially developed by Cosworth. With the Cosworth Garret T3 turbocharger and intercooler setup the engine produced 204 PS (150 kW; 201 hp). It was designed by Ford's Special Vehicle Engineering (SVE) group and made in Ford's Genk factory in Belgium for use in group A. It was based on a three-
In 1987, a 225 PS (165 kW; 222 hp) Sierra Cosworth, the RS500, was sold alongside the regular version. Only 500 were produced as the minimum number of road-
Racing versions of the Cosworth were highly successful in European and World touring car racing throughout the late 1980s and early 1990s', and the RS500 helped Ford to win the manufacturer's title in the 1987 World Touring Car Championship. Ford was forced to fall back on the Sierra for rallying from 1987, after the banning of the Group B formula. With only rear-
In 1988, a new Cosworth was produced which was based on the Sierra Sapphire saloon. 13,140 were produced until it was replaced in 1990 by a four wheel drive version, the Sierra Sapphire RS Cosworth 4x4, of which 12,250 were built. Its replacement came in the form of the Escort RS Cosworth which appeared in 1992, which used a shortened and developed version of the Sierra platform and running gear but clothed with an Escort-
Turbocharged versions of the Sierra were also available as post-
In Finland, tax laws made the 1.3 L-
Changes during production life
In 1987, the Sierra was given some minor styling revisions (the windows were slightly enlarged, while the front fascia was tweaked), and a saloon (Ford Sierra Sapphire) version was introduced. Some detail styling changes were made in 1990, when the dashboard styling was freshened up, the front was given clear-
By the early 1990s, however, it had become clear that the Sierra had fallen out of step technologically against modern Japanese rivals which offered multi-
The Sierra is the tenth most popular car to have been sold in Britain, with 1,299,993 units having being sold. The first Sierras were sold in October 1982, and stocks lasted for around two years after the end of production -
Manufacturer Ford Motor Company
Assembly Genk, Limburg
Pretoria, South Africa (BG)
Valencia, Venezuela 1985-
Predecessor Ford Cortina
Successor Ford Mondeo
Body style 2-
Engine 1.3 L I4 SOHC
1.6 L I4 SOHC
2.0 L I4 SOHC
2.0 L I4 DOHC
1.6 L I4 CVH
1.8 L I4 CVH
2.3 L V6 OHV
2.8 L V6 OHV
2.9 L V6 OHV
5.0 L V8 OHV (South Africa only)
1.8 L I4 SOHC Turbodiesel
2.3 L I4 OHV Diesel