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Ford Belina 4X4 was an innovative attempt, but ended up failing in the Brazilian market

Written by Rafaela Fabris
Published 21/06/2024 às 10:08
Ford Belina 4X4 was an innovative attempt, but ended up failing in the Brazilian market
In the 80s, station wagons dominated the Brazilian automotive market, with popular models from several manufacturers, such as Caravan, Parati, Quantum, Elba and the famous Ford Belina. However, a specific version of this station wagon, the Belina 4X4, was present very briefly and left a curious and little-known story. Image: Automotive Relic/Disclosure

In the 80s, station wagons dominated the Brazilian automotive market, with popular models from several manufacturers, such as Caravan, Parati, Quantum, Elba and the famous Ford Belina. However, a specific version of this station wagon, the Belina 4X4, was present very briefly and left a curious and little-known story.

In 1985, Ford launched the Belina 4X4, a year after introducing the Pampa with all-wheel drive. This station wagon brought an innovative proposal, being the first and only national station wagon offering 4×4 traction. Despite its potential, the Belina 4X4 was a commercial failure and remained on the market for just two years, from 1985 to 1987.

Belina's story begins with the M project, developed by Willys Overland do Brasil and Renault to replace the Renault Gordini. In 1967, Ford acquired Willys and took over the project, launching the Ford Corcel in 1968. In 1970, Ford launched the Belina station wagon, which was a huge success in the 70s and 80s.

Over the years, Ford Belina has undergone several updates

In 1977, it gained a more modern look with straight lines and rectangular headlights, and in 1985, it was restyled again, gaining a more rounded front and trapezoidal headlights.

In 1985, with the new restyling, the Belina 4X4 was presented. Equipped with a 1,6-liter CHT engine, it produced 71 horsepower and had a torque of 11,9 kgfm. The 4X4 drive was similar to that of the Pampa, using a transfer case to drive rear drive.

The Belina 4X4 was aimed at people in rural areas who needed more traction, but its performance left something to be desired

The 4X4 system had significant limitations, such as the need to stop the car to activate traction and the inability to travel above 60 km/h with traction activated. Additionally, many owners have used the system incorrectly, resulting in wear and tear.

Technical problems, the simplicity of the system and misuse by owners contributed to the end of Belina 4X4. With low sales and the discontinuation of the Corcel in 1986, Ford withdrew the Belina 4X4 from the market in 1987.

Today, the Ford Belina 4X4 is remembered as an innovative but unsuccessful attempt to offer all-wheel drive in a station wagon. Even so, it left its mark on Brazilian automotive history, being one of the few national station wagons with this feature.

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Rafaela Fabris

Talks about innovation, renewable energy, oil and gas. Updates daily on opportunities in the Brazilian job market.

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