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The story of the Ford Corcel: The beautiful sedan that had its trajectory ended because of one factor

23 April 2024 12 gies: 30
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The story of the Ford Corcel: The beautiful sedan that had its trajectory ended because of one factor
Ford Corcel 1976 Photo: Disclosure/JHONATAN DA C15

Discover the trajectory of the Ford Corcel, the sedan that stood out in the Brazilian automotive market with its innovative design and variety of models, until its production ended in 1986 due to competition with more modern vehicles introduced by Ford itself.

The Ford Corcel, an icon of the Brazilian automotive industry, had its production ended due to a crucial factor that marked the end of its journey. This sedan, which began its life under the Willys banner and in partnership with Renault, was later adopted and adapted by Ford, gaining not only a new name but also a series of innovations that differentiated it from the Renault 12, a French model that shared its platform.

The project, initially known as “Project M”, was a collaboration between Willys Overland do Brasil and Renault, aimed at creating a car that met the needs of Brazilian consumers. With the acquisition of Willys by Ford in 1967, the project passed into the hands of the American giant, which transformed it into the Ford Corcel. The car was completely redesigned to adapt to the harsh driving conditions in Brazil, incorporating its characteristic robustness.

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Launched at the 1968 Motor Show, the Ford Corcel immediately stood out for its sophisticated design.

Launched at the 1968 Motor Show, the Ford Corcel immediately stood out for its sophisticated design and the quality of its construction. Initially available only in a four-door sedan version, it quickly expanded its line to include luxurious versions and even a sporty one, the Corcel GT. With a simple but refined interior and reliable mechanics, the Corcel offered good interior space and pleasant handling, attributes that won the hearts of Brazilians.

Ford Corcel was equipped with a series of engines throughout its production

The Corcel originally came equipped with a 1.3-liter four-cylinder engine that was known for its robustness and fuel economy. This engine was inherited from the Renault 12, reflecting the origin of the joint project with Willy's Overland and Renault before being acquired by Ford.

Over the years, the Corcel's engine has received several upgrades to improve its performance and efficiency. For example:

Engine 1.4L: introduced to provide more power, this engine was a response to the need for slightly more robust performance for the Brazilian market. It offered a good balance between fuel economy and more agile response on the roads.

Engine 1.6L: launched in later versions, especially for the GT and more luxurious versions, this engine provided a significant increase in power and torque, offering better performance and a more pleasurable driving experience.

Ford Corcel engines were known for their efficient fuel consumption

Ford Corcel engines were known for their efficient fuel consumption. The original 1.3L engine, for example, provided an impressive consumption of 10 km/l in the city and up to 13 km/l on the highway, very respectable numbers for the time. With the increase in displacement to 1.4L and then 1.6L, fuel consumption increased slightly, but still remained competitive within its category.

GT sports version

For the GT version, the Corcel was equipped with a more powerful engine, which was essentially a modified version of the 1.6L engine with tweaks to increase power and improve performance. This engine not only provided faster acceleration, but also offered a more dynamic driving experience, with accelerations from 0 to 100 km/h in reduced times and a higher top speed.

The trajectory of the Ford Corcel, however, was interrupted at the end of 1986

The trajectory of the Ford Corcel, however, was interrupted at the end of 1986. Despite several updates and improvements over the years, the model was gradually overshadowed by more modern vehicles with more current designs. Ford itself introduced new models, such as the Ford Del Rey and Ford Escort, that competed directly with the Corcel in terms of market. This internal competition, combined with an aesthetic that no longer resonated so much with the younger public, led to a decline in Corcel sales.

Have you ever owned a Ford Corcel or know someone who has? Share your stories in the comments below and keep following for more automotive history content!

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