Ford Escort Mk III (Erika). 1980–6 (prod. n/a). 3- and 5-door saloon, 3- and 5-door estate, 2-door convertible. F/F, 1117 cm³ (I4 OHV), 1295, 1555, 1596 cm³ petrol, 1608, 1753 cm³ diesel (I4 OHC). Radical change for conventional Escort. Mk III looks crisp, modern, sharp, and ready to take on Volkswagen Golf. European Car of the Year 1980–1. Front-wheel-drive transmission, all-new CVH engines, which sadly still needed sorting, as did suspension, leading to harsh ride and poor handling before 1983. Flagship in 1980 the XR3, replacing Escort Sport—which started off the XRs of the decade. Fuel injection for XR3 in 1983, creating XR3i. Brazilian version introduced CHT 1·6, derived from Renault Cléon–Fonte unit, and later shared with Ford Del Rey. Orion saloon spun off from this series. Five-door estate from 1983.
Marque: Ford | Model: Ford Escort | Predecessor: Ford Escort Mk II | Successors: Ford Escort Mk IV, Ford Laser (1985–9)
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