Ford Escort Mk.IV Erika 86
Reviewed by Unique Cars and Parts
Our Rating: 1
The Escort Mark III received a facelift in early 1986. Codenamed within Ford as "Erika–86
", it was instantly recognisable as an updated version of the previous model, with a smooth style nose and the "straked" rear lamp clusters smoothed over.
New features included an optional mechanical anti-lock braking system (standard on RS Turbo
models) and the option of a heated windshield — features which were at the time unheard-of on a car of this size and price. The trim designations were carried over from the pre-facelift car.
As well as an all-new interior, a new 1.4 litre derivative of the CVH engine was introduced, as well as numerous suspension
tweaks to address the long standing criticisms of the Escort's handling
and ride quality, although these had limited success.
A new LX version was introduced in 1987 in order to bridge the gap between the L and GL models. In 1989, the diesel engine was enlarged to 1.8 L, and the poorly-performing 1.1 L version was finally dropped from the range.
To sell the last few 1.1 L engines, a special variant called the "Finesse" was released by Polar Ford. This car featured colour-coded bumpers, vinyl decorations on the bodywork
and a Capri style vinyl spoiler. Underneath the cars were identical to the standard Popular trim level.
The Orion was also proving popular with the motoring public, and Ford also gave the Escort-based saloon a similar makeover. Carried over from the previous range was the 3–speed automatic which was ultimately replaced late in the production run with a variant of the CTX stepless gearbox as first used in the Fiesta a couple of years earlier.
Escorts for European markets continued to be assembled at the plants in Halewood and Saarlouis. However, sales were strong through the decade, and during the later 1980s Escort production also commenced at the Ford plant originally established for Fiesta production in Valencia.
At this time, the Escort was dropped in South Africa and replaced by the Laser and Meteor, although the Escort-based Bantam pick-up remained in production, facelifted, and also sold as a Mazda Rustler.
This Escort continued production until 1995 in some foreign markets, especially Latin America. In 1993, the Escort Hobby trim was introduced in Brazil, using a 1.0 L 50hp engine derived from the European 1.1 L. This was done in order to be eligible for tax breaks. The 1.0 L engine was unique to Brazil, whereas the 1.1 L engine was sold worldwide. This special 1.0 L engine was the same CHT 1.6 L used in the Escort but with smaller pistons, making it less powerful but very economic. A popular kit changed the pistons and crank rods to take the engine to 1.3 L capacity. This kit was made by COFAP in Brazil.
There were no trims with a high-power engine in Brazil — no turbos
or Cosworth versions. The most powerful Escort was the Escort XR3 Formula 1991, which had 125 hp. Also, the on-board computer wasn't available in Brazil.
Trim designations for the Escort Mark IV:
Popular: 1.1 L, 1.3 L petrol, 1.6 L diesel, 1.8 L diesel
Popular Plus: 1.3 L petrol, 1.8 L diesel
Bonus: 1.1 L, 1.3 L petrol (4-speed gearbox only)
L: 1.3 L, 1.4 L, 1.6 L petrol, 1.6 L diesel, 1.8 L diesel
LX: 1.3 L, 1.4 L, 1.6 L petrol
GL: 1.3 L, 1.4 L, 1.6 L petrol, 1.6 L diesel, 1.8 L diesel
Ghia: 1.3 L, 1.4 L, 1.6 L petrol
Cabriolet: 1.6 L CVH carburettor (as seen in the Mark III Escort XR3) engine or fuel injected 1.6 L CVH engine (seen in the XR3i)
XR3i: 1.6 L CVH engine equipped with the Bosch K-Jetronic fuel injection
system Producing 105 bhp (from 1989 equipped with Ford EEC-IV engine management Producing 108 bhp)
: 1.6 L CVH fuel injected engine with Garrett T3 Turbo
producing 132 bhp
In Brazil, the trim designations were a bit different for the Mark IV:
Hobby: 1.0 L CHT engine (petrol only) and 1.6 L CHT engine (petrol/alcohol)
L: 1.6 L CHT engine and 1.8 L VW EA-827 series engine (petrol/alcohol)
GL: 1.6 L CHT engine and 1.8 L VW EA-827 series engine (petrol/alcohol)
Ghia: 1.6 L CHT engine and 1.8 L VW EA-827 series engine (petrol/alcohol)
XR3 Conversivel (cabriolet): 1.6 L CHT Fórmula engine and 1.8 L VW EA-827 engine (petrol/alcohol)
XR3: 1.6 L CHT Fórmula engine (alcohol only) and 1.8 L VW EA-827 engine (petrol/alcohol)
There was a special series in Brazil:
XR3 Formula: 1.8 L VW engine (petrol/alcohol), electronic suspension
Guaruja (produced in Argentina): 1.8 L VW engine (petrol/alcohol), 5 doors
Note that in Brazil, the 1.8 L and 2.0 L engines were made by Volkswagen (VW) as part of the AutoLatina agreement, where Ford CHT engines were used in VW cars and vice-versa. The 1.0 L and 1.6 L were all ford CHT motors. All Escorts made after 1993 were fuel-injected. Also, the Mark IV model was made until 1992.