Ford Laser and Meteor KB

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Ford KB Laser


Ford

Ford Laser and Meteor KB

1983 - 1985
Country:
Australia
Engine:
4 cyl.
Capacity:
1297 / 1498 cc
Power:
48.5 kW @ 5500rpm
Transmission:
4/5 spd. Man / 3 spd. Auto
Top Speed:
162 km/h
Number Built:
n/a
Collectability:
forget it
Ford Laser and Meteor KB
Reviewed by Unique Cars and Parts
Our Rating: 3

Introduction



Gone were the days when Ford's small and medium cars - the Laser and Telstar - were thought of as simply rebadged Mazdas. The Laser in particular had become the Aussie small car and all but the two door variants of the KB series were Australian made (although the engines were Japanese sourced).

The KA Laser had already extablished a reputation for being a worthy successor for the Escort, the quality underpinning the little car in line with the typically high Mazda standards. For the KB facelift, the Laser linup offered five models in three and five door hatchback configurations.

There were two engine choices, a 1.3 litre and 1.5 litre, and a choice of four or five speed manual transmissions and a three speed auto. The 1.3 litre engine was available in the three door L or GL models, while the bigger 1.5 was reserved for the 5 door GL and Ghia models, or the three door Sport.

Backing up the Laser was the Meteor - a rather conventional 3-box sedan available in three versions - and all fitted with the larger 1.5 litre engine. The model designations were Meteor GL, Ghia and Ghia HP (High Performance), and the 4 speed manual transmission was not available.

The Laser/Meteor range was a pleasantly straight forward product which had established itself as a number one in the small car market by the end of 1982, with sales in excess of 50,000. Meteor backed this performance right from its introduction in March 1983.

The Meteor update included involved the introduction of new "European" style seating, improved brakes and refinements in the areas of road holding and ride. The engine also met with improvements with the boost of electronic ignition and a more efficient alternator, improvements which helped the little car produce even better economy and performance.

Other changes to engine mounts and exhaust systems resulted in a quieter car all round, and the Aussie made springs and rerated shock absorbers produced a better ride and road holding characteristics. As for the Laser, changes from KA to KB included a raft of cosmetic improvements which included such things as a new aerodynamic sloping nose incorporating a new design grille, flush fitting headlights, different bumpers and front apron air intakes as well as the mechanical changes implemented with the Meteor.

Driving dynamics and performance for both the Laser and Meteor were excellent, both the 1.3 and 1.5 engines proving to be responsive. The twin carburettor Sport and Ghia High Performance models were a fun drive, adding a little zest to the range. The handling was light and responsive with minimal torque steering from the front drive system, and you could even option power steering. Both Laser and Meteor may have been badge-engineered versions, but they did give Ford the most competitive and sought after small cars on the market.
1983 Ford KB Laser
1982 Ford KB Laser Sport

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