Motoring Trailblazers - Ford Sierra

Sun 19th Aug 2018

The world of motoring is hurtling headlong into a bright new future of all-electric, automated, connected technology - and Marty McFly is not behind the wheel! But what were the cars that were ‘back to the future’ of years gone by?

There have been many different trailblazing motors which were seen by the critics to be ahead of their time, and in this series, we will investigate and showcase many of the best in class.

Ford Sierra
Ford took a big brave move when they dumped the hugely popular Cortina during the 1980s. Many suggest that with a little restyling and some tweaks here and there, Ford’s leading light could have had at least a ten years more action. But the 1980s were a period of huge change across the globe and Ford showed pioneering spirit by introducing a car which broke the mould - the jelly-mould!

The Sierra’s curvy exterior took a little getting used to, and was compared to a jelly-mould in some unfavourable reviews. The Sierra’s debut wasn’t helped by it’s biggest rival, the Vauxhall Cavalier, enjoying rave reviews at the same time. The Cavalier had no curves and plenty of sharp edges, similar to the dearly departed Cortina.

Those curves the Sierra delivered weren’t just for show, the Sierra had undergone some serious wind tunnel testing and its drag coefficient was a stunning 0.34, which made the Cortina at 0.45 look like a tractor ploughing through mud. However, early Sierra’s did have some issues with cross-winds, which tells us a little about the effectiveness of wind-tunnels perhaps.

Whilst plenty of differing models and sport-style engines didn’t get the British public hooked on the Sierra from the off, it wasn’t until the car received a facelift in 1987 that we truly fell in love. The four-door saloon Sapphire looked the part and Ford were onto a winner once again. It soon took over the Cavalier for sales, and in its eleven year production stint from 1982 to 1993 came then tenth most popular car to have been sold in Britain with 1.3m units shifted.

The Sierra was replaced by the Mondeo, but the 80s classic remained on British roads for a long time and just this year a classic Sierra Cosworth fetched an impressive £104,000 at auction.

Not bad for a jelly-mould.