Model Page

Ford Capri RS3100

Ford Capri RS3100 Side Shot

Production Run:


Production Date:

November 1973


3.0 Essex V6


Halewood (UK)


7.2 secs

Max Speed:


As with many performance Fords the Capri RS3100 was developed to allow the company to compete at the highest levels within the Motor-sport arena. 1973 had not been a successful year for Ford in the European Touring Car Championship, the RS2600 had for the previous two years consistently won races - in response BMW had introduced the new CSL nicknamed by many as the “Batmobile”. This car reduced lap-times at the Nurburgring by a significant 15 seconds and proved a lot more predictable and stable to drive, Ford needed to fight back – and fast!

Ford Capri RS3100 Side Shot

Ford Capri RS3100 Side Shot

The rules had changed for the 1974 racing season allowing for the use of four valves per cylinder to be used in a limited run of engines. Ford turned toward the Essex V6 lump and with the assistance of long time partners Cosworth turned about making the engine into a race winner. In mid 1972 work had begun on the racing version of the 3.0 litre Essex utilising twin belt driven overhead camshafts fitted to each cylinder bank alongside aluminium cylinder heads each housing four valves per cylinder. The engine was over-bored to 3.4 for racing purposes producing 435bhp but the road engine less so, to 3.1 litres.

The Capri RS3100 was developed by Fords Advanced Vehicle Operations (AVO) in South Ockenden. AVO have previously been responsible for delivering the Mk 1 Escort Twin Cam, RS1600, Mexico and RS2000. The approval was given to AVO to build the RS3100 Capri in September 1973, only a total of 250 cars were built in this limited production run during November 1973 at the Halewood plant.

Ford Capri RS3100 Rear Shot

Ford Capri RS3100 Rear Shot

Much of the RS3100 was a direct carry over from the RS2600, the chassis, vented disk brakes, suspension (Bilstein shock absorbers all round), wheels (RS 6 x 13 4 spoke alloys), front airdam and flared arches were all taken from the RS2600. The major differences between the models were the engine and more noticeable the ducktail rear spoiler, this modification was desperately needed for motor competition and made a huge improvement to the stability of the vehicle at high speed.

The addition of these aerodynamic aids helped reduce the drag coefficient of the car from 0.40 on the RS2600 to 0.37. The front cross member was re-drilled to give a negative camber, the single leaf springs were fitted with lowering blocks at the rear. The rear bump stop rubbers were also re-positioned on the RS3100, thus raising the ride height at the rear of the car. Quadruple headlights, matt black quarter bumpers and the distinctive duck tail spoiler finished off the car. The gearbox, rear axle and anti roll bars were all carried over from the standard 3000GT.

The road going engine was an evolution of the standard 3.0 litre Essex lump over-bored to 3091cc. The inlet manifold and cylinder head ports were hand-polished and the rocker covers painted blue to distinguish the upgraded unit, the engine remained otherwise standard. The power-plant produced 148bhp – an increase of 10bhp over the standard unit and Torque output was 187lb/ft @ 3,000 rpm.

Capri RS3100 Engine Bay

Capri RS3100 Engine Bay

The interior of the car was the same specification as that in the 3000GT, the only difference being an all black headlining, black PVC seats, a 130 Mph speedometer, flat dish RS steering wheel and custom paint schemes (including the Spa Special letter on the fuel cap cover). The RS3100’s was available in seven distinct colours namely Daytona Yellow, Modena Green, Marine Blue, Olympic Blue, Sebring Red & Diamond White – all appeared with striped coach-lines. No options were made available for the car by Ford.

The car was launched at the height of the oil crisis, this coupled with the high purchase price (£2500) and the fact that the MK2 Capri was scheduled to debut shortly meant that the RS Capri’s were very difficult to sell. Of the 248 examples produced, 23 were registered to Ford Area sales managers, in a further attempt to push sales and in June / July 1974 50 RS3100’s were exported to Australia.

At the time of launch the Capri RS3100 was the fastest production Ford available with 60 MPH being realised from standstill in approx 7.2 seconds, the car going on to reach a top speed of 125mph. This model remains one of the most sought after and rare Capri’s in existence today and can command prices in excess of £15,000.

The Facts


Ford V6 ‘Essex’, vee formation @ 60 degrees.





Compression Ratio:


Fuel System:

Weber 38 EGAS twin-choke carburettor

Maximum Power:

148bhp @ 5,000 rpm.

Maximum Torque:

187lb/ft @ 3,000 rpm.


Manual 4 speed.

Top Gear:

22.6mph per 1000 rpm.


Servo Assisted ventilated front discs / rear drums

Kerb Weight:


Max Speed:

125 mph


7.2 secs