RE: Ford Fiesta XR2: Spotted

RE: Ford Fiesta XR2: Spotted

Sunday 3rd March

Ford Fiesta XR2: Spotted

We dare you not to fall for this cherished example of Ford's fun-king



The Mk2 Ford Fiesta XR2 was never the fastest, sharpest or most refined hot hatch of its class. Nor was it the safest, most spacious or easiest to live with. But, true to form, the XR2 was cheap; offering great value hot hatchery for considerably less than its rivals. Like pepped up versions of the original Mini, the XR2 was unarguably responsible from bringing performance motoring to the masses. Plus, it was a hoot to drive.

With only 97hp and 97lb ft of torque available from its naturally aspirated 1.6-litre engine, the little three-door could sprint from zero to 62mph in a not-to-be-sniffed-at 10.2 seconds and onto a top speed of 112mph. The 839kg supermini was nippy to say the least, and remember, not many cars of this scale could top a tonne back then.


But what made the XR2 memorable was the way it enthusiastically begged to be thrashed. While some of today's most revered hot hatches are so potent that they only reward race driver-like smoothness and terrifying levels of commitment, the XR2 required only that you pedalled its four-pot like its life depended on it, and to utilise the bags of body roll on offer in order to dip and duck around bends.

It'll be a technique unfamiliar to anyone who's not ventured out in something 'old'. You'd not know which way a boggo diesel Fiesta from the present decade went. But neither would you care, because the XR2's sluggish and unassisted steering rack, instantaneous throttle response and thirst for revs, added to the very limited adhesion provided by its tiny tyres, combined to produce something extremely rewarding.

Probably because the XR2 was cheap in its day, it's taken some time for values to catch up with other hot hatches from the 1980s. Earlier this month we found an immaculate version of the fastest and rarer Renault 5 GT Turbo in the classifieds that was on sale for just shy of Β£15k. And we need not remind anyone of the direction prices for Peugeot 205 GTIs, VW Golf GTIs and their ilk have headed in recent years.


Only three years ago you could pick up a tidy XR2 for about Β£2,000, but, as today's Spotted shows us, you'll need triple that for a corker in 2019. Admittedly our pick from the classifieds is one of the finest out there, having been dry stored for the last year and in all-original condition. Impressive for a model that could have so easily fallen into careless hands over its 31 years.

Over that time, this black XR2 and its red pinstriping has passed through four custodians, with each apparently valuing its significance enough to collect all service and history paperwork and even a Haynes workshop manual. The pictures provide the visual evidence for claims from the seller that this car is in "excellent condition throughout"; it certainly looks to have been loved and cherished. From what the ad shows, this could very well be the hottest ticket to 1980s XR2 ownership.


SPECIFICATIONS - FORD FIESTA XR2

Engine: 1,597cc, inline-4
Transmission: 5-speed manual, front-wheel drive
Power (hp): 97@6,000rpm
Torque (lb ft): 97@4,000rpm
MPG: 32.9
CO2: N/A
First registered: 1988
Recorded mileage: 69,000
Price new: Β£10,350
Yours for: Β£5,713

Click here for the full ad.

Author
Discussion

jakesmith

Original Poster:

4,918 posts

117 months

Sunday 3rd March
quotequote all
A turd when new and a turd now

LaurasOtherHalf

15,647 posts

142 months

Sunday 3rd March
quotequote all
Good fun and cheap and a nice slice of nostalgia.

mrpenks

216 posts

101 months

Sunday 3rd March
quotequote all
0-60 was 8.7 for these, 112max speed

gforceg

3,124 posts

125 months

Sunday 3rd March
quotequote all
In about 1987 I had a R5 Gordini and a mate of mine had an XR2 like this. The performance was pretty much identical (we checked pretty thoroughly) but the XR felt like it was wearing a couple of condoms compared to the 5. I suppose these days it would be a nice simple runabout for someone with fond memories of it from back then.

neil-1323bolts

612 posts

52 months

Sunday 3rd March
quotequote all
I had 2 of these back in the day after a mk1 supersport, I really enjoyed driving them before moving on to the more powerful escort RS, it was certainly a raw driving experience with zero driving aids , something modern cars cannot give you .

trickywoo

8,086 posts

176 months

Sunday 3rd March
quotequote all
jakesmith said:
A turd when new and a turd now
Agree. I had one. The engine was particularly dreadful.

GTEYE

1,412 posts

156 months

Sunday 3rd March
quotequote all
mrpenks said:
0-60 was 8.7 for these, 112max speed
By comparison a 2.8i Capri was 7.9 seconds and 127mph so for the money and it’s day, it was okay.

As I recall a 1.6 GTI 205 was about 8.6 seconds and a good bit more money!

ruprechtmonkeyboy

535 posts

33 months

Sunday 3rd March
quotequote all
trickywoo said:
jakesmith said:
A turd when new and a turd now
Agree. I had one. The engine was particularly dreadful.
Had a few hot hatches back in the 90s and the XR2 was by far the worst. Especially considering I bought a Pug 205 1.9 GTI after. That really showed up how woeful the Ford was.

heisthegaffer

1,287 posts

144 months

Sunday 3rd March
quotequote all
jakesmith said:
A turd when new and a turd now
Agreed. I can't believe anyone would have picked an XR2 over an Uno Turbo, R5 GTT or 205 Gti or perhaps a Charade GTti. Those Ford CVHs engines were so rough.

LaurasOtherHalf

15,647 posts

142 months

Sunday 3rd March
quotequote all
heisthegaffer said:
jakesmith said:
A turd when new and a turd now
Agreed. I can't believe anyone would have picked an XR2 over an Uno Turbo, R5 GTT or 205 Gti or perhaps a Charade GTti. Those Ford CVHs engines were so rough.
As a used buyer in the early to mid 90s I would say costs and reliability.

Fast fords were easily and cheaply bought and serviced. You can’t say that about any of your alternatives which was important to teenage/early 20s drivers before the advent of everything on credit.


Sammo123

1,418 posts

127 months

Sunday 3rd March
quotequote all
I owned an XR2 when I was 18. Paid £250 for it and used it to get me to college and back. Although it was dog rough I absolutely loved it. It wasn’t fast and it definitely didn’t handle well but it was great fun to drive. The memory of it stuck with me so much that I ended up buying one to race a couple of years ago smile


mrpenks

216 posts

101 months

Sunday 3rd March
quotequote all
I love how people passionately argue old Fords were bad, yet every model (with the mutable exception of the Mk5 Escort) were at the top of their respective classes.

Before we all began to believe build quality was a squishy dashboard, cars were measured in versatility, running costs and fun. Ford trumped these categories whilst providing good handling cars. What Fords didn’t have was brand aspiration - the brand tried to appeal to everyone (always has). As we moved to a more bling, look at me brand identity era later in the 80s, Ford (and Vauxhalls) became cars to run into the ground and as such became unloved and had little servicing, maintenance or care.

I own an XR3I. It’s fun and has been cherished so drives well. I also drive a 18month old Audi A6 and a Porsche Boxster. The Escort has been the most reliable. It is also the most fun and the one I most look forward to driving although the dashboard isn’t as squishy as the other two.

Edited by mrpenks on Sunday 3rd March 08:27


Edited by mrpenks on Sunday 3rd March 08:28

Downward

1,373 posts

49 months

Sunday 3rd March
quotequote all
Why didn’t they use the 105bhp 1.6 engine as in the xr3 ?

neil-1323bolts

612 posts

52 months

Sunday 3rd March
quotequote all
here's one of my old XR 's , I loved it simple and easy to work on and plenty of bits avalible to tune it if that was your thing , and yes I did put a loud exhaust on it , that made it so much faster !

m3jappa

4,368 posts

164 months

Sunday 3rd March
quotequote all
I had a white colour coded one in 97. I felt like the man in it at 17 hehe

Many a happy hour thrashing the absolute life out of it and I'm amazed i never killed myself or someone else tbh, i was a total dick frown

RammyMP

2,917 posts

99 months

Sunday 3rd March
quotequote all
I had one, F440DUM. It was a right shed but I loved it. Cost me a fortune to keep running and was always a target for car thieves.

Deesee

2,911 posts

29 months

Sunday 3rd March
quotequote all
Had one of these at 18, cost me about £2500 plus another £1800 for the insurance!

Super little car and loved it to bits.

Used to drive it up the motorway to London everyday, 50 mile return.

Could have had a Uno turbo or a GTE, liked the ford TBH.

Fond memories..

f1nn

2,436 posts

138 months

Sunday 3rd March
quotequote all
I grew up on a council estate in the 1980’s, so these and the XR3i were treated with the same reverence as supercars...i’ll always have a fondness for them having experienced them as my first few cars in my formative teens.

Wonderfully st cars.

Some Gump

11,087 posts

132 months

Sunday 3rd March
quotequote all
Hahahah they're asking more for an xr2 than a boxster?

We raced a couple of them. the cvh is a characterless 4 pot, and the Ford build quality / sturdiness isn't exactly mind blowing.you'd have to realy, really value nostalgia to put 5 plus grand into one!