Ford Sierra XR4x4i 2.9i: Spotted

It's nearing the end of the road for the current Focus RS; a four-wheel drive, turbocharged, Hoonigan favourite that's bowing out with a limited run of 50 Heritage Edition cars, all painted in a supremely subtle shade of Deep Orange. But if you're not keen on looking like a rolling advert for Terry's Chocolate orange, then what other Fords are there for you? Well, how about a 1992 Sierra XR4x4i?

As mentioned in a previous Spotted featuring a Vauxhall Cavalier (where a few people suggested they'd rather spend the money on a Ford - so here it is), the Sierra was a controversial car at launch. By the time this facelifted version came out, however, the looks had been toned down and the buying public had accepted the more streamlined styling required for better fuel economy and a higher top-speed.

The first high-performance offering was the XR4i, a three-door car with even odder looks and a small whale-tail at the back. But the 2.8-litre Cologne V6 had siamese exhaust ports that restricted the gas flow out of the engine, giving tuners a bit of a headache when trying to liberate more power. By the time the Sierra got this 2.9-litre engine though, the manifold had been sorted, and we ended up with some high-performance monsters, such as the Turbo Technic's Minker K1.

With the two Garratt T2 turbos turned up to 15psi of boost, the Minker could deliver 325hp and 345lb ft torque, leading to headlines like: 'The Sierra that's quicker than a Countach' since it could do 0-60mph in 4.8 sec, a tenth faster than the Italian supercar.

Of course, this Sierra doesn't have that amount of performance, it only has 147hp (What Car? figures from October 1992). But, combined with the four-wheel drive, you can use more of it, and it's not as if the engine is deeply stressed. Parts will undoubtedly be very cheap to buy and easy to come by, so servicing costs will be low.

The major thing to look for is rust. Fords of this era do that rather well, so get it up in the air and poke around all the suspension and jacking points for holes. An MOT check on this car has mentioned rust in the past, which is absent from the current one, hopefully meaning that it's been repaired since the last inspection. It also mentions that the underside of the car is 'heavily undersealed' which chould be fantastic for protecting the metal. Or it could be hiding something; you'd need to have a look to find out.

The rest of the car looks to be in great condition, even the seats look to have worn their 80,000 miles well bar the hole in the middle of the cushion. There's even the luxury of electric windows all-round and a heated front windscreen. For less than £4k, this Sierra looks to be something of a bargain.


Engine: 2,933cc, six-cylinder, N/A
Transmission: five-speed manual, four-wheel drive
Power (hp): 147@5,700rpm
Torque (lb ft): 172@3,000rpm
MPG: 30.4
CO2: N/A
First registered: 1992
Recorded mileage: 80,000 miles
Price new: £18,560
Yours for: £3,995

See the full ad here.

P.H. O'meter

Join the PH rating wars with your marks out of 10 for the article (Your ratings will be shown in your profile if you have one!)

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
  • 9
  • 10
Rate this article

Comments (158) Join the discussion on the forum

  • Iceicebsby1980 24 Feb 2018

    Don't know much about these . Think the 3dr looks better could be a good buy for someone who wants the rs cosworth version but can't afford it .

  • mechagran 24 Feb 2018

    who on earth would ever want to own a sierra?

    It looks like a really sad shoe.

  • Agent57 24 Feb 2018

    Those look like wheel trims. What happened to the 7 spoke alloys?

  • ZX10R NIN 24 Feb 2018

    The three door was 2wd & had an odd rear window arrangement, I know someone who has a stroked out one of these (3.7 litres if I remember correctly) & a 2.8i capri which is the same engine as the 4x4, the capri feels good & torquey not blistering quick but coupled with the lack of KG's it will keep up with modern traffic.

    The handling is very good (but his has updated suspension & brakes) but definitely a fast cruiser than Cosworth, I've not driven it in a while but it put a smile on my face.

  • cerb4.5lee 24 Feb 2018

    I've had two 2.9i Xr4x4's and I absolutely loved them. I drove one again a few years back and still enjoyed it. I'd love this for the memories but I'm a Ford fanboy!

    Mine were 1989 models and I prefer the looks of mine rather than this later car. I still wouldn't say no though.

View all comments in the forums Make a comment