Unique to South Africa Ford Sierra XR8 1984-1985

Unique to South Africa Ford Sierra XR8 1984-1985

A stand-out feature of the 2018 Knysna Motor Show that was held on April 29, 2018 was an historical display of production sedans and sports cars only available in South Africa.

We at Ultimate drive have been covering these unique cars in previous issues, from the Protea of the fifties, GSM Dart and Flamingo, Renault Alconi, Ford Capri Perana and the Chevrolet Firenza Can Am of the seventies.

Then the 80’s came and brought us the Alfa Romeo GTV6 3.0. Ford couldn’t take the GTV6’s track success lying down, and in mid-1984 introduced the amazing Ford Sierra XR8. This was essentially a Ford Sierra V6, but fitted with a five-litre V8, special limited slip diff, alloy wheels and dual-plane rear wing in the boot.

In time the likes of Serge Damseaux, John Gibb and Willie Hepburn gave these XR8s legendary status in Group One and Wesbank racing!

Initially the XR8 engine was a bit tame, rated only at a little over 150 kW, but this was solved by big-valve, big port cylinder heads. Only 250 units were produced, and finding a mint one today is a rarity!