Ford designs a new Cortina for 2012

21 Sep, 2012 6:31pm Luke Madden

In a world exclusive, Auto Express asked Ford to recreate the iconic Cortina for the 21st century

It’s the 50th anniversary of the iconic Ford Cortina this year, and a lot has changed in the world of car design since it was launched. So Auto Express was curious to know how the car would look if it was built now – would it have been such a hit if it had to pass the strict guidelines applied to modern cars?

To find out, we asked Ford Europe’s design manager, Paul Wraith, to design a Ford Cortina for 2012, exclusively for Auto Express.

We told him we weren’t looking for a new take on the original, but wanted him to stay as true to the design of the original as possible, but with every modern constraint limiting his design. We effectively wanted a hi-tech, Euro NCAP five-star-rated, pedestrian-friendly Cortina of the sixties. Not much to ask!

Click on the gallery to see the final design, and read the full feature in this week's Auto Express magazine (out 19 September 2012).

Want to own our exclusive 2012 Cortina sketches? Visit for a chance to win them.

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Am I being a bit naive, but wouldn't Ford make a fortune from making a retro model in the Mini / Beetle sense? But keep it simple, cheap and lightweight (avoiding the overpriced and overweight 'premium' nonsense that those two cars are guilty of) make it handle well (like most Fords anyway) and drop something like the new 1 litre turbo in it to make it nippy and cheap to run too?

What a mouthwatering prospect a retro small sports saloon like a remake of the Escort MK1 would be - at a time when some manufacturers are returning to building small saloons.

Well why don't just build as a concept but not put it production. It would great Ford Cortina to return just for one time. I love Cortina. I started Series 2 but I've driven the original model. I exchange them all the time time mode deceased in 1982. It was sad I never drove a Ford again. Recently in Motor Mate I recorded the Ford Cortina Documentary but I haven't watch yet. I driven the Ford Mondeo the recent model it great but does go good as the Cortina.

Well considering the Cortina morphed into the Sierra which became the Mondeo, isnt this really a wasted execise, however the current Focus is bigger than the original MK1 Cortina and the Fiesta is not much smaller..However I genuinely think Ford could make money by making a modern version of an old design, the Capri would be cool, and perhaps a new MK1 Ka to replace the disappointing Fiat based mk2.

Put me down for a Escort Mk1 as well, the best little car l ever did own.

Cortina was alway a much better seller than the Mondeo that never hit the top UK best sellers spot, maybe because the Cortina was smaller better suited to the UK markets, and it was made here as well which must of been another big plus point.

Maybe there is a place for the Cortina to slot in between the Focus and the Mondeo, maybe with RWD again that was a real blast to drive to offer something other than FWD, and steal those lost BMW 3 Series sales back again for Ford.

The problem as I see it is in the days of the Cortina, a lot of sales went to reps, and there was not the vast amount of choice as there is today, Audi didnt really exist in the market, BMW was too expensive, and VW was a joke, no one would buy French, and the Japanese didnt have a foothold, today an Audi or BMW is available to everyone and though in reality they are no better, the snob factor is. Ford need to come out with something fresh, a brand new Mondeo that looks like a facelift is not the answer..

The best thing Ford could do for sales is change its name.

Ford could do well by removing the £1 per minute phone charge to their support line!!
As for the Cortina. My dad - yes, sales rep., had a '63 'de luxe'. Within a month from new, we did return trip from Hull to London. 4 Adults and me, age 10. After return we had new rear springs, differential and shocks replaced. Well done, Ford. Our family is a wiry bunch, and there were no 'lardy a###s' in the 60's. After a couple of months the springs came through the passenger seat ! Dad thanked god when taxi ploughed into the car at traffic lights and we got used Hillman Minx as swap during repairs, but Minx was more solid etcs and dad kept that!! On my 18m old Fiesta, the bonnet support bracket broke! Expecting no hassle replacement through the 3 year warranty, they wanted to charge me as it was not classed as functional, but 'trim'. No way.