1989 Ford Sierra XR4x4 3.1 Twin T2 Hybrid


Faster than the M3


Turbo failure 3 times.

Broken pistons 3 times.

3 complete engine rebuilds, that have cost in excess of £20,000+

General Comments:

This car has been extensively modified from the base Sierra Twin Turbo 280bhp XR4x4 that Turbo Technics produced.

The most honest description I can give is, that it is a heavy vehicle with the usual V6 burbling away as you cruise along. But when you want to shift, you have to wake the twin turbos with a change down of gear, and you will notice no more burbling from the exhaust. You are instantly catapulted firmly into your seat, with a grin as the engine jets up. Take the car into country lanes on controlled boost and you will feel the grip of the all wheel drive, it will power you around the corners.

Specs. 3.1 twin hybrid turbo with extensive modifications.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 17th May, 2009

1989 Ford Sierra LX 1.6 petrol


A comfy and reliable workhorse


Water pump failed at 80000 miles.

The radio aerial that was built into the rear screen, was replaced with a normal one, as it never worked properly (a common fault).

New exhaust and a patch of rust welded up underneath the car at 91000 miles.

General Comments:

This car may not be the most exciting vehicle to drive, but I have become a big fan of the Sierra. It only cost £375 to buy, but came complete with a full service history from new (Ford garage). The car had been privately owned, which is rare, because most Sierras were run as company cars.

This car is very comfortable on long journeys, and there is plenty of space for my six foot frame. It is not so good around town though, as there is no power steering on my model, and the MPG is poor on short journeys.

The best thing about this car is the reliability. It has the old "Pinto" type engine, which means it is dead simple to fix with no fancy electronics to go wrong. It starts first time every morning, and I have had no problems with the automatic choke, as other Ford owners seem to have.

I have considered trading in my Sierra for a newer more economical car, but it seems a shame to sell it as the car is so good, and would only be worth a couple of hundred pounds. I shall therefore be keeping this unfashionable but reliable car, for a few years yet!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 15th August, 2008

1989 Ford Sierra GL 2.0 turbo petrol


The ultimate Q-car


No real faults, but lots of teething troubles associated with the engine conversion. It's not a daily driver anyway.

General Comments:

I bought a low mileage Cosworth YB engine a few years back for a Westfield project that never got off the ground. A neighbour was scrapping his above average condition Sapphire 2.0 GL after a timing chain snapped and destroyed the engine... a few beers with a mate and a silly idea formed.

After much blood, sweat and tears, too many weekends and long evenings, two near divorces, and far more money than originally envisaged, we have probably the ultimate Q-car. A baltic blue (I think) Sapphire 2.0 GL with 375 bhp worth of tuned Northampton finest under the bonnet. Outwardly, it is as standard as the day it left the factory - the keen eyed will spot that it sits a little lower than standard thanks to the Konis all round (lethal without them), and the Cosworth alloys, but these are nothing unusual on the few Sierras left today. They won't spot the Cosworth limited slip diff, Borg Warner T5 gearbox and front and rear strut braces designed to help that power onto the road, and the uprated Cosworth brakes to help stop you.

The finished car weighs 1175kg with fuel and fluids, and makes a dyno proven 375 bhp. Power to weight ratio is therefore within a sniff of a Porsche 911 GT3. As is the acceleration. This thing is searingly fast. Traction off the line is poor, and there is definitely an art to launching it with any decorum, but once rolling it will wipe the floor with almost anything. The look of sheer astonishment on the face of an E46 M3 driver only this morning as I prevented him from tailgating me by simply driving away from him was a picture. All he saw were those words. "Sapphire 2.0 GL". On a G registration Ford with a bit of rust on the bootlid and a slightly wonky rear bumper....

My neighbour who I bought the base car from thinks it's fabulous. My wife who hates modified cars squeals like a little girl every time she gets in it. Premium German saloon car drivers despise it. I love it to bits. Of course it's not a complete package like an M3 would be, and when handling is thrown into the mix, it wouldn't be all the Sierras way, but as an engineering project, as something to just enjoy in its own right, and put people in their place when required, it's just been brilliant.

There are things I want to do to it to improve the drive - Cossie Recaros would be great, as would fatter rubber and a better steering wheel, but quite honestly I will lose a chunk of interest in the car the moment it will no longer pass for standard. I keep thinking of selling it, but really what's going to be half as much fun as this for half sensible money?

I know why insurance strapped yoof make their 1.1 Saxos look fast, but to me, a car that looks slow, but will blow your doors off will always be more fun. And although this car has cost me more than anticipated, I still reckon you'd struggle to match performance per pound with anything else.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 27th November, 2007

20th Jun 2008, 15:31

I like your style, fella! I agree, spend the money where it counts-under the bonnet.