The March 1972 released Granada succeeded the British Ford Zephyr, and the German Ford Taunus, as Ford's European executive car offering. At first, lower models in the range were called the Ford Consul. This may have been because of a lawsuit by Granada Group a major British conglomerate of the time. However, their application for an injunction failed at appeal and they could not prevent Ford registering the name Granada as a trademark thus from 1975 on they were all called Granadas. The car soon became popular for taxi, fleet, and police use. It was also converted into limousine and hearse versions by the British companies Coleman Milne and Woodall Nicholson. Traditional four-door limousines were offered (both long and short versions) alongside an unusual four-door "coupe limousine" (only 12 built), as well as hearses in either two or four-door configurations.
Mechanically, the European Granada conformed to Ford convention, the initial range using the Ford Essex V4 unit in 2.0 L displacement, and the "Essex" V6 engine in 2.5 and 3.0 L capacities. German models employed a Ford Taunus V4 engine in 1.7 L displacement, or the 3.0L Essex V6, or, more commonly the "Cologne" V6 in 2.0, 2.3 or 2.6 L capacities. The V4 was later replaced by the Pinto unit. The car generally followed mechanical layout of its predecessors Ford Zephyr/Zodiac, utilizing a coil sprung independent rear end, although front McPherson struts were replaced by double wishbones, introduced 18 months earlier in smaller TC Cortina and Taunus. On the other hand the Granada, like Ford 17M/20M/26M, featured drum brakes at rear, as opposed to the Ford Zephyr/Zodiac rear disc brakes.
The car was available as a two or four door saloon, a five door estate, and a two-door fastback coupe. The early (1972-73) coupe had slightly different sheet metal - a more pronounced coke bottle styling. In 1974, the coupe was revised, with straighter lines. The "coke-bottle" coupe was unsuccessful in the UK. A two-door saloon joined the range in May 1973, reducing the entry-level advertised German price of the car by 415 Marks, but the two-door saloon version was never produced nor officially sold in the UK. The revised "straight line rear wing" coupe was sold only in 3.0 Ghia trim in the UK, but elsewhere in Europe it was sold with other trims and all engines were available. In continental Europe, the 1976-1977 Granadas were also available with the fuel-injected Cologne V6, producing 150 PS (110 kW).
In South Africa, the Granada Perana V8, built by Basil Green Motors, was available through Ford dealers with the 302 cu in (4.9 L) Windsor V8 engine, developing 255 PS (188 kW 252 hp) and 405 Nm (299 lb ft) at 2600 rpm. Most Granadas in South Africa, however, were fitted with the 3.0 L six. The Granada was introduced to South Africa in late 1972 in 3000 GXL automatic trim, with other models (3000 XL, Coupe, 2500 L) to follow. The coupe was the last model planned, with a scheduled introduction for May 1973. The Granada replaced both the Australian-made Falcon (sold as a "Fairmont" locally) and the 20M of German origins
Predecessor Ford Zephyr & Zodiac, Ford Taunus 20M/26M
Body style(s) 4-door saloon, 5-door estate car, 2-door coupe
Engine(s) 1699 cc V4 not UK, 1996 cc V4 UK only, 1993 cc I4, 2293 cc V6 not UK, 2494 cc V6 UK only, 2994 cc V6
Wheelbase 107 in (2718 mm), Length 180 in (4572 mm), Width 70.5 in (1791 mm)
Curb weight 1190 kg (2624 lb) - 1430 kg (3153 lb)
Successor Ford Granada Mark II
Consul and Granada saloons introduced. Consul has cross-mesh grille in two panels. Granada has horizontal chrome grille bars and chrome waist strip.
Consul:- Basic and L versions with 2.0 litre V4 or 2.5 litre V6 engine. Consul GT has 3.0 litre V6 engine, extra instruments and cloth trim. Optional extras include automatic transmission, sun roof and (with the V6 only) power steering.
Granada:- 2.5 litre or 3.0 litre V6 engine. Reclining front seats, seperate rear seats, wood trim on doors and facia. Optional extras include automatic transmission, sun roof and power steering. GXL version has these (manual gearbox alternative), plus tinted glass and vinyl roof covering.
Estate cars introduced, Consul with L trim and 2.5 litre engines only, Granada with 3.0 litre engine only.
Granada with 2.5 litre engine discontinued. 3.0 litre remains, with power steering standard.
Fully adjustable face level vents on all models. Reclining front seats standard on basic Consul. Granada saloon and estate now designated XL, GXL version continues. Electric screen washers with facia switch and clock relocated in centre console on Granada.
Consul screen washers and clock modified as Granada.
Granada Ghia announced. New grille, Ghia badges, luxury interior trim.
Granada Ghia coupe introduced in UK. Two door fastback body, Ghia style trim. Mechanically as Granada.
V4 engine in 2.0 litre Consul replaced by in-line OHC unit; improved performance and economy.
2.0 litre OHC now available on Consul L estate, Granada XL and GXL saloons. Improved driving position and revised suspension on all models. Gear lever angle altered and clutch pedal brought nearer to driver making operation easier.
Consul range discontinued; replaced by Granada models. Various trim improvements and additions to standard equipment. New instrument panel in the style of the Escort/Cortina range. All models now have carpets, cloth seat trim, heated rear window, hazard warning and reversing lights as standard equipment.
2.0 litre saloon now fitted with 'economy' engine.
Granada MK2 Series 1 announced.