In February 1974, the Capri II was introduced. After 1.2 million cars sold, and with the 1973 oil crisis, Ford chose to make the new car more suited to everyday driving with a shorter bonnet, larger cabin and the adoption of a hatchback rear door.
By the standards of the day, the Capri II was a very well evolved vehicle with very few reliability issues. For Germany the Capri now offered 1.3-litre (55 PS (40 kW)), 1.6-litre (72 PS (53 kW)), 1.6-litre GT (88 PS (65 kW)), or 2.0-litre (99 PS (73 kW)) in-line four-cylinder engines, complemented by a 2.3-litre (108 PS (79 kW)) and the UK sourced 3.0-litre V6.
Although it was mechanically similar to the Mk I, the Capri II had a revised, larger body and a more modern dashboard including a smaller steering wheel. The 2.0 L version of the Pinto engine was introduced in the European model and was placed below the 3.0L V6. The Capri still maintained the large rectangular headlights, which became the easiest way to distinguish between a Mk II and a Mk III. Larger front disc brakes and a standard alternator finished the list of modifications.
Sales of the Capri continued in Japan as it remained compliant with Japanese Government dimension regulations, but sales were not as successful as the previous generation.
Ford introduced the John Player Special limited edition, (known as the JPS) in March 1975. Available only in black or white, the JPS featured yards of gold pinstriping to mimic the Formula 1 livery, gold-coloured wheels, and a bespoke upgraded interior of beige cloth and carpet trimmed with black. In May 1976, and with sales decreasing, the intermediate 3.0 GT models disappeared to give way for the upscale 3.0 S and Ghia designations. In October 1976, production was limited to the Saarlouis factory only and the following year the Capri left the American market with only 513,500 models sold.