1989 Merkur Scorpio
1989 Merkur Scorpio 4 door with a one-of-a-kind custom Chameleon paint from green to purple, excellent condition, original owner 24 mpg V-6 auto overdrive transmission, power rack pinion steering McPherson, front struts 4 wheel power disc brakes, original leather interior and stereo radio, Cd Tape player, air conditioning, extra transmission cooling for sustained high speed driving, power seats front rear and heated front seats.
Ford introduced the Merkur brand as a franchise separate from its other brands, and it was only offered to Lincoln-Mercury dealers, of which only about 800 accepted.
When the Merkur name was launched in North America, advertising and PR materials strongly urged the proper German pronunciation. Below the Merkur badge was a script stating FORD WERKE AG-Cologne, West Germany, indicating the cars place of manufacture.
Like the Capri before it, the Merkur was Fords attempt at selling a European car in the North American market. However, Ford could not just import the cars and sell them; American government-mandated safety regulations dictated that Ford modify the design of the XR4Ti and Scorpio. This meant that the two cars were manufactured in Europe in a manner different from other European Fords. The XR4Ti was manufactured by Karmann in Rheine, Germany, with a turbocharged Ford Lima 2.3 L 4-cylinder engine from the Ford engine plant in Taubate, Brazil, and the Scorpio was manufactured in Fords Cologne plant and fitted with the Cologne 2.9 L V6.
Only two models were sold under the Merkur badge: a performance-oriented three-door hatchback version of the Ford Sierra XR4i called the Merkur XR4Ti and nicknamed Merkur XR (19851989), and the Merkur Scorpio (19881989), which was an American version of the Ford Scorpio Mark I (Scorpio being the top trim level for the Mk III Granada in the UK) 5-door hatchback.
Neither model was particularly successful in Ford North Americas eyes. Exchange rate fluctuations were one explanation. Also, the Scorpio bore a strong resemblance to the Mercury Topaz, and the similarly sized Mercury Sable, which were sold on the same showroom floors and were considerably cheaper.
Merkur Scorpios are well known for being nearly identical to each other in appearance and options. All of them had standard features, such as Automatic Climate Control, and the optional Touring Package upgrade was included with nearly every Merkur Scorpio sold. The original cost of a Merkur Scorpio was nearly US$30,000. A major factor in the decision to drop the cars was the US governments requirement to add either a passive restraint system or air bags for US models since these were not requirements for European models. The XR4Ti was dropped first and the Scorpio a few months later in 1989.
Merkur eventually joined Packard and Chryslers Imperial in the fray of defunct luxury automotive brands. In addition, Merkur was also the shortest-lived luxury automotive marque
The Merkur Scorpio is a modified version of the European Ford Scorpio with 4 doors and liftgate (hatchback). It was manufactured between 1987 and 1989 and sold through select Lincoln-Mercury dealerships as 1988 and 1989 models. It first went on sale in the United States in May 1987 but was discontinued in October 1989. It was unsuccessful in the American market for a variety of reasons and some contemporary observers blamed poor marketing of the brand and model for its quick demise.
The Merkur Scorpio, along with the Merkur XR4Ti, was developed from two of Fords European executive cars: the Ford Scorpio Mark I and the Ford Sierra, respectively. They were manufactured in Germany and sold in North America as captive imports.
The XR4Ti only came as a 2-door vehicle with liftgate, and the Scorpio only came as a 4-door with a liftgate. Unlike the popularity the European Fords enjoyed, both the Merkur Scorpio and the XR4Ti fell prey to several different issues that led to Merkur name being discontinued in North America.
The Scorpios fastback (hatchback) design gave Lincoln-Mercury dealers an opportunity to offer customers a sportier premium alternative to the more traditional Lincoln Continental and Town Car sedans.
The Merkur logo was featured on the front as a flush mounted hood ornament, on the standard alloy wheels, and on the steering wheel. A variety of exterior color choices were available, each matched to either gray or brown lower body cladding.
Power came from a 144 horsepower 2.9L V6 engine offering reasonable performance for its time but when compared to other premium hatchbacks, such as the 160 horsepower Saab 9000 Turbo and Sterling 827, the Scorpio was merely average at best.
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