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Merkur Scorpio

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Merkur Scorpio
Merkur Scorpio 2.9 Ghia (35762979256).jpg
Overview
ManufacturerFord of Germany (Ford of Europe)
Production1987-1989
Model years1988-1989
AssemblyWest Germany: Cologne (Cologne Body & Assembly) [1]
Body and chassis
ClassMid-size luxury / Executive car
Body style5-door hatchback
LayoutFR layout
PlatformFord DE-1 platform
Related
Powertrain
Engine2.9 L Cologne V6
Transmission5-speed Type 9 manual
4-speed A4LD automatic
Dimensions
Wheelbase108.7 in (2,761 mm)[2]
Length186.4 in (4,735 mm)
Width69.5 in (1,765 mm)
Height54.6 in (1,387 mm)

The Merkur Scorpio is a mid-size luxury car that was marketed by the Lincoln-Mercury division of Ford for the 1988 and 1989 model years through its Merkur sub-brand. Slotted above the Merkur XR4Ti in the model line, the Scorpio served as the flagship of Merkur. A captive import from Ford of Europe, selected Lincoln-Mercury dealers marketed the Scorpio in the United States and Canada.[3]

A near-direct counterpart of the Ford Scorpio Mk I (Ford Granada Mk III in the United Kingdom), the Merkur Scorpio was developed to give Lincoln-Mercury a competitor against European executive cars sold in North America, including the Audi 100, BMW 5-series, Mercedes-Benz 190E, Saab 9000, Sterling 827, and Volvo 740/760.[4]

Following the 1989 model year, Ford ended imports of the Scorpio, closing down the Merkur brand. Lasting only for two model years, the Merkur Scorpio is among the shortest-lived Ford Motor Company nameplates in modern history. Along with unstable pricing due to fluctuating exchange rates and insufficient sales figures, the model line would have required a costly redesign to remain in compliance with upcoming American safety regulations.

The Scorpio was manufactured in Cologne, West Germany by Ford of Germany (Cologne Body & Assembly). In total, 22,010 examples were imported.[5]

Discover more about Merkur Scorpio related topics

Executive car

Executive car

Executive car is a British term for a large car which is equivalent to the European E-segment and American full-size classifications. Executive cars are larger than compact executive cars, and smaller than luxury saloons / full-size luxury sedans.

Ford Motor Company

Ford Motor Company

Ford Motor Company is an American multinational automobile manufacturer headquartered in Dearborn, Michigan, United States. It was founded by Henry Ford and incorporated on June 16, 1903. The company sells automobiles and commercial vehicles under the Ford brand, and luxury cars under its Lincoln luxury brand. Ford also owns Brazilian SUV manufacturer Troller, an 8% stake in Aston Martin of the United Kingdom and a 32% stake in China's Jiangling Motors. It also has joint ventures in China, Taiwan, Thailand, and Turkey. The company is listed on the New York Stock Exchange and is controlled by the Ford family; they have minority ownership but the majority of the voting power.

Merkur

Merkur

Merkur is a defunct automobile brand that was marketed by the Lincoln-Mercury division of Ford Motor Company from 1985 to 1989. Drawing its name from the German word for Mercury, Merkur was targeted at buyers of European executive cars in North America, selling captive imports produced by the German division of Ford of Europe.

Merkur XR4Ti

Merkur XR4Ti

The Merkur XR4Ti is a performance-oriented 3-door hatchback sold in North America from 1985 to 1989. A product of the Ford Motor Company, the car was a version of the European Ford Sierra adapted to U.S. regulations. The XR4Ti project was championed by Ford vice president Bob Lutz.

Ford of Europe

Ford of Europe

Ford of Europe GmbH is a subsidiary company of Ford Motor Company founded in 1967 in Cork, Ireland, with headquarters in Cologne, Germany.

Ford Scorpio

Ford Scorpio

The Ford Scorpio is an executive car that was produced by Ford Europe from 1985 to 1998. It was the replacement for the European Ford Granada line. Like its predecessor, the Scorpio was targeted at the executive car market. A variant known as the Merkur Scorpio was sold briefly on the North American market during the late 1980s.

Audi 100

Audi 100

The Audi 100 and Audi 200 are primarily mid-size/executive cars manufactured and marketed by the Audi division of the Volkswagen Group. The car was made from 1968 to 1997 across four generations (C1–C4), with a two-door model available in the first and second generation (C1-C2), and a five-door model available in the last three generations (C2–C4).

BMW 5 Series (E34)

BMW 5 Series (E34)

The BMW E34 is the third generation of the BMW 5 Series, which was produced from November 2, 1987, until 1996. Initially launched as a sedan in January 1988, the E34 also saw a "Touring" station wagon (estate) body style added in September 1992, a first for the 5 Series. BMW replaced the E34 with the E39 5 Series in December 1995, although E34 Touring models remained in production until June 1996.

Mercedes-Benz W201

Mercedes-Benz W201

The Mercedes-Benz W201 was the internal designation for the Mercedes 190 series sedans, a range of front-engine, rear drive, five passenger, four-door sedans manufactured over a single generation, from 1982 to 1993 as the company's first compact class automobile.

Cologne

Cologne

Cologne is the largest city of the German western state of North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) and the fourth-most populous city of Germany with 1.1 million inhabitants in the city proper and 3.6 million people in the urban region. Centered on the left (west) bank of the Rhine, Cologne is about 35 km (22 mi) southeast of NRW's state capital Düsseldorf and 25 km (16 mi) northwest of Bonn, the former capital of West Germany.

Ford Germany

Ford Germany

Ford-Werke GmbH is a German car manufacturer headquartered in Niehl, Cologne, North Rhine-Westphalia. It is a subsidiary of Ford Motor Company, which operates two large manufacturing facilities in Germany, a plant in Cologne and a plant in Saarlouis.

Cologne Body & Assembly

Cologne Body & Assembly

Cologne Body & Assembly is a Ford Motor Company automobile factory in the Nippes Merkenich district of Cologne, Germany, spanning 628,500 square feet.

Model overview

While offered as a five-door hatchback, the Merkur Scorpio was similar in appearance to the Mercury Sable. In comparison to the first-generation (1986-1991) Mercury Sable, the Scorpio was 4.5 inches shorter in length (2 inches shorter than the Ford Taurus), 1.3 inches narrower, and 2.7 inches longer in wheelbase; the two models were nearly identical in height.

Styled as a fastback, the Merkur Scorpio provided Lincoln-Mercury an opportunity to market a premium alternative to its traditional Lincoln Continental and Lincoln Town Car sedans with (far) better road manners.

Chassis specification

The Merkur Scorpio shares its rear-wheel drive Ford DE-1 chassis with its Ford namesake, configured as a long-wheelbase version of the Ford Sierra (extended from 102.7 inches to 108.7 inches).[6]

In contrast to American-designed rear-wheel drive Ford chassis (i.e. Fox, Panther), the DE-1 platform was fitted with four-wheel independent suspension. In one of the first vehicles sold in North America, the Merkur Scorpio was equipped with standard anti-lock brakes (ABS) and four-wheel disc brakes.[6] Within Ford Motor Company, the latter two features were previously exclusive to the Lincoln Mark VII.

In contrast to the XR4Ti, the Merkur Scorpio was fitted with a specific engine for North America. The model line was fitted exclusively with a 144hp 2.9L V6 (the largest engine of the Ford Scorpio). Shared with the Ford Ranger/Bronco II, the V6 was paired with a standard 5-speed manual transmission; a 4-speed overdrive automatic was offered as an option.

Body

In contrast to many of its European counterparts, the Scorpio was offered solely as a five-door hatchback (a sedan was not introduced until 1990). As with the Mercury Sable sedan, the Scorpio was designed with blacked-out B and C-pillars for a "floating-roof" effect). Closer in style to the Ford Taurus, the front fascia was designed with a minimal front grille opening.

While less extensive than the redevelopment of the XR4Ti, several changes were made to distinguish the Merkur Scorpio from its Ford counterpart. The rear fascia is unique to Merkur, styled with a full-width taillamp lens (similar to the Mercury Sable). With the exception of divisional badging, the front fascia was largely unchanged; Merkurs are fitted with modified foglamps and headlamps (in compliance with American lighting regulations). Along with standard two-tone lower body trim, the Merkur Scorpio received its own model-specific alloy wheels.

Sharing much of its interior with the Ford Scorpio, the Merkur Scorpio was solely offered in a five-passenger configuration.[7] In contrast to the Sable (or the Lincoln Continental or Town Car), the Scorpio was offered with power-reclining rear seats and a tilt-telescope steering column.[8]

Discover more about Model overview related topics

Mercury Sable

Mercury Sable

The Mercury Sable is a range of automobiles manufactured and marketed by the Mercury brand of Ford Motor Company. Introduced on December 26, 1985 as the replacement for the Mercury Marquis, the Sable marked the transition of the mid-size Mercury product range to front-wheel drive.

Ford Taurus (first generation)

Ford Taurus (first generation)

The first-generation Ford Taurus and Mercury Sable are automobiles produced by Ford as the first of six generations of the Ford Taurus and Mercury Sable. Launched on December 26, 1985, as a 1986 model, the front-wheel-drive Taurus was a very influential design that is credited with saving Ford from bankruptcy, bringing many innovations to the marketplace and starting the trend towards aerodynamic design for the American automakers in the North American market. Ford of Europe had launched the 1980s move to aerodynamic design for the company with the 1982 Ford Sierra.

Lincoln Continental

Lincoln Continental

The Lincoln Continental is a series of mid-sized and full-sized luxury cars produced by Lincoln, a division of the American automaker Ford Motor Company. The model line was introduced following the construction of a personal vehicle for Edsel Ford, who commissioned a coachbuilt 1939 Lincoln-Zephyr convertible, developed as a vacation vehicle to attract potential Lincoln buyers. In what would give the model line its name, the exterior was given European "continental" styling elements, including a rear-mounted spare tire.

Lincoln Town Car

Lincoln Town Car

The Lincoln Town Car is a model line of full-size luxury sedans that was marketed by the Lincoln division of the American automaker Ford Motor Company. Deriving its name from a limousine body style, Lincoln marketed the Town Car from 1981 to 2011, with the nameplate previously serving as the flagship trim of the Lincoln Continental. Produced across three generations for 30 model years, the Town Car was marketed directly against luxury sedans from Cadillac and Chrysler.

Anti-lock braking system

Anti-lock braking system

An anti-lock braking system (ABS) is a safety anti-skid braking system used on aircraft and on land vehicles, such as cars, motorcycles, trucks, and buses. ABS operates by preventing the wheels from locking up during braking, thereby maintaining tractive contact with the road surface and allowing the driver to maintain more control over the vehicle.

Pricing

At its launch, the Merkur Scorpio was sold with a base price of $23,390 (equivalent to $55,800 in 2021). Options included automatic transmission, power moonroof and Touring Package. Most North American Scorpios were sold with automatic transmission and the Touring Package which raised the sticker price to $26,405 (equivalent to $63,000 in 2021). Although smaller in size, the Scorpio rivaled the Lincoln Town Car in price.[7]

To attract customers to the model line, Lincoln-Mercury offered potential Scorpio customers a Guaranteed Resale Value Program, matching the resale value of the Scorpio to the Mercedes-Benz 190E.[4]

Discontinuation

On October 20, 1989, Ford announced it was ending imports of the Scorpio to the United States. As the XR4Ti had ended sales earlier in the year, the decision effectively closed Merkur; lasting only two model years longer than Edsel, it is among the shortest-lived American car brands in postwar history.

Coinciding with lower than anticipated sales (Ford had sought 15,000 sales a year for the brand[9]), Merkur fell victim to unstable exchange rates between the dollar and German mark, leading to increases in price. As passive safety regulations were to be adopted in 1990, the Scorpio was required to adopt automatic seatbelts or airbag(s). The Ford Scorpio was developed with neither feature, and passive safety compliance proved too expensive to justify the conversion cost of redeveloping the slow-selling model line for North American sale.

Following the discontinuation of the Merkur Scorpio, Ford of Europe expanded the Granada/Scorpio model line, introducing a sedan body style at the end of 1989. The Scorpio Mk I was produced through the 1994 model year.

Sales

Calendar Year American Sales
1987 5,178
1988 9,516
1989/1990 7,316

Source: "Merkur Scorpio", Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, (2023, January 26th), https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Merkur_Scorpio.

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See also
References
  1. ^ "Facilities | Ford Motor Company Newsroom". Archived from the original on 2010-09-02. Retrieved 2016-11-13.
  2. ^ "Ford Scorpio Merkur"
  3. ^ "1988 Merkur Brochure". oldcarbrochures.com. Retrieved 2019-05-11.
  4. ^ a b "History_4_Scorpio". www.merkurclub.net. Retrieved 2019-05-11.
  5. ^ "History_5_Facts". www.merkurclub.net. Retrieved 2019-05-11.
  6. ^ a b "1988 Merkur Brochure". oldcarbrochures.com. Retrieved 2019-05-11.
  7. ^ a b Koblenz, Jay (November 1988). "1989 Auto Guide". Black Enterprise. Earl G. Graves Publishing Co. Inc. p. 102.
  8. ^ "1988 Merkur Brochure". oldcarbrochures.com. Retrieved 2019-05-11.
  9. ^ "History_2_intro". www.merkurclub.net. Retrieved 2019-05-11.
External links

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