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NINETY EIGHT REGENCY

Ford's BMW - 1985-1989 Merkur XR4Ti

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I have a hard time seeing these as luxury cars.  They look like slightly sporty Ford Escorts or Tempos to me. 

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I never saw the appeal to these.  I never quite understood  the styling theme. I never once thought "European" sporty styling and I certainly did not see those as luxury.

I always thought: "weird" and "butt ugly".      In today's lingo: "#overrated" and "ugly as phoque"...and 30 years later, I still think that!!!

Nice video though.

I like this guy.  There is something about him that annoys me, but there is something about him that I cant wait to see what he reviews next. I seem to always like his topics and I gravitate to him. 

 

Edited by oldshurst442

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The Quirky Euro Car Ford built that is neither attractive to Americans or European enough to Europe to cover massive sales.

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1 hour ago, Drew Dowdell said:

I have a hard time seeing these as luxury cars.  They look like slightly sporty Ford Escorts or Tempos to me. 

Yeah, the Sierra this was based on was basically Europe's midsize Ford family sedan of the mid to late 80s... many body styles, with some performance variants. Not a luxury car. 

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The Scorpio model was actually a fairly well done and definitely a good entry level luxury car of the time.  The XR4ti, was more of a pedestrian model with some decent performance.

I liked both models, but I am an unabashed Ford fan, so.... there is that.

My ex-wife's grandparents had the Scorpio and did not like the car after a while because it wasn't Cadillac soft but did say that if they were younger they might have liked the sportiness of it.

 

Merkur Scorpio.jpg

Edited by lengnert

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The Sierra and Scorpio were RWD models, in an era when midsize and large mainstream sedans in Europe and the US were all transitioning to dull FWD appliances.    There were some pretty serious performance versions of Sierra that we didn't get in the US Merkur line, like the RS Cosworth, available in RWD and AWD.

Cosworth800px.jpg

Edited by Robert Hall
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On 2/16/2019 at 8:23 PM, Drew Dowdell said:

I have a hard time seeing these as luxury cars.  They look like slightly sporty Ford Escorts or Tempos to me. 

For someone like me who liked really sporty small cars they were something to be reckoned with...

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Yeah, the RS Cosworth was definitely a screamer for the time and is still regarded very highly to this day!

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1 minute ago, Robert Hall said:

The Sierra and Scorpio were RWD models, in an era when midsize and large mainstream sedans in Europe and the US were all transitioning to dull FWD appliances.    There were some pretty serious performance versions of Sierra that we didn't get in the US Merkur line, like the RS Cosworth, available in RWD and AWD.

Cosworth800px.jpg

And lots of built examples running around the US back in the day. Father of one of my sCCA buddies had one that regualrly shamed V8 Mustangs and Camaros.

Just now, lengnert said:

Yeah, the RS Cosworth was definitely a screamer for the time and is still regarded very highly to this day!

Ohhh absolutely.

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A buddy of mine in grad school in the mid 90s had a rusty XR4ti in white and gray two tone...I remember it being fun... 

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1 minute ago, Robert Hall said:

A buddy of mine in grad school in the mid 90s had a rusty XR4ti in white and gray two tone...I remember it being fun... 

They were the cats ass on sticky tires on an autocross course. Two beater versions of this were built into dirt track cars at one of our local stock car tracks that has since gone bust....they were quite dominant back in the day.

Entire video is worth watching, but fast forward to about the ten minute mark....these cars were a force to be reckoned with.

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1549772510_a7c3aef1-6c6a-43cf-abfb-1835c

1549772537_25613d52-896c-4fa8-8503-23efb

https://forums.vwvortex.com/showthread.php?7715962-I-finished-putting-together-my-motor-(turbo-Ford-Cosworth-content)/page13

Build thread for above car....

28685422658_a0cafa0fc5_h.jpg

Another Ford from build thread....build thread is worthwhile...

42740785984_abcebe8770_h.jpg

Another shot from build thread....

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10 minutes ago, A Horse With No Name said:

They were the cats ass on sticky tires on an autocross course. Two beater versions of this were built into dirt track cars at one of our local stock car tracks that has since gone bust....they were quite dominant back in the day.

Entire video is worth watching, but fast forward to about the ten minute mark....these cars were a force to be reckoned with.

Block's car was an Escort RS Cosworth, which had quite the performance reputation in Europe...it was the top stolen car in the UK for a long time, I've read.  Alas, Block's car burned to the ground last year. 

Also, IIRC, I've read that Ford offered a Sierra w/ the 5.0 V8 briefly in South Africa. 

Edited by Robert Hall
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9 minutes ago, Robert Hall said:

Block's car was an Escort RS Cosworth, which had quite the performance reputation in Europe...it was the top stolen car in the UK for a long time, I've read.  Alas, Block's car burned to the ground last year. 

Also, IIRC, I've read that Ford offered a Sierra w/ the 5.0 V8 briefly in South Africa. 

Yes, it was a higher performance version. I posted this to show that general series of cars were not just tarted up Escorts....sad that it burned to the ground.

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12 minutes ago, A Horse With No Name said:

1549772510_a7c3aef1-6c6a-43cf-abfb-1835c

1549772537_25613d52-896c-4fa8-8503-23efb

https://forums.vwvortex.com/showthread.php?7715962-I-finished-putting-together-my-motor-(turbo-Ford-Cosworth-content)/page13

Build thread for above car....

28685422658_a0cafa0fc5_h.jpg

Another Ford from build thread....build thread is worthwhile...

42740785984_abcebe8770_h.jpg

Another shot from build thread....

And of the three cars sitting there I would take the XR4ti every time!  
That is absolutely the most interesting styling of the three and at least the equal performer!
I wouldn't doubt it is the most coveted and valuable (my opinion and not supported by any research), as well.

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E30 BMW for me....but I wouldn't kick any of the three out of the garage.

The difference is that Ford has continued to build exciting and affordable cars and BMW has continued to build....cars...

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13 minutes ago, A Horse With No Name said:

Yes, it was a higher performance version. I posted this to show that general series of cars were not just tarted up Escorts....sad that it burned to the ground.

Yes, they had nothing in common w/ Escorts which were small FWD models then.   Though the Escort RS Cosworth was quite the hot hatch, kind of the Focus RS of it's day..

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7 minutes ago, Robert Hall said:

Yes, they had nothing in common w/ Escorts which were small FWD models then.   Though the Escort RS Cosworth was quite the hot hatch, kind of the Focus RS of it's day..

I would so rock a Focus RS.

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17 minutes ago, A Horse With No Name said:

E30 BMW for me....but I wouldn't kick any of the three out of the garage.

The difference is that Ford has continued to build exciting and affordable cars and BMW has continued to build....cars...

I was very close to buying an E30 M3 in '91.  The price was right, and yes, even though I thought that highly of the XR4ti I was definitely a big fan of the 'lil Bimmer.

Two things held me back.  The ride of the M3 was exceptionally harsh and the guy selling the car was a prick (a local Euro pre-owned small lot).  He didn't think it was the "car for me" when I mentioned the ride.  He also alluded to me not being able to afford it.... so I promptly went out and bought a pre-owned Lincoln Continental (better ride obviously, and one of the best cars I have ever owned) for $5K more.

Edited by lengnert
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Just now, lengnert said:

I was very close to buying an E30 M3 in '91.  The price was tight, and yes, even though I thought that highly of the XR4ti I was definitely a big fan of the 'lil Bimmer.

Two things held me back.  The ride of the M3 was exceptionally harsh and the guy selling the car was a prick (a local Euro pre-owned small lot).  He didn't think it was the "car for me" when I mentioned the ride.  He also alluded to me not being able to afford it.... so I promptly went out and bought a pre-owned Lincoln Continental (better ride obviously, and one of the best cars I have ever owned) for $5K more.

I have thoughts about buying a Continental. Given Luxury car depreciation used ones can be quite the affordable cruiser.

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6 minutes ago, lengnert said:

I was very close to buying an E30 M3 in '91.  The price was right, and yes, even though I thought that highly of the XR4ti I was definitely a big fan of the 'lil Bimmer.

 

I liked the E30 M3...I had an E36 M3 back in the late 90s-early 00s, was a lot of fun. 

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3 minutes ago, Robert Hall said:

I liked the E30 M3...I had an E36 M3 back in the late 90s-early 00s, was a lot of fun. 

We will never see small sporty cars like this again...

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9 minutes ago, A Horse With No Name said:

We will never see small sporty cars like this again...

Sad but true...manual transmission, straight 4 or straight 6...that was when BMW really had their performance car game on high, IMO...they weren't luxury cars, but driver's cars.  the more recent M cars are more powerful and faster, but I doubt if they are more fun than the older, simpler cars.

Edited by Robert Hall
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The Merkur Scorpio was slightly more credible as a luxury car if only because of the super plasticy Mercury Sable sitting in the same showroom. Still, most customers opted for the much more stylish (for the time) Sable than they did the Scorpio. 

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