Make sure you are sitting down for this one… We all now know that Datsun is making a comeback in coming years, but Ford now plans to resurrect an old timer too. Ford just announced that the once maligned Merkur nameplate will return for the 2013 model year.
For those of you that are too young or just don’t remember it, there were two Merkur models built from 1985 through 1989: the XR4TI and Scorpio. The former was the maker’s coupe and the latter was the sedan. The XR4TI was actually a relatively fast car, bearing a 175-horsepower, 2.3-liter turbocharged engine. Unfortunately, Merkur failed due to terrible build quality which caused them to be on the side of the road more often than they were on the road – I know, I owned an ’86 XR4TI.
Ford has already procured a facility in Germany to manufacture these cars and they will not be rebadged versions of European Fords. The XR4TI will hit the market around Christmas time bearing the ECOboost 2.0-liter engine, which will pump out a massive 286 horsepower and 300 pound-feet of torque, after some minor upgrades that Ford is staying quiet on. It will be mated to a six-speed transmission and Ford is exploring the possibility of all-wheel drive, but nothing is in the works for it yet.
The Scorpio will follow a few months later, as it hits showrooms in early-2013, bearing a slightly less impressive 3.5-liter V-6 – the same engine that the base 2013 Taurus will have – that cranks out 288 horsepower.
Both vehicles are still in development, but Ford plans to unveil them at the New York Auto Show on April 5th. Ford also made it quite clear that its intentions with these vehicles are to compete with fellow German automakers BMW and Mercedes, so expect these models to bear very advanced features. Quite a lofty goal for a once failed car company.
Hit the Jump for the Press Release.
UPDATE 04/02/2012: In case you hadn’t realized it yet, April Fool’s!! This information is 100% false and was created for our amusement on this wonderful day!
Merkur Name will Return at the 2012 New York International Auto Show
Releasing two models for the 2013 year, the XR4TI and Scorpio.
XR4TI features an upgraded version of the 2.0-liter ECOboost engine and Scorpio features a 3.5-liter V-6.
Aggressive styling that places it in a position to compete with other luxury imports, providing direct competitions to BMW and Mercedes.
Many options not available on U.S.-built Ford models will be available on Merkur models.
Ford Motor Company has been in the planning phase for resurrecting the Merkur line up, a German-built luxury division that it closed following the 1989 model year. Merkur’s debut is planned for April 4, 2012 at 1:35 p.m. at the New York International Auto Show and a full press conference will follow.
The initial two models will include the two original Merkurs, the XR4TI and Scorpio. Both models are going to be present at the unveiling and will look almost nothing like their originals. The XR4TI is a two-seat hard-top vehicle featuring Ford’s powerful 2.0-liter ECOboost engine. With the help of Ford or Europe, the 2.0-liter engine will produce 286 horsepower and 300 ft.-lbs. of torque. The XR4TI will come with a six-speed transmission and rear-wheel drive. An all-wheel-drive system is in development.
The Merkur Scorpio is a four-door sedan, much like its predecessor, but with styling that is distinctively German. It will feature Ford’s 3.5-liter V-6 engine and produce 288 horsepower. The Scorpio will come as a rear-wheel-drive vehicle and feature a six-speed automatic transmission from ZF.
Both models and all subsequent Merkur models will be completely original and will not be vehicles farmed from Ford of Europe or any subsidiaries. They will be 100% manufactured in Germany by Ford of Europe and shipped to the U.S. The XR4TI will debut in December 2012 and the Scorpio will debut in early-2013.