Last updated Dec 19, 2007
This car was originally purchased by my father in May/June of 1987 and has been in the family ever since. Currently has 84,000 miles on the clock and gets driven regularly. I've been contemplating doing some restoration on this one... the body is still very solid but the interior needs a little help in a few areas.
I rebuilt the transmission last year and installed a new radiator, coil, wires, changed all the fluids etc. Mobil 1 since 1990 or so and never any turbo issues.
In 1985, Ford of Europe began importing the Merkur XR4ti into the U.S. The Merkur is actually a German Ford Sierra XR4i, modified for the American market. The Sierra is Ford of Europe's intermediate, sized between the Escort and the Granada. In Germany, it competes with the small BMW and Mercedes models.
The XR4ti is the top-line sporty model, as you might suspect from its biplane rear spoiler and add-ons. In Germany it comes with a 150- hp, 2.8-liter V6 and will top 130 mph. For the American market, Ford takes the basic Sierra off the Ghent, Belgium, assembly line and then the Karmann works in Germany makes over 700 minor changes and installs the same 175-hp Brazilian-built 2.3 liter, turbocharged Four that's in the Turbo Thunderbird. According to Ford's engineers, the
turbocharged, fuel- injected, computer controlled Turbo 2.3 actually outperforms the European V6 right up to 130 mph. The Merkur's engine might not be something you'd want to work on yourself, but it is less exotic than the engine in something like a Mercedes or BMW.
A lot of fun can be had with a traditional front-engine/rear-drive chassis if it's well designed. The XR4ti's platform is. Excellent balance, minimal roll, sharp steering and plenty of grip from the Pirelli P6 tires make this a fun road car.
German designers are famous for attention to ergonomics, and the Merkur is an excellent example of typical German quality. The highly adjustable bucket seats provide lots of lumbar and side support, sumptuous leather, like a well-made German executive office chair.
The Merkur XR4ti was only imported between 1985 and 1989, making it a good candidate for collector status someday. The car is tough, beautiful, fast, and fairly priced. There is a lot of driving pleasure to be had from the XR4ti.
1986 Merkur XR4ti
GENERAL PERFORMANCE SPECS.
BASE PRICE (base model) $18,000
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: Germany
ENGINE TYPE: Fuel Injected, turbocharged (with water-cooled bearing), computer controlled, 2.3 liter, SOHC, 4 cylinder.
BORE x STROKE, mm: 96.0 x 79.4
DISPLACEMENT, cc: 2307
COMPRESSION RATIO: 8.0:1
Bhp @ rpm, net: 175 @ 5200 (145 @ 3800 for automatic)
TORQUE @ rpm, lb-ft: 195 @ 3800 (180 @ 3000 for auto)
TRANSMISSION: 5 speed manual (3 spd. auto)
Final Drive Ratio: 3.64:1
SUSPENSION, f/r: ind/ind
BRAKES, f/r: disc/drum
TIRES: Pirelli P6 (P195/60HR-15)
STEERING TYPE: rack & pinion (p)
TURNING CIRCLE, ft: 32.8 Turns, lock-to-lock: 3.6
LAYOUT: front engine, rear wheel drive
BODY/SEATS: 2 door w/ hatchback, 5 seats
WHEELBASE (in.): 102.7
TRACK, f/r: 57.2 / 57.8
CURB WEIGHT, (lbs) : 2920
FUEL CAPACITY, U.S. GAL.: 15.0
FUEL ECONOMY (EPA), mpg: 19
**** PERFORMANCE SPECIFICATIONS ****
0-60 mph, sec: 7 - 7.3
1/4 MILE (sec @ mph): 16.04 @ 85.38
EST. TOP SPEED: 132 mph
BRAKING (ft.)(60-0 mph): 127 ft.
Ford Audio system (worst system known to man!) -replaced
100% stock original except for audio system and K&N. I guess I did increase boost from 10 psi to 15 with a bleeder valve but I don't really count that as much of a 'mod'.
Alpine 6x9" speakers in rear deck
Polk Audio 4" speakers in stock dash location
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