1987 Merkur XR4TI

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The Merkur is one of those anomalies that were it not for my friend Pat who owned one, I may have never had the pleasure.  The car turns: boys to men, passive to decisive, doubters to believers.  Pat was never a car guy in the traditional sense, he was all sports.  When you are a car guy you are all cars.  Rarely do I find the two intertwined.  But despite Pat’s shortcomings in the buff books, he always managed to have cool rides.  Jeep CJ-7, Saab 99, some old anchor I can’t quite remember and the XR4TI.  Most of them stick shifts.

Per college usual, when he owned the Merkur for a spell, we started the party early and then decided to head out for grub.  I was seated behind Pat who was driving… or was I shotgun… can’t really remember but I guess then again, it doesn’t matter.  The point is, Pat was driving.  Should he have been?  Like I said, the point is Pat was driving.  
Pat was never in a hurry behind the wheel unless we were pushing the limits for some stupid testosterone reason.  He drove methodical and maybe a bit detached.  Which is why the move he made that faithful food coma directive, solidified my desire to own this car.  It won’t due justice to try to describe the move in detail.  So let’s just say, somebody blew through their red light and Pat Jedi-mind-tricked the XR4 hard right and around the car as it slammed on the brakes to avoid us.  All this before any of us “car guys” could even react.  It was brilliant. If I didn’t buy him dinner, I should have.

On eBay in San Mateo, California with no reserve, 133K miles on the clock.  It looks nice.

December 4, 2011 – No reserve only netted $1,125.
“Selling for NO RESERVE. Final bid wins the car…

If you found this ad then you probably know about this car.  A great car to have fun with or restore. Rare black 1987 Merkur XR4TI with 5 speed and dual wing. Purchased new at Sunnyvale Lincoln in California and owned in the Bay Area. Still have the original owners manuals and keys.  Just dont have the time lately to drive her due to the new baby.  She is a blast to drive and her power is amazing for a 4 cylinder 2.3 turbocharged motor. The turbo really makes her go fast 🙂

She has a lot of the optional equipment: Leather, sunroof, heated seats, 5 speed, and dual rear wing. Check out the pics and youtube videos below.

Recently got the car pulled out of storage. Parked for over 2 years and owned by a woman. Never raced or tracked. Car is all stock and unmodified. Just did some work to get her road worthy again. Here is a list of the work:

*New front brakes and sensors oem pads
*Oil change
*New water pump
*New battery
*Recently replaced truck

She runs and drives great. Starts right up every time. Motor and transmission are healthy. Shifts smoothly in each gear.  All the lights, signals, horn, radio, and windows are working.

She does have a few imperfections on the body- both front fenders trims around wheel well broken, rear wing crack on both sides (common), dings on body and normal paint chips on body.  The fuel gauge works intermittently. AC blows warm and light turns on but air needs a recharge and check.  Dash has some cracks. Leather front seats are cracked and new seat covers were put on. Windshield has a crack in middle. Odometer not working and mileage is not accurate.

Heres more info about the car:

EnginesThe XR4Ti came with one engine, the 2.3 liter turbocharged, in-line, fuel injected ‘Lima’ four cylinder using an EEC-IV computer. The 4-cylinder engine was generally rated at 145 hp (108 kW) when mated with an automatic transmission (8 to 10 lbf/in² [55 to 70 kPa] boost), and 175 hp (130 kW) when matched with the 5-speed manual transmission (12 to 14 lb (6 kg). boost). This engine is the same that as what is found in the SVO Mustang and the Thunderbird Turbo Coupe of the time, though the SVO Mustang and Thunderbird Turbo Coupe differed by having an intercooler and different EECIV programming.

The XR4Ti options included heated seats, leather seats, power windows, power door locks and a moonroof (retractable, tinted glass), with heated power mirrors coming equipped as a standard item. Some were sold with crank windows (very few, in actuality) and a solid roof but most came with everything but the leather seats.

In its short life, the XR4Ti saw some minor changes either by design or by implemented TSB. Examples include: uprated heater cores, larger rear hatch glass, improved steering rack, upgraded dash construction etc. Many of these parts were taken from the Sierra Mk.II body shell which was only sold in continental Europe with some being Merkur specific parts. Most of these changes occurred in the 1987 model year.

The top speed of the manual transmission XR4Ti 1985-87 was 140 mph (230 km/h). The bi-plane rear spoiler was changed to a single spoiler for the 1988-1989 cars; it actually increased the drag coefficient compared to the bi-plane spoiler of the earlier cars which have a coefficient of 0.32.

Car & Driver tests for the XR4Ti reported 0-60 mph times from 7 seconds flat and as high 7.9 seconds and 1/4 mile times at around 15.7 seconds. Later tests by Car & Driver showed 7.8 seconds for the 0-60 mph times and they mentioned the press car might have been a ringer which was common at the time. In their test data, they initially stated the car came with a limited slip differential which was a misprint, at the time there were no LSD’s available in either the American Merkur XR4Ti or its sister car the Europe-only XR4i. It wasn’t until the introduction of the European only XR4x4 and Cosworth Sierra that an LSD was offered from the factory.”

4 Responses

  1. Empm

    My brother Jonathan bought one of these new off the showroom floor. It was a later model with the single wing, monochromatic red. Sharp car. It spontaneously combusted in my other brothers driveway. Apparently it’s not too uncommon.

  2. EMPM

    My brother Jonathan bought one of these new off the showroom floor. It was a later model with the single wing, monochromatic red. Sharp car. It spontaneously combusted in my other brothers driveway. Apparently it’s not too uncommon.

  3. Ray ward

    Had an 85 xr4ti 5 speed single spoiler ran terrific had it up to 165 mph in Montana then lost it to crooked cops and judge in Bozeman MT , over 15. YRS.ago I miss the car . It was fun to drive with a 5 speed. Coming from Germany it was a great runner

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