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SEE ALSOL Mercury Buyer's Guide

The 1995 Mercury Mystique is one of Ford Motor Company's newest models. Like so many automotive, electronic and home-use items today, it is an international product. This is nothing new for Ford as it has had a strong international presence since 1911 when it opened a factory in England to assemble its Model T's. In 1925 Ford expanded its overseas operations with the opening of a plant in Germany. Although Ford's European facilities originally assembled American designs, they soon began making cars for their specific markets. Some of these cars were even imported into the United States.

The recent implementation of the "Ford 2000" plan has solidified its international corporate image. The company has reorganized to allow all branches to work together as one. Development of new models for the Ford family is international and cooperative, allowing them to focus their resources for efficient production. Design takes place in five design centers around the world, and new Ford products will use common platforms worldwide with modifications to meet the requirements of local markets.

One of the first fruits of this methodology is a compact four-door sedan known in Europe as the Ford Mondeo, and in the U.S. as the Ford Contour and the Mercury Mystique. True to the Ford 2000 plan, the basic underpinnings of all three cars are shared, but detail modifications in styling and appointments serve to differentiate them. The Mystique and Contour are manufactured in Kansas City and Cuautitlan, Mexico, while the Mondeo is assembled in Genk, Belgium.

APPEARANCE: Mercury has traditionally been Ford's affordable luxury line, and the Mystique is styled to reflect this heritage. In developing the final design stylists working for Ford in Italy, Germany, California and Michigan developed hundreds of prototypes reflecting both American and European concepts. The Mystique is probably the most American-looking of the trio. Its overall styling is quietly understated, but it utilizes the cab-forward design to provide a commodious cabin and a sizable trunk with low liftover. The LS has a monochrome finish with black trim around the windows and a bright grille. Its alloy wheels are shod with Goodyear Eagle P205/60R15 M+S tires.

COMFORT: The Mystique LS compares very well in the comfort and appointment categories with similarly-sized luxury cars and costs significantly less. For an MSRP of under $21,000 the LS is equipped with leather seating, driver's power adjustable seat, power windows, mirrors, and locks with remote control, cruise control, premium sound and power moonroof. The seats are comfortable, all controls are well-placed and back-lighted for easy use at night. The heating/air conditioning system has rear seat ducting and keeps the cabin comfortable, while the premium sound system is top notch.

SAFETY: The chassis of the Mystique is of safety-cell unibody construction. Dual front airbags, anti- submarining seats, three-point seat belts with adjustable shoulder height and a belt grabber and four- wheel ventilated disc brakes are standard equipment. ABS with traction control is available.

ROADABILITY: The Mystique delivers a smooth and comfortable ride. Its front and rear suspensions are independent and are mounted on subframes to reduce noise and harshness. The optional anti-lock brakes and traction control are integrated to provide added control in varying weather and road surface conditions. Also there's a computer-controlled Adaptive Damping System that automatically changes each shock absorber's resistance to ensure a smoother ride on varying road surfaces. All around vision is very good, and excellent insulation and weather stripping make wind and road noise nil at highway speeds. The engine is quiet except when accelerating.

PERFORMANCE: Our Mystique LS was equipped with the optional all-aluminum Duratec V-6 engine. This new 170 horsepower, 2.5 liter, 24 valve, dual overhead cam unit was made with a patented casting process used by Ford and Cosworth in Formula One and Indy car engines. This small, light, self-adjusting engine is designed to need a tuneup only every 100,000 miles. Routine replacement of fluid and filters is still required on a regular basis. It is matched to a smooth new electronically-controlled, 4-speed automatic transmission and produces a broad band of power.

CONCLUSIONS: The new 1995 Mercury Mystique is the latest product of Ford Motor Company's world approach to automotive manufacturing. It is a true world-class car of the nineties.


       Base Price             $  15,230  
       Price As Tested        $  20,975
       Engine Type            V-6, dohc - 24-v, mpfi  
       Engine Size            2.5 liter/155 cid        
       Horsepower             170 @ 6250  
       Torque (ft/lbs)        165 @ 4250  
       Wheelbase/Length       107"/184"
       Transmission           four-speed ECautomatic w/overdrive
       Curb Weight            2850
       Pounds per Horsepower  17
       Fuel Capacity          14
       Fuel Requirement       Unleaded regular (87 oct)              
       Tires                  Goodyear Eagle GT+4 P205/60R 15 M+S
       Brakes                 antilock-optional   vented discs
       Drive Train            Front engine/front drive                
       EPA Economy - miles per gallon   
         city/highway/observed        22/29/24.3
       0 to 60 mph                    8.6 sec
       1/4 mi (E.T.)                  16.6 sec 
       Coefficient of Drag  (Cd)      .31