The Merkur XR4Ti was a short-lived United States and Canada-market version of the European Ford Sierra XR4i. It was the brainchild of then Ford Vice President Bob Lutz. It was sold in the US from 1985 to 1989 and was the first vehicle of Ford's Merkur range, followed in 1988 by the Merkur Scorpio. Ford had hopes of importing its top European models under this brand, including the Sierra Sapphire but the venture was ultimately unsuccessful due to branding issues, increasing Deutsche Mark exchange rates, generally poor marketing tactics and the introduction in 1990 of new safety requirements such as airbags that would have increased retooling and production costs. The XR4Ti was a vehicle ahead of it's time that fell prey to very poor marketing. The car itself has a lot of torque and is a lot faster than it looks. It was rear wheel drive in an era of front wheel drive cars as well.
Ash's XR4Ti[edit | edit source]
In the Misfile webcomic, Ash Upton has a 1989 XR4Ti that has been modified quite a bit, including a near complete front end replacement of the exterior with headlights, grill and hood of a Ford Sierra Cosworth substituted for the stock XR4Ti parts.
As well as the Cosworth parts, Ash has added ground effects for better stability, lowered the whole car, stiffened the shocks, increased the turbo compression, added an intercooler, cold air induction, and replaced the stock exhaust system with cat back dual exhaust ports ending in high flow mufflers.