Mercury Tracer

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Mercury Tracer
Mercury-Tracer-sedan.jpg
1993-1996 Mercury Tracer 4-door
Overview
Manufacturer Mazda (1987-1989)
Ford Motor Company (1991-1999)
Production 1987–1989, 1991-1999
Layout FF layout
Chronology
Predecessor Mercury Lynx
Successor Ford Focus (Mexico)

The Mercury Tracer is a compact car that was sold by the Mercury division of Ford Motor Company from 1987 to 1999. The replacement for the Mercury Lynx derived from the Ford Escort, the first generation of the Tracer is a modified version of the Asian-market Ford Laser. After 1991, the Tracer became the Mercury counterpart of the Ford Escort in North America. All three generations of the Tracer are based on variations of the Mazda 323/Protegé.

The 2000 Ford Focus would serve as a common replacement for both the Ford Escort and the Mercury Tracer.


First generation (1987–1989)[edit]

First generation
1st-Mercury-Tracer.jpg
Overview
Production 1987–1989
Assembly Hermosillo, Mexico
Hiroshima, Japan
Body and chassis
Class Subcompact
Body style 3-door hatchback
5-door station wagon
5-door hatchback
Related Ford Laser
Mazda 323
Powertrain
Engine 1.6 L Mazda B6 I4
Transmission 5-speed manual
3-speed Mazda F3A automatic
Dimensions
Wheelbase 94.7 in (2,410 mm)
Length Hatchback: 162.0 in (4,110 mm)
Wagon: 169.7 in (4,310 mm)
Width 65.2 in (1,660 mm)
Height Hatchback: 53.0 in (1,350 mm)
Wagon: 53.7 in (1,364 mm)
Mercury Tracer 5-door
Mercury Tracer wagon

The Tracer was introduced in 1987 for the 1988 model year. It was a rebadged version of the Ford Laser model already sold in Asia and Australia, which was itself a restyled Mazda 323. The 5-door hatchbacks for the US market were built in Hermosillo, Mexico, while those for the Canadian market were built in Taiwan by Ford Lio Ho, and the 3-door hatchbacks were assembled (along with the Mazda 323) in Hiroshima, Japan. The Tracer hatchback shared its bodyshell with its Laser counterpart, but the wagon was a distinct design based on the Laser hatchback, rather than the sedan, as was the case with the Meteor wagon.

Engines[edit]

  • 1.6 L B6 I4, 82 horsepower (61 kW)/92 ft·lbf (125 N·m)

Second generation (1991–1996)[edit]

Second generation
91-95 Mercury Tracer Wagon.jpg
Overview
Production 1991–1996
Assembly Hermosillo, Mexico
Body and chassis
Class Compact
Body style 4-door sedan
5-door station wagon
Related Ford Escort
Mazda 323
Mazda Protegé
Powertrain
Engine 1.9 L CVH I4
1.8 L Mazda BP I4
Transmission 5-speed M5 manual
4-speed F-4EAT automatic
Dimensions
Wheelbase 98.4 in (2500 mm)
Length Wagon: 171.3 in (4,351 mm)
Sedan: 170.9 in (4,341 mm)
Width 66.7 in (1,690 mm)
Height Wagon: 52.7 in (1,340 mm)
Wagon: 53.6 in (1,361 mm)
Curb weight 2498 lb (1133 kg)

Ford replaced the Tracer in 1991 with a twin of the Ford Escort, based on the Mazda 323's B platform. The Tracer LTS (which used the more powerful 1.8L Mazda engine) was on Car and Driver magazine's Ten Best list for 1991.

Engines[edit]

  • 1.9 L (1,859 cc) CVH I4, 88 hp (66 kW) 108 ft·lbf (146 N·m)
  • 1.8 L (1,839 cc) BP I4, 127 hp (95 kW) 114 ft·lbf (154 N·m) LTS

Trim levels[edit]

Sedan

  • base • 1991–1996
  • LTS • 1991–1994

Wagon

  • base • 1991–1996

Third generation (1997–1999)[edit]

Third generation
97-99 Mercury Tracer sedan.jpg
Overview
Production 1997–1999
Assembly Wayne, Michigan
Body and chassis
Body style 4-door sedan
5-door station wagon
Related Ford Escort
Mazda Protegé
Powertrain
Engine 2.0 L SPI 2000 I4
Transmission 5-speed IB5 manual
4-speed F-4EAT automatic
Dimensions
Wheelbase 98.4 in (2,500 mm)
Length Wagon: 172.7 in (4,387 mm)
Sedan: 174.7 in (4,440 mm)
Width 67.0 in (1,700 mm)
Height Sedan: 53.3 in (1,350 mm)
Wagon: 53.9 in (1,369 mm)
Mercury Tracer wagon

The Tracer and Escort were updated in 1997 with a redesigned exterior and interior, and a new engine. The platform remained the same as before.

The Tracer wagon largely retained the same body style, gaining only the new interior, front end & fascia, side-view mirrors, door handles, badging, and slightly restyled taillamps & reflectors.

In addition to GS and LS trims, there was also a Trio appearance package offered in 1998 and 1999 on the GS. The LS trim featured tachometers and alloy wheels along with optional leather interior, key-less entry and power windows/door locks.

All Tracer models were discontinued in 1999 along with the Escort wagon. Mercury sold 23,146[1] Tracers in its last model year. The final Mercury Tracer rolled off the assembly line on July 2, 1999.

Trim levels[edit]

Sedan

  • GS • 1997–1999
  • LS • 1997–1999

Wagon

  • LS • 1997–1999

Engines[edit]

Proposed 2011 revival[edit]

Mercury had announced that the new Ford Focus-based compact Mercury would be called the Tracer. This model of the Tracer would have started production and been sold as a 2011 model. The Tracer was cancelled along with the cancellation of the Mercury brand in 2010. It has been rumored that the Tracer will be replaced by a Focus based Lincoln. Reports suggest that, if produced, this model may be the production version of the C concept shown in 2008.[2][3]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Ford Motor Company Sets New Full Year U.S. Sales Record". Theautochannel.com. Retrieved 2009-04-28. 
  2. ^ Ireson, Nelson (2010-06-02). "Lincoln Plans 7 New Models, Including First-Ever C-Segment Vehicle". Motorauthority.com. Retrieved 2012-06-24. 
  3. ^ David Philips [1] (2010-02-15). "Mercury to revive Tracer name on new compact". Detroit News. Retrieved 2010-02-22. Ford Motor Co.'s Mercury brand ... will market a new compact car based on the forthcoming 2012 Ford Focus, the automaker confirmed this week. And Mercury will dust off an old name - Tracer - in joining the latest rush to sell smaller vehicles in the United States.