Turbo With the Top Down: 1994 Mercury Capri XR2

Oct 23, 2020 2 min read
Turbo With the Top Down: 1994 Mercury Capri XR2

Most folks wouldn't pick the Mercury Capri as their first choice for an early '90s roadster, but we thing the XR2 variant is at least worth a look.

In 1989, Mazda introduced the Miata, sparking a renaissance of traditional sports roadsters that continues until this very day. Miata fans are more rabid than ever, and for good reason – the Miata is a terrific car.

Image Via Craigslist

When the Miata concept was still fresh and exciting, however, many manufacturers wanted a piece of the pie, including Ford. That's when they did something wholly unusual.

Ford turned to their Australian division, and their Mazda 323-based Ford Capri. Hey, if you can't beat 'em, join 'em, right? The car would be sold here as the Mercury Capri, and for a short while in the 1990s, they were relatively commonplace on the roads here.

Image Via Craigslist

Of course, the Mercury Capri wasn't quite a direct competitor to the Miata. For one thing, it was front wheel drive, with a greater focus on comfort and luxury than pure sports car thrills. It even had a pair of jump seats in the rear for occasional passengers.

That's not to say that the Capri was slow, though. In fact, there was a turbocharged version, dubbed the XR2. The XR2 was powered by a turbocharged DOHC 1.6 liter Mazda four cylinder making a very respectable 132 horsepower and 136 lb/ft of torque.

Image Via Craigslist

That was about 15 horsepower more than the Miata, although this was more or less a wash as the Capri weighed roughly 250 pounds more than the sprightly Mazda. Still, the Capri stands as an interesting automotive footnote, one that's worth a second look in a world filled with more or less identical jellybean-shaped crossovers.

We found this very clean, very purple example for sale on Craigslist in Buffalo, New York for $5,500.It has just 66,000 miles and appears to be in terrific shape. If you want to own a Mercury Capri of this generation, you could do a whole lot worse than this one.

Great! Next, complete checkout for full access to Motorious.
Welcome back! You've successfully signed in.
You've successfully subscribed to Motorious.
Success! Your account is fully activated, you now have access to all content.
Success! Your billing info has been updated.
Your billing was not updated.