A Brief Look at the Mercury Bobcat

The Mercury Bobcat was introduced in 1974 as a subcompact car for the American market. It was based on the Ford Pinto and was initially categorized as a hatchback. Throughout its history, the Bobcat underwent several changes, with its production span ranging from 1974 to 1980, making it a discontinued vehicle model today. In this article, we will take a deep dive into the history and evolution of the Mercury Bobcat.

First Generation (1974-1978)

The first-generation Bobcat model was produced between 1974 and 1978, with a total of 449,890 units manufactured. It was designed to have better fuel efficiency than its predecessors, while also being compact and affordable. The car was sold as a 2-door sedan, 3-door hatchback, and 2-door station wagon, with a 2.3L four-cylinder engine.

In 1975, the Bobcat underwent an extreme change with the introduction of a V6 engine in place of the previous four-cylinder engine. This was due to the fact that the car’s original engine did not meet the emissions requirements that the United States government set in place in the 1970s. Ford was looking for an engine that would meet the standards and be able to compete in the market, which then led to the Mustang and Maverick receiving the same engine change as the Bobcat.

In 1976, the Bobcat received a minor facelift to improve the car’s appearance. Notable changes include a new grille, quarter windows, taillights, and front and rear fenders. The wagon model was discontinued in this year, however.

Second Generation (1979-1980)

The second generation of the Bobcat was produced between 1979 and 1980, with a total production of 111,359 units. Unlike the first generation, this model was only produced as a 3-door hatchback and station wagon, with a 2.3L four-cylinder engine. The car underwent several changes during this phase, such as a more powerful engine, and a change from the four-speed manual transmission to a five-speed manual.

This generation of the Bobcat received a redesign of the front end that included new headlights, grille, and bumper design. Additionally, a new instrument panel was introduced, and a new exterior colour, called “Dark Explosion”, was added to the lineup.

Notable Variations

The Mercury Bobcat was an extremely versatile car that was produced with a wide range of variations. Some notable variations include:

– Bobcat Runabout (1975): Introduced in 1975, the Runabout was a hatchback model that boasted high fuel efficiency and compact design. It was only produced for one year and was later replaced by the Mercury Capri II.

– Bobcat Villager (1974-1976): The Villager was the station wagon version of the Bobcat, produced from 1974 to 1976. It had a four-cylinder engine and was available as a base model or a luxury model.

– Bobcat XR7 (1978-1980): The XR7 was a sporty version of the Bobcat with a V6 engine, unique exterior graphics, and alloy wheels. It was only available in the 1978 and 1979 model years.

RunBidSell Insights

The Mercury Bobcat was a versatile car that had a production period of six years, with a total production of 561,249 units. It was produced in several body types and underwent significant changes during its lifetime. The first generation was introduced in 1974, followed by a second generation that lasted from 1979 to 1980. The Bobcat will always remain a unique piece of automotive history.


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