A Brief Look at the Mercury Lynx

The Early Days of the Mercury Lynx

The Mercury Lynx was a compact vehicle produced by the Mercury division of Ford Motor Company from 1981 to 1987. The car was a rebranded version of the Ford Escort and was sold in both hatchback and wagon configurations. The Lynx was designed primarily for the North American market and was the Mercury brand’s first compact car in several years when it was introduced in 1981.

The first-generation Mercury Lynx was based on the platform of the second-generation Ford Escort, sharing many of its parts and features. Its exterior design was largely unchanged from the Escort, with differences being limited to hood, grille, and taillight designs. The Lynx was available in both base and more upscale L models, with the latter featuring more amenities such as power windows and locks, an AM/FM radio, and a 5-speed manual transmission.

The Lynx was powered by a variety of inline-four engines throughout its production run. The earliest models featured a 1.6-liter engine producing 69 horsepower, while later models were available with a 1.9-liter engine producing 79 horsepower. All Lynx models featured front-wheel drive and offered either a 4-speed manual or 3-speed automatic transmission.

The Second Generation Lynx

The second-generation Mercury Lynx was introduced in 1984, with production continuing until 1987. This generation of Lynx was built on a new platform and had a significantly updated exterior design. The updates included a more modern front end treatment, as well as a revised rear section and new alloy wheels. The interior was also updated with new seats and instrument panel design.

The second-generation Lynx shared its platform and mechanical components with the Ford Escort, but had more distinct styling features that helped set it apart. The car was also available in both 3-door and 5-door hatchback configurations as well as a 5-door station wagon.

The second-generation Lynx was powered by a 1.9-liter engine producing 88 horsepower and 108 pound-feet of torque. Available transmissions included a 5-speed manual or optional 3-speed automatic. A high-performance Lynx model, known as the Lynx XR3, was also offered. It featured a more powerful 1.6-liter engine producing 115 horsepower and sporty additions such as firmer suspension and larger brakes.

The End of the Lynx

The Mercury Lynx was produced for just seven years, with the final models leaving the factory in 1987. While the Lynx never achieved the success and reputation of its more popular Ford Escort sibling, it did help establish Mercury as a serious competitor in the compact car segment.

Over its production run, the Lynx underwent a series of incremental updates, reflecting changes in technology and consumer demand for more amenities and safety features. The car was discontinued due to stagnant sales and increased competition from foreign automakers.

Today, the Mercury Lynx enjoys a loyal following among collectors and enthusiasts. Its simple, functional design and reliable mechanicals have helped it remain a popular choice for those seeking an affordable classic car.


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