Results 1 to 12 of 12

Thread: Ford Probe (2nd gen) 1992-1997

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Posts
    2,966

    Ford Probe (2nd gen) 1992-1997

    The Ford Probe was a liftback coupé produced by Ford, introduced in 1988 and produced until 1997. The Probe was the result of Ford's collaboration with its longtime Japanese partner, Mazda, and both generations of Probe were derived from the front-wheel drive Mazda G platform that underpinned the Mazda Capella.

    The Probe succeeded the Ford EXP, and the instrument cluster of the first-generation Probe and pop-up headlight mechanisms were borrowed from the FC RX-7.

    Based on the Mazda MX-6 as a sport compact coupe, the Probe was intended to fill the market niche formerly occupied by the Capri in Europe, and it was originally intended to be the fourth generation Ford Mustang in the North American market as a direct competitor with the Acura Integra, Nissan 200SX, and the Toyota Celica. During that time, Ford's marketing team had deemed that a front-wheel drive platform (borrowed Mazda GD and GE platforms) would have lower costs for production, and also because the platform had been gaining popularity with consumers.

    Mustang fans objected to the front-wheel drive configuration, Japanese engineering, and lack of a V8, so Ford began work on a new design for the Mustang instead. On March 17, 1997, Ford announced the discontinuation of the Probe.

    Second generation (1992–1997)
    The Ford and Mazda design teams merged once again to give the Ford Probe a complete redesign for the 1993 model year. As before, the Probe was to share its under-structure with Mazda's MX-6 and 626. Mazda engineered the engine, transmission, and chassis, while Ford engineered the body and interior. Technically, the second generation Probe is 60% Mazda and 40% Ford. Despite the car being extended 2 inches and widened 4 inches, it was 125 pounds lighter than the first generation Probe. The second generation Probe was introduced in August 1992 as a 1993 model. As first planned during 1992, it finally went on sale in Europe in the spring of 1994, filling the gap left there by Ford in that market sector since the demise of the Capri seven years earlier. The Capri had regularly been one of Britain's 10 best selling cars throughout the 1970s, but its popularity declined in the early 1980s as Ford launched high performance versions of the Fiesta, Escort and Sierra hatchbacks. Such was the falling demand for this type of car that by 1986, when the end of Capri production was announced, Ford decided against launching a direct replacement.

    The second-generation Probe was designed by a team led by Mimi Vandermolen, who led the interior design of the 1986 Ford Taurus. In 1987, Vandermolen became the first female designer to be the design executive of small cars for an automobile manufacturer, and Vandermolen designed the Probe to improve the driving experience for women, stating "If I can solve all the problems inherent in operating a vehicle for a woman, that'll make it that much easier for a man to use."

    However, the late 1980s and early 1990s saw the sales of affordable sports cars recover, first with a rising demand for Japanese built models like the Honda Prelude, Nissan Silvia, Mitsubishi Eclipse, and Toyota Celica, and then with the Volkswagen Corrado and the Vauxhall/Opel Calibra from Ford's direct competitor General Motors. By 1992, Ford had decided that there was now justifiable demand in Europe for a new affordable sports coupe to be launched.

    Ford had been hoping to sell around 20,000 Probes each year in Britain as the car market recovered from the effects of the recession from 1992, but in the three years it was sold there, a total of just over 15,000 were sold - around a quarter of the projected figure for that length of time. Imports ceased during 1997, and its Cougar successor - launched a year later - was even less successful, being imported to Europe for just two years.

    By February 2016, just 718 examples of the Probe were still in use in Britain.

    The base model started at just over US $13,000 and came standard with the 2.0L Mazda FS-DE 16-valve 4-cylinder engine, performance instrument cluster with tachometer and full gauge complement, and an electronic AM/FM stereo. The sportier GT model started at $15,504 and came standard with the 2.5L Mazda K engine KL-DE 24-valve V6, low profile P225/50VR16 91V Goodyear VR50 Gatorback tires, 4-wheel disc brakes, unique front and rear fascias, fog lights, 5-spoke aluminum wheels, leather-wrapped steering wheel, and driver-seat power lumbar/seat back side bolster adjustment. Both engines featured dual overhead cam designs with the choice of a 5-speed manual transmission or a 4-speed automatic transmission.

    Two automatic transmissions were available in the Probe. At first both engines shared the same automatic transmission, the Ford F-4EAT transmission, but from 1994 onwards this changed. The V6 engine continued to use the 4EAT, but the 2.0 L I4 engine used a different automatic transmission, the Ford CD4E transmission. It was sourced by Ford, and manufactured at Ford's Batavia Transmission plant in Batavia, Ohio.

    A new SE (Sport Edition) trim level was available for 1995 and 1996. It included the GT front fascia (without fog lamps), unique 15-inch (380 mm) aluminum wheels, P205/55R15 BSW and Sport Edition "SE" nomenclature.

    In a coast to coast road test by Automobile Magazine in search of the best cars in the world, the Probe GT scored third place, behind an $80,000 Mercedes-Benz and an $80,000 BMW. In the article, the Probe listed at about $15,000.

    Special editions
    For 1993 and 1994, Ford offered a "SE" appearance package on the base model Probe. The package offered 3 spoke swirl-style alloy wheels, the GT model's ground effects, and the GT model's front bumper. Unlike the base, you were able to opt for power windows and mirrors on the SE package. Appearance wise, the only noticeable differences from the GT model were the wheels, "SE" nomenclature, rear bumper w/o air slot and lack of fog lights. "SE" was an appearance package and not an actual model or trim level. "SE" became a trim level in 1995 and was the middle grade model in the Probe lineup ahead of the base but behind the GT.

    In 1994, Ford released a limited edition of the Probe, marketed as the Probe "Feature Car", but officially called the "GT Plus" package. This special package is better known to the general public and enthusiast community as the Probe "Wild Orchid Edition". Included on this limited appearance package was Wild Orchid exterior paint, "PROBE" badge on floor mats outlined in Wild Orchid, black cloth bucket seats with unique Wild Orchid inserts, and the "PROBE" badge on the rear outlined in Wild Orchid. This package was offered in 1994 only, and was exclusive to GT models. After dropping the Probe Feature Car after only a year of production, Ford carried over the Wild Orchid exterior color for the 1995 model year which was available on all Probe models.

    In 1997, a "GTS" package was offered on the Probe GT. It was essentially nothing more than an appearance package, as performance was identical to the GT, but differences with the exterior were distinct. Dual racing stripes available in either white or black started at the top edge of the front bumper and continued on to the back lip of the hatch, terminating just below the center light reflector on the rear bumper. A chrome plated version of the GT's directional "swirlie" wheels and a spoiler were also included in the package, as well as having a "blank" center reflector which lacked "GT" lettering as the regular GT models have. The "GTS" was an appearance package and not an actual model or trim level. Very few Probes were produced with the GTS package and are considered today to be extremely rare.

    Models/trim levels
    Base • 1993–1995 ; 1997
    SE • 1995–1996
    GT • 1993–1997
    In most other markets outside North America, trim levels were labeled as simply 16v (I4) and 24v (V6).

    Appearance packages
    SE • 1993–1994
    GT Plus (Wild Orchid Edition) • 1994
    GTS • 1997

    Proposed third generation
    The last Probe was built on June 20, 1997. A third-generation model, using the same platform as the Ford Contour, was under development intended for release in mid-1998 as a 1999 model. When Ford decided to discontinue the Probe, this new design became the next-generation Mercury Cougar. The name change was intended to attract younger buyers into Mercury showrooms, but this proved unsuccessful. The Escort ZX2, released shortly after the discontinuation of the Probe, was considered the Probe's successor. In June 1998, Ford released what would have been the new Probe as the 1999 Mercury Cougar.

    Awards
    The Probe GT was Motor Trend magazine's Car of the Year for 1993. It also made Car and Driver magazine's Ten Best list for 1989, 1993, and 1994.

    The NASCAR Dash Series version of a 1990 Ford Probe driven by Jeffrey Collier set a new track record at Daytona International Speedway February 13, 1990 with a speed of 166.553 mph. That record still stands as the fastest closed course lap for a non-turbo 4-cylinder powered car.

    Source: Wikipedia
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by Man of Steel; 01-05-2020 at 03:01 AM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    melbourne Australia
    Posts
    922
    With a decent colour and some nicer (not ricer) wheels they don't look that bad, the platform was a mazda for one which was also used for the mx6 which aren't bad either.
    Barnum's Law - You’ll never go broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public

    The dyslexic version of Cyco

    Civil disobedience is still disobedience

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Posts
    2,966
    two more... who knew that I'll have that many?
    Attached Images Attached Images

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    The Netherlands
    Posts
    2,653
    Ford Probe (2nd gen) #3
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by Man of Steel; 01-05-2020 at 11:23 PM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Surrey, England
    Posts
    4,000
    Oooh, my next door neighbor used to have a white 1996 model and a friend of mine's Dad has been driving a red 1995 since 1997 and I beleive it's still going strong!
    V0R5PRU7NG DUR6CH T3CHN1K

    Motion & Emotion

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    1
    Also was motortrend car of the year as well as on the car and driver 10 best list.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Posts
    9,466
    Always thought the 2nd gen was actually a pretty good looking car. I wouldn't turn one down.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    East Coast of the United States
    Posts
    11,889
    Was this ever related to the Eagle cars?

    And man, did they use a poor choice of words in naming this car. It's probably in the top ten of worst car names ever.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Kyushu
    Posts
    6,039
    eagle was a division of chrysler. mostly rebadges of other dodge/mitsubishi cars. the talon was an eclipse.
    Honor. Courage. Commitment. Etcetera.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    East Coast of the United States
    Posts
    11,889
    Quote Originally Posted by cmcpokey View Post
    eagle was a division of chrysler. mostly rebadges of other dodge/mitsubishi cars. the talon was an eclipse.
    Oh yeah, right. I forgot about that.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    The Netherlands
    Posts
    2,653
    Ford Probe (2nd gen) #4
    Attached Images Attached Images

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    The Netherlands
    Posts
    2,653
    Ford Probe (2nd gen) #5

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Similar Threads

  1. Cadillac Seville (4th gen) 1992-1997
    By smxi in forum Matt's Hi-Res Hide-Out
    Replies: 12
    Last Post: 01-06-2014, 03:47 AM
  2. Maserati Ghibli II 1992-1997
    By amat in forum Matt's Hi-Res Hide-Out
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 04-20-2007, 06:38 AM
  3. Newbie here, Please don't shoot me... Ford Probe
    By Robyn in forum General Automotive
    Replies: 23
    Last Post: 11-02-2005, 05:34 PM
  4. Eagle Talon vs. Ford Probe vs. Dodge Avenger
    By Prius in forum Car comparison
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 06-29-2005, 05:15 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •