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Thread: Ford Escort (North America) 2nd gen 1990-1996

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2005

    Ford Escort (North America) 2nd gen 1990-1996

    The North American variant of the Ford Escort is a compact/small family car introduced by Ford in 1980 for the 1981 model year. Sharing its name with the third-generation European Ford Escort, the model line is the first front-wheel drive Ford developed and sold in North America. The direct successor of the Ford Pinto, as the smallest Ford car in North America, the Escort largely replaced the European-imported Ford Fiesta.

    Overcoming the tarnished reputation for quality and safety established by the fuel tank defect of the Pinto, the Escort became highly successful in the American marketplace. After 1982, the model line became the best-selling car in the United States, a position it held during most of the 1980s.

    The 1981 replacement of the Pinto by the Escort was the first Ford model line to adapt front-wheel drive. By the end of the 1980s, nearly the entire Ford car range would adopt the powertrain layout (with the sole exception of the Mustang, Thunderbird, and LTD Crown Victoria/Country Squire).

    The Escort was produced across three generations. The first was Ford's first "world car", designed as Ford of Europe transitioned the Escort Mk III to front-wheel drive. In North America, the model line was also sold as the Mercury Lynx and the two-seat Ford EXP/Mercury LN7 (no version was sold by the Lincoln division). Introduced for 1991, the second generation became a near-twin of the Mazda-designed Ford Laser (a model line sold in Asia and Oceania); sharing a platform and powertrain with the Mazda 323, the Escort grew into the compact car segment. The second generation was also sold as the Mercury Tracer. For 1997, the third generation was an extensive redesign of the second-generation platform Escort sedan, introducing the ZX2 coupe; Mercury continued to sell the Tracer sedan and wagon.

    For the 1999 model year, the Ford Focus succeeded the Escort as the compact model line as a new-generation "world car"; after the 2000 model year, the Escort shifted primarily to fleet sales, ending production after the 2002 model year.

    During its entire production, the Escort was produced by Wayne Stamping & Assembly (Wayne, Michigan) and Hermosillo Stamping and Assembly (Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico); the first generation was also produced by Edison Assembly (Edison, New Jersey), San Jose Assembly Plant (Milpitas, California), and Oakville Assembly (Oakville, Ontario, Canada).

    Second generation (MY 1991–1996)
    For 1991, the Escort and the Mercury Tracer were replaced by models based on the Mazda B platform (BG), which was also used by the Mazda 323, Protegé and first generation Kia Sephia. Ford, which owned a 25% stake in Mazda, already sold a version of the 323/Familia in Asia and Australasia, called the "Ford Laser", which had replaced the old rear-wheel drive Escort there. Although the Escort was now essentially a twin of the Laser instead of the European Escort, it kept the Escort name in North America due to strong brand equity as well as Chrysler already using the Laser name on the Plymouth equivalent of the Mitsubishi Eclipse.

    The prior Escort used localized engines and shared some elements of design with the European model. The Escort for the 1990s, however, was almost identical to the Ford Laser and its derivatives, with minor differences in appearance and base engine. While the Laser featured identical powertrains to the Mazda Familia, the Escort carried over the 1.9 liter eight-valve Ford-designed CVH engine from the previous Escort, with the GT and LX-E receiving the Mazda-built 1.8 L BP I4. Much of the external styling mimicked the first generation Ford Taurus.

    This generation of the Escort was one of the first Ford automobiles to feature, on the 1.9 L engine, distributorless ignition (known as EDIS, Electronic Distributorless Ignition System). It also featured a new electronically controlled four-speed automatic transmission, as well as an independent rear suspension, both (at the time) relatively uncommon in cars in this class.

    The Mazda-based model sold sluggishly in America at first, since only hatchback models were offered upon its launch, but became popular later by 1992, after the sedan was introduced, available in either LX or LX-E trim levels.

    For the 1993–1995 model years, Ford offered the Escort on a "one price" basis, with the same price for a three- or five-door hatchback, a sedan or a wagon when equipped with the most popular options (three-doors quickly added alloy wheels to the "one price" specification). The LX-E, equipped with the same sporting equipment as the GT and Mazda Protegé LX (four-wheel disc brakes, larger front brakes, larger clutch, equal-length driveshafts, larger anti-roll bars, dual-outlet exhaust, sport interior and 1.8 L Mazda DOHC 16-valve engine), lasted only until 1993. The Pony departed in 1992, replaced by the "standard" trim level.

    Trim levels were originally Pony, LX, and GT. The GT was the North American equivalent of the Laser XR3i version, featuring a 1.8 L Mazda DOHC engine. The LX and standard or Pony were equipped with the 1.9 L overhead cam eight-valve CVH inline four. The Pony or later standard was the base trim level, lacking most features like power steering or a radio. The LX was the upscale trim level, and a sport package could be added to make it look like a GT. Subtle differences can be noticed in all three Escort models (sedan, hatchback and wagon) from 1990 to 1996. In 1992, the grill oval hall around the "Ford" emblem became a little larger in order to allow more air to enter under the hood to cool the engine. In 1993, the wheel size was changed from 13 inches to 14 inches and the black exterior door handles were changed to match the exterior color of the car. A driver's airbag was introduced in 1993 as well, and by 1994, both driver and passenger airbags were standard with the redesigned dash for the 1995 model year.

    Source: Wikipedia
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    Last edited by Man of Steel; 12-29-2020 at 01:25 PM.

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    Feb 2004
    Tomsk, Russia
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    Last edited by Man of Steel; 12-29-2020 at 01:26 PM.

  3. #3
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    Sep 2006
    The Netherlands
    Ford Escort (North America) 2nd gen #3
    Last edited by Man of Steel; 12-29-2020 at 01:32 PM.

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