The second generation, Ford Probe....
Have you been Probed, lately......?
In 1986-1988, the Ford motor company, in conjunction with Mazda Motors worked together on a hot platform that was initially supposed to be the replacement for the next Mustang. It was front wheel drive, light, quiet, and delivered its power through a V-6 or a four cylinder. Mustang purist met Ford at the opening of the gates with slingshots and pitchforks!
The First Ford Probe,(also a marvel in advancement for American designers) ran from 1988-1993. It was also love at first sight for most buyers. (1988 GT Model concept Shown above)
When companies collide it's just Sexy..!
The co-laboration on these cars was incredible, creating one of the sleekest and most tech happy cars ever developed for that time. The Ford Probe (2nd Gen) was introduced in August 1992 as a 1993 model and right off the bat, it sold like pancakes on a Sunday morning, quickly becoming one of Fords best sellers. That year it also won the Motor Trend Car of the Year award as It later went on sale in Europe in 1994 and did very well there too.
The base model started at just over US $13,000 and came standard with Mazda's 2.0liter 16-valve 4-cylinder engine, a performance instrument cluster with tach, full gauges, A/C and an AM/FM stereo. Powered windows, mirrors and a sunroof were options. There was also a mid-grade SE, the sportier GT model, and then later, the GTS. The GT started at $15,504 and came standard with the 2.5liter Mazda 24-valve V6 engine, and later a turbo that really got the blood boiling.
Low profile Goodyear Gator-back tires that really brought out the beast in this car, even when it was standing still. Disc brakes, more sporty 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 shifter, that by the was great, or a 4-speed automatic transmission.
Automobile Magazine in search of the best cars in the world, chose the Probe GT as it's third place contender. Not that surprising, but the 2nd place contender was an $80,000 Mercedes-Benz and an the third was an $80,000 BMW. In the article, the Probe listed at about $15,000.
Definitely one of the most straight-forward cockpits of its time. It reeked of quality, comfort, and a great design. It was quiet, rode well, it drove well, and was a real bargain to boot . The seats were quite comfortable, even on long journeys. All I needed was a pillow.
The base engine was able to attain 23mpg in the city and 30mpg on the highway. The V6 attained 18mpg city and 24mpg highway.
Sadly though, in 1997, due to slow sales and nearly no advertising from Ford, the probe was left to die a slow death in lieu of bigger cars. It still stands as one of the best crossbreeds in automotive history, and for good reason. If the tranny doesn't fail you, or if it hasn't been beaten to death you can still find them rolling around for about $2500. If you do make a purchase, do your homework, and get it checked out thoroughly before buying.
Aahhh, the Probe.. Silent but deadly.. Have you driven a Ford Lately? Thanks for taking the time to stop by and check out this months blast from the Past at autoFrenzy.net. And as always autoFrenzy.net would like you to remember to keep your hands on the wheel, and your feet on the gas. This is Dre'... Deuces..!