Mercury Topaz

The Topaz was a Mercury rebadged version of the Ford Tempo. Both vehicles were launched to replace the Fox-body Ford Fairmont and the Mercury Zephyr. Some years later, it was face lifted in 1986 with new flush-mounted headlights and a light bar from the new Sable. This light bar was the distinguishing characteristic of the Sable, and Mercury decided to spread the love and see how the feature would look on its other models. Unlike the Sable, though, the Topaz version was equipped with a cooling slot but did not illuminate as the Sable did. The Topaz also received Mercury's current Waterfall M logo. Both the Topaz and the Tempo were introduced in 1983 for the 1984 model year. The compact Topaz and Tempo were early examples of the design attitude that would bring about the revolutionary 1986 Ford Taurus. The development program for the Tempo and Topaz was known internally as codename Topaz. The body structure and engine design borrowed heavily from the Ford Escort, but due to the larger size of the Topaz there were actually very few common components between the two models. The Topaz did share the Tempo's standard 4 speed IB4 manual transmission and optional 3 speed FLC automatic. Later, near the end of 1985, a 5-speed MTX-III manual became standard and the 4-speed IB4 was gone. It received another major redesign in 1988, which resulted in an improved interior and more upscale exterior. Again, another facelift in 1992, which resulted in a number of additional changes. The chrome grille was replaced again with a new light bar, but it sadly still did not illuminate. The Vulcan V6 was now available along with an optional MTX-IV five-speed manual transmission on the XR5 and LTS models. But, in the end, slow sales made 1992 the last year for the XR5 and LTS.