3k: eXperimental Racing 4-Cyl Turbocharged Injected: 1989 Merkur XR4Ti

In the 1980s, European cars such as BMW’s 3- and 5-series were
hurting Detroit automakers’ sales. Bob Lutz looked around and said, “We
have European cars. Give the people what they want.” And thus the Merkur was born. Find this enthusiast owned and modified 1989 Merkur XR4Ti for $3,000 in Arizona via Merkur Club of America forums.  Words and tip from DT commenter & contributor  slowcarSLOW-MPGlol.

A Merkur XR4Ti is a
lot like the 1984-1986 Mustang SVO. It used the same turbocharged 2.3
liter engine but had independent suspension. And though it lacked
the Mustang’s intercooler, limited-slip differential, and rear disc
brakes, this one now has all of the above. Automatic versions, which is
how this one rolled off the assembly line, made 145 horsepower with 10 psi of boost.

one has the most horrifying three words you can see in a used car ad:
“Manual boost controller.” But it only goes up to 12, which still below
the 14 that manual-equipped XR4Tis were equipped with, and some owners
run at double the stock levels with no issues. 

Ample pictures

show the care put into this car by three owners over 181,000 salt-free
miles. The dashes on these cars may as well have come cracked from the
factory, so don’t read into that. 

On its transatlantic voyage, the XR4Ti gained 300
pounds over the European Ford Sierra, up to 2,920 lbs due to strict
American safety standards (and this was before airbags, folks).

With its
performance upgrades and an SVO-sourced T5 transmission, this would be a
great commuter or weekend car. It would fly under the radar of most
drivers, as it originally did from 1984-1989 while car buyers passed it
up on their way to BMW dealerships.

See another turbocharged American oddball? Email us at tips@dailyturismo.com.

Big thanks to slowcarSLOW-MPGlol to sending in this tip complete with a functioning story to surround the images!