Ford is a big company, and the idea of building a single car, which could be dressed up differently for different markets is not a new one, but when the time came to replace the venerable Sierra, Ford thought that they had it: a new car which would incorporate all the newest safety features, as well as mechanical and technical innovations, which could be sold on both sides of the Atlantic. The result was the 1993 Ford Contour, which was named Mondeo in Europe, as well as Mystique for Ford’s moribund Mercury brand. The Contour was an exceptional car in almost every way; the only place it didn’t dazzle was its design, which was considered, rightly so, as bland and uninspiring.
The Contour was powered by a remarkable 24-valve V6 engine, with a 2.5-liter displacement, that produced 170 horsepower, enough for a 138 miles per hour top speed, and a 0-60 time under 8 seconds. It was equipped with a five-speed manual transmission, although an automatic was offered for the US market.
It was also fitted with all-around disc brakes with ABS, and an excellent independent suspension, which made for a car with excellent handling, which was its most appreciated feature. Besides the bland, anonymous design, the 1993 Ford Contour was mostly criticized for its lack of leg room in the back, a fault, certainly, but not a major one.