Ford Tempo

Ford Tempo
Enlarge picture
1992-1994 Ford Tempo sedan
ManufacturerFord Motor Company
Production1984-1994
AssemblyKansas City, Missouri
Oakville, Ontario
PredecessorFord Fairmont
SuccessorFord Contour
ClassCompact
LayoutFront engine, front-wheel drive / four-wheel drive
PlatformFord CE14 platform
DesignerJack Telnack


The Ford Tempo was an American-built two-door coupe and four-door sedan produced by the Ford Motor Company from 1984 to 1994. It was the successor to the Ford Fairmont, and was replaced in 1994 by the Ford Contour. The Tempo was part of a rejuvenation by Ford to offer more environmentally friendly, fuel efficient, and more modern styled models to compete with the imports, and its innovation and aerodynamic design later paved the way for the groundbreaking Ford Taurus.

History

The design and life of the Tempo began in the late 1970s as Ford was gearing to build towards a more ergonomic, more efficient, and more aerodynamic design philosophy. The new design philosophy rested in part due to aging vehicle platforms, and two oil embargoes which led to a rise in more fuel-efficient import vehicle sales. Taking note of this, Ford set out to revolutionize the automotive industry, and would later lay the groundwork for three revolutionary vehicles: The 1983 Thunderbird (and its counterpart the Mercury Cougar), the 1984 Tempo, and a car to be released in 1986, the Taurus. In December 1978, wind tunnel testing began on the Tempo, with more than 450 hours of testing resulting in more than 950 different design changes. As part of these changes, the Tempo and Mercury Topaz both featured a 60° windshield, matching that of the new Thunderbird and Cougar. Also new were the aircraft-inspired door frames, which originally appeared on the Thunderbird/Cougar. These door frames wrapped up over the edge of the roof, improved sealing, allowed for hidden drip rails, and cleaned up the A-pillar area of the car significantly. The rear track was also widened, creating more aerodynamic efficiency. The front grille was laid back more and the leading edge of the hood was tuned for aerodynamic cleanliness. Wheels were pushed out to the edges of the body, decreasing areas where air turbulence would be created. The rear of the cars were treated to just as many changes. The rear window was laid down at 60 degrees as well, and the trunk lid was raised higher than the side windows. This allowed the air to flow off the car more smoothly, and allowed for greater fuel efficiency. From the side view, this raised trunk created a wedge look to the car which was especially prominent on the two-door coupe versions. All of these changes created a Coefficient of drag of .36 for the 2-door car (.37 for the 4-door), which was equal to the Cd of the new "Aero" Ford Thunderbird. The final design of the cars was reached so that the car looked good on every trim level, not just the top-of-the-line as some of the competition had done. When the Tempo was released in 1983 as a 1984 model, it became an instant hit, with more than 107,000 two-door models and more than 295,000 four-door models being sold in the first year alone.

First Generation

First generation
Enlarge picture
1984-1985 Ford Tempo sedan
Production1984–1994 (Coupe)
1984-1987 (Sedan)
Body style(s)2-door coupe
4-door sedan
Engine(s)2.0 L Mazda RF diesel I4
2.3 L HSC I4
2.3 L HSO I4
Transmission(s)4-speed IB4 manual
5-speed MTX-III manual
3-speed ATX/FLC automatic
Wheelbase99.9 in (2537 mm)
Length176.7 in (4488 mm)
Width68.3 in (1735 mm)
Height52.7 in (1339 mm)
RelatedFord Escort
Ford EXP
Mercury Lynx
Mercury Topaz
Enlarge picture
1986-1987 Ford Tempo
Enlarge picture
1992-1994 Ford Tempo coupe
The first generation Tempo, released in 1983, was a stark contrast from the Fairmont that it replaced. Both the front windshield and rear window were set at 60° angles, with the trunk of the car being placed higher than the side windows to allow for greater fuel efficiency and air flow. On the Tempo, a rear quarter window was present while the Topaz received a more formal C-pillar arrangement minus the window. The front of the car featured a set of two sealed-beam halogen headlamps recessed in chrome "buckets" and the grille in between the headlights featured four horizontally thin rails each swept back to allow for greater air flow into the engine compartment and over the hood. Standard on the first generation Tempo was a new 2.3 L HSC inline four-cylinder gasoline engine with a one-barrel carburetor, with an optional Mazda-built four-cylinder diesel engine. Mated to either of these engines were the choice of a four-speed IB4 or five-speed MTX-III manual transmission (which was the standard, and only option for the diesel engine variant), or the standard 3-speed FLC automatic with a floor-mounted shift lever. The instrument panel featured a new, easier to read gauge layout, with all switches and controls placed within easy reach of the driver. In 1985, the Tempo became the first production sedan to feature a driver's side airbag.[1]

In 1986, the Tempo and the Topaz saw several moderate design changes which coincided with the release of the then-new and revolutionary 1986 Taurus. While generally the same car, the front and rear end styling was where the changes were most evident. The standard rectangular sealed-beam halogen headlamps were replaced with a new, plastic composite design which only required replacement of the bulb itself. These new headlights were flush-mounted to match the redesigned front corner lights and a freshly restyled grille, which also closely matched that of the Taurus (the Topaz received a pseudo-lightbar grille styled after the Sable). For the rear end, the trunk and taillights were slightly restyled, giving the car a sharper look. Replacing the carburetor on the 2.3 L four-cylinder engine was a new Central Fuel Injection (CFI) system (the carbureted version was still available in Canada until 1987). New was an optional "LX" luxury trim, and a sportier GLS, which was a performance-geared version featuring a performance-tuned HSO variant of the existing 2.3 L engine and a 5-speed MTX-III manual transmission. The GLS also featured a more defined ground effects package over the previous GLX offering. Other changes and improvements included the addition of automatically-retracting front seatbelt shoulder straps, and the addition of a new all-wheel drive model. The Tempo AWD included special badging, interior badges and (most notable) a three-inch-wide chrome strip running from front wheel to rear wheel, that read Tempo AWD (with 'All Wheel Drive' under the larger AWD writing).

Trim levels for the first generation Tempo were as follows:
  • L (the base model)
  • GL (mid-level model, the most common Tempo)
  • GLX (sporty, performance-oriented model)
  • GLS (replaced the GLX in 1987, also a sporty, performance model)
From 1984 to 1985, there was also Sport GL. Which was more of a package for the GL then a separate trim level.

Second Generation

Second generation
Production1988–1994
Body style(s)4-door sedan
Engine(s)2.3 L HSC I4
2.3 L HSO I4
3.0 L Vulcan V6
Transmission(s)5-speed MTX-III manual
5-speed MTX-IV manual
3-speed ATX/FLC automatic
Wheelbase99.9 in (2537 mm)
Length177.0 in (4496 mm)
Width68.3 in (1735 mm)
Height52.9 in (1344 mm)
Curb weight2723 lb (1235 kg)
RelatedFord Escort
Ford EXP
Mercury Topaz
The second generation Tempo, released in 1988, saw several major design changes which brought out an even more similar look to the Taurus. On the front end of the car, a completely restyled grille featured three thin horizontal chrome bands with a Ford oval in the center, with two stylish composite flush-mounted rectangular headlamps with restyled front turn signal housings on either side. On Tempo GLS, the chrome grill was replaced with a black one. For the rear, the taillights received a major rework, and were now completely flush-mounted. A restyled rear quarter window was designed to match and blend evenly with the completely restyled rear door trim. The interior of both cars saw a brand new instrument panel design, with a central gauge cluster, and more ergonomic driver controls. Fan and windshield wiper controls were now mounted on rotary-style switches on either side of the instrument panel, and the heater controls received a new push-button control layout. Other changes included reworked interior door panels. The second generation saw the Tempo AWD discontinued in 1991, and in 1992, the cancellation of the GLS (formerly called GL Sport). There was a very rare option available with a vinyl roof called the "Premier Edition" offered on 1992 GL models and came with power locks and windows, air conditioning, tilt wheel, cassette player, luggage racks, and mudguards. Other rare options were the all leather interior option on the GLX (1985) and the (1984/1985) vinyl sun roof. Also in 1992, to coincide with the release of the second generation Taurus (which received its first major facelift since 1986), the Tempo sported new design features. Those features were a new, thinner monochrome side body trim, matching monochrome bumper covers, a new one-piece panel-style grille similar to the Taurus, and a restyled taillight assembly. In 1992, the 3.0 L Vulcan V6 engine was made an option (was standard on the GLS), and models with that engine were equipped with "V6" badging. It was available with the FLC automatic or the MTX-IV five-speed manual. In 1993, the GLS models were dropped, leaving only a 2- and 4-door GL and 4-door LX trims. This was a prelude to the replacing of the entire Tempo lineup with the 4-door only Contour in 1995.

The End of the Line

In 1993, officials within Ford Motor Company began talking about killing off the Tempo. While highly innovative in its early years, and even though it was a strong seller for nearly its entire lifetime, by the early 1990s the Tempo and the Topaz were seen as an aging platform. It was also to be the last year for the 2.3 L HSC engine, which was built by Ford specifically for the Tempo (its replacement was the 2.0 L Zetec engine). Also, it was to be the last year for the FLC automatic transaxle, which had spent its entire production life with the Tempo and Topaz, and was then seen as being severely outdated as 5-and-6 speed automatic transmissions were being developed. With all of these factors, Ford pulled the plug on the Tempo, and in March 1994, the last one rolled off the assembly line.

Engines

  • 2.0 L Mazda RF diesel I4, 52 hp (optional 1984-1986 GL)
  • 2.3 L HSC I4, 86 hp-98 hp (73 kW) and 125 ft·lbf (168 N·m) L/GL/LX
  • 2.3 L HSO I4, 100 hp (75 kW) and 135 ft·lbf (183 N·m) GLX/GLS/AWD (1985-91)
  • 3.0 L (2982 cc) Vulcan V6, 150 hp (97 kW) and 170 ft·lbf (203 N·m) (1992-1994 optional on GL and LX, standard on GLS, in 1994 was re-rated at 155HP)

Sales Numbers

The Ford Tempo was a massive sales success for Ford Motor Company, during the Tempo's entire production, it was in the top ten best selling cars, usually in the top five. In 1984, Ford sold a total of 531,468 Tempo and Topaz, nearly 100,000 more units then the best-selling Toyota Camry (2006) of today. Below is a list of total sales numbers of the Ford Tempo and Mercury Topaz Sedan and Coupe variations. Listings by year. Note: Production ended in the first quarter of 1994, and began in late 1983.
  • 1984 total sales: 531,468
  • 1985 total sales: 440,443
  • 1986 total sales: 356,068
  • 1987 total sales: 381,062
  • 1988 total sales: 425,148
  • 1989 total sales: 334,421
  • 1990 total sales: 311,943
  • 1991 total sales: 246,223
  • 1992 total sales: 284,038
  • 1993 total sales: 230,345
  • 1994 total sales: 160,797

Trivia

  • When the Ford Tempo was first released, television advertisements featured a typical four-door sedan version performing a loop on a stunt track. The commercials touted the Tempo as being "America's all new aerodynamic sedan" and listed features such as "the world's most advanced automotive computer" that claimed to have the ability to monitor up to seven vital engine functions, and touted the interior design to be roomier in the rear seat than a Mercedes 300D.
  • The slogan in early Tempo advertisements was "Pick up the Tempo of your life!" with the 1980s-era "Have you driven a Ford, lately?" advertising jingle behind it.
  • The most expensive 1994 Ford Tempo (a fully-loaded LX sedan with 3.0 L V6) was about US$12,900 ($16,500 in 2005 dollars), however the base model 1995 Contour was $13,990 (GL sedan with four-cylinder engine, manual transmission, and no options).
  • For a time in the early-to-mid 1990s, Ford had three of the top five-selling passenger cars: Escort, Taurus, and the Tempo. The Taurus became the number one overall in 1992.
  • Talk show host Carson Daly's first car was a Ford Tempo that he drove during high school.
  • In early 2007, Motor Max Toys became the first toymaker to release a fully-detailed diecast-metal replica of the Tempo. At 1:87th scale and available in black, silver, "Arizona" tan, and dark red metallic, they replicate a 1984 Ford Tempo sedan.
  • A 1992 Tempo GL Sedan was featured in the television show, The Sopranos, during the second season (episode eleven). The Tempo is driven by character Salvatore 'Big Pussy' Bompensiero (played by Vincent Pastore) who is following Christopher Moltisanti under cover. A red pickup truck pulls in front of Salvatore who loses control of the Tempo, and wrecks into a pedestrian and a Geo Metro hatchback.

References

1. ^ Today in Ford History: Jan. 7. Media.Ford.com (7 January 2007). Retrieved on 2007-03-03.

External links


The automotive industry is the industry involved in the design, development, manufacture, marketing, and sale of motor vehicles. In 2006, more than 69 million motor vehicles, including cars and commercial vehicles were produced worldwide.
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Kansas City, Missouri

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Nickname: "City of Fountains" and "Heart of the Nation"
Location in Jackson, Clay, Platte, and Cass Counties in the state of Missouri.
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Town of Oakville
Motto: Avancez (French for Go forward) [1]

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Ford Fairmont was a North American compact car, produced between 1978 and 1983. In the United States, the Ford Fairmont was an all-new, rear wheel drive compact car introduced in the North American market for 1978 and sold through 1983.
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A compact (North America), small family (European) or c-segment car is a classification of cars which are larger than a supermini and smaller than a large family car.
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Front-engine, front-wheel drive, layout places both the engine and driven wheels at the front of the vehicle.
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Ford CE14 platform was a front wheel drive automobile platform used by the Ford Motor Company for its compact cars during the 1980s and early 1990s. The CE14 platform was heavily derived from the platform of the European Ford Escort.
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Jack Telnack (born as "John J. Telnack" in 1937) was the former global Vice President of Design of the Ford Motor Company from 1980 to 1997. Telnack began working as a designer for Ford in 1958, and became the head stylist of the Lincoln-Mercury Division in 1965.
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Ford Fairmont was a North American compact car, produced between 1978 and 1983. In the United States, the Ford Fairmont was an all-new, rear wheel drive compact car introduced in the North American market for 1978 and sold through 1983.
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Ford Contour is a North American variant of the European Ford Mondeo sedan previously sold by Ford Motor Company. It was sold in North America from 1994 (as a 1995 model) through 2000.
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Ford Taurus is currently a full-size, front-wheel drive or all wheel drive automobile manufactured by the Ford Motor Company in North America. Initially a mid-size car, it was introduced in December 1985 as a 1986 model, replacing the rear-wheel drive Ford LTD.
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Ford Thunderbird was a car manufactured in the United States by the Ford Motor Company. It entered production for the 1955 Ford Thunderbird model year as a two-seater sporty car but, unlike the similar Chevrolet Corvette, the Thunderbird was never sold as a full-blown sports car.
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Ford Taurus is currently a full-size, front-wheel drive or all wheel drive automobile manufactured by the Ford Motor Company in North America. Initially a mid-size car, it was introduced in December 1985 as a 1986 model, replacing the rear-wheel drive Ford LTD.
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Topaz was the Mercury version of the Ford Tempo. Both vehicles replaced the Fox-body Ford Fairmont and Mercury Zephyr.

Both models were introduced in late 1983 for the 1984 model year; the compact Topaz and Ford Tempo were early examples of the design philosophy that would
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