6 Interesting Things You Need to Know about the Merkur XR4Ti
The Merkur XR4Ti landed on Car and Driver's Ten Best list in 1985. But 24 years later, the magazine called the three-door hatchback as one of its embarrassing winners. While apologizing for their we're-just-human mistake on their website, they reasoned that the XR4Ti didn't seem to be a big hit among consumers, especially with such a peculiar name.
If you've watched the 1994 crime film The Pulp Fiction, you may have seen an old, worn-out Merkur XR4Ti in the background. If you can't find it, here's a clue: look for the shot where John Travolta and Samuel Jackson are standing side by side, wearing a funky summer outfit. Then look on the right side of the screen. See the wheel-less car mounted on a platform? Yes, it's that hatchback.
During its five-year existence, the Merkur XR4Ti managed to sell 42,464 units in North America despite its out-of-this-world name. This hatchback passed the 10,000 marker in its first two years of sales but saw decreasing figures in the next three years. In fact in 1989, the Merkur XR4Ti failed to attract buyers into taking the model home that ended up with a disappointing 2,870 units sold.
Car enthusiasts out there, especially Merkur XR4Ti fans or toy car collectors, will be happy to know that they can add the die-cast Merkur XR4Ti car to their collection. The three-door hatchback may already be more than a score old, but it surely lives in the form of a matchbox. Although rare toy cars like the XR4Ti will most likely not be displayed on the shelves of a toy store, you can still get it online.
Ever wondered why the Merkur XR4Ti didn't do so well in North America? Well, besides the name the Americans have a hard time saying, the marketing team behind this average car seemed to lag behind those of the competitors. In fact, consumers claim that sellers of this model persuaded them to buy it even though the sellers, themselves, admitted their dislike for the car.
Merkur XR4Ti's European version is named Ford Sierra. But when it got Amercanized, it has got everyone wondering about the name. Sometimes, you just can't stop asking why Ford didn't stick with the name Mercury instead.