Ford Probe Second Generation- the Sport Coupe Legend

Table of Contents

Overview of Ford Probe Second Generation

Developed due to the joint endeavour of Ford and Mazda, the second generation Ford Probe was built on the Mazda G platform. It had a sleek and aerodynamic design, aligning with the styling trends of the 1990s. The liftback coupe design perfectly blends hatchback practicality and sporty appearance.

Throughout the generation, various engine options were offered, including the popular choices of the 90s, such as the four-cylinder and V6 engines. The sporty look of the Ford Probe was not just limited to looks; it also showed in its performance. The technological features of the second generation Probe were according to the 90s, such as advanced audio systems and power windows. The second-generation Ford Probe was successfully marketed as a sporty, affordable compact car. The year 1997 marked the end of Ford Probe production, and it was discontinued, considering the market demands.

Origin and Evolution

Ford collaborated with its consistent ally, Mazda, to develop the Ford Probe, which was introduced in 1988 as a liftback coupe. From its production to 1992, the Probe models were classified under the first generation. In 1993, the second generation of Ford Probe was introduced. The second generation witnessed a multitude of redesigns and evolutions. Mazda handled the technical areas, such as the engine, transmission, and chassis, while Ford handled the design, body and interior. The 1993 model’s width extended by 50 mm. However, the vehicle’s weight evolved dramatically, with a 125 pounds (60 kg) reduction compared to the first generation. The second generation Probe had a more rounded and aerodynamic design than the predecessor.

Power, Performance, and Efficiency

The second generation models of Ford Probe were a blend of impressive performance, dynamic power display and exemplary efficiency. According to varying performance demands, Probe offered a range of engine options. The four-cylinder option was available for those who prefer fuel economy, while the V6 engine was the choice for an enthusiastic driving experience. Two petrol engines with displacement from 2.0 to 2.5 litres were available with power from 118 to 164 horsepower. The engine choices corresponded to a compact and sporty car design.

Significant changes were made to enhance the performance of the Ford Probe. Improved suspension and handling enhanced the on-road performance. Most of its credit goes to Mazda for its exceptional work with the engine, suspension and chassis. With its 60% contribution to Ford, Mazda is the name behind the engaging and agile driving experience of the second-generation Ford Probe.

The first model of the second generation, the 1993 Ford Probe, had a fuel consumption of 7.8 to 10.1 litres per 100km. The exact fuel economy within the generation varies as per the modification of the Ford Probe. For instance, the Ford Probe 2.0 16V, the most efficient 1993 model, offered 7.8 litres of fuel efficiency per 100 km. The best acceleration is offered by the Ford Probe 2.5 24V ( 0 to 100 km/h in 8.5 seconds). Ford Probe 2.0 16V reaches the same speed in 10.6 seconds, making it slower than the 24V version.

Exploring the Interior Features

The interior cabin of the Ford Probe gave off the 90s vintage vibes. The interior features are aligned to provide a driver-centric experience by prioritizing passenger comfort. Specific features varied among model years and trim levels; however, many of the interior features of the Ford Probe remained consistent within the second generation.

At first glance, the most distinctive feature of the interior was the layout. It was driver-focused, easy-to-use and prioritized comfort. Both cloth and leather upholstery were available. In standard trim levels, cloth upholstery was more common, while leather upholstery was seen in premium trim levels. Overall, the seats gave off a sporty feel to align with the exterior’s aerodynamic and racing-inspired design profile.

Most second-generation Ford Probe models had power windows for passenger convenience. The two doors also offered power locking. The liftback body style offered access to the rear seats from the front door. The rear seats were foldable to add to the cargo space. The air conditioning system became a standard in all the second-generation Ford Probe models. Sunroof was also provided in a few second-generation models.

Color Options

Following are the common color options offered in the Ford Probe second generation.

  • Black
  • White
  • Red
  • Blue
  • Green
  • Silver
  • Gray
  • Teal
  • Burgundy
  • Purple
  • Gold
  • Yellow
  • Light Blue
  • Dark Green
  • Light Green
  • Dark Red

It is important to note that specific color options may have been available for one model year and not for the other, depending on availability in the market, trim level and region/location.

Exploring the Infotainment Technology

If you view it from a modern perspective, the infotainment technology of the second-generation Probes won’t amuse you. However, in the 90s perspective, it was cool and up-to-date. The audio system included an AM/FM radio and a cassette player. An optional upgrade to a CD player was offered in the higher trim levels. Cruise Control was also available to aid the driver in long-distance driving. The standard instrument cluster included a set of gauges, such as speed, fuel level and engine temperature.

Space and Storage in Ford Probe Second Generation

Ford Probe had a storage advantage over its competitors due to its liftback design. The rear hatch was liftable, enhancing the cargo space. The rear seats were also foldable further to increase the carrying capacity for luggage/larger items. These two features also allowed the users to configure the space as required.

Along with the cargo space, the interior storage was also available. It typically included a centre console between the front seats for holding smaller items, a glove compartment and door pockets. Other smaller storage spaces within the reach of passengers were also available but varied in different models. The seating capacity was four and was designed as per the two-door coupe liftback configuration of the Ford Probe. This configuration was common throughout the second generation.

Ford Probe Second Generation’s stand among competitors

Ford Probe was one of the few vehicles in the automotive history that faced tough internal competition with external contenders. Undoubtedly, Probe enjoyed its fair share of popularity, mostly backed by buyers looking for modern and efficient sports cars. The main competitor of Probe within Ford’s lineup was Mustang. While many loved Probe, on the other hand, it was perceived as a lineup that nearly spoiled the brand’s one of the most esteemed names, the Mustang.

To tackle the declining sales of the Probe lineup and to attract more consumers, Ford gave new life to the lineup by introducing the second generation of it. To appeal to its mostly American audience, Ford tried giving Probe an American touch to help it thrive in the automotive market that Japanese manufacturers ruled in the 90s. Ford’s input increased in the design department to give the overall look a more home-grown and stylish touch.

All these efforts seemed to work, and in the initial years of the second generation, the Ford Probe was being perceived pretty well. The new 2.5L V6 engine producing 164 horsepower also gave a power boost. In the UK, Probe’s second generation received success initially and was perceived as a successor of Capri. Things were going in the right direction until the middle of the second generation. However, Probe’s second generation’s biggest hurdle in the neck-to-neck competition was the rival sports coupes from the Japanese markets, Mazda, Nissan and Honda.

These manufacturers offered superior performance and reliability as compared to the Probe. However, such a competition was not something new for a vehicle. Probe’s success took a toll on the internal competition posed by Ford Mustang’s fourth generation (1994) and later the tenth generation of Ford Thunderbird.

Pros

  • Sporty styling
  • Ample cargo space
  • Robust performance

Cons

  • Limited rear visibility due to liftback design
  • Challenged long-term ownership

Pricing

Ford Probe Second Generation Year and Trim LevelIntroductory Price
1993 Base$12,845
1993 GTR$15,174
1994 Base$3190
1994 GTR$5720
1995 Base$15,890
1995 GTR$19,485
1996 Base$16,240
1996 GTR$19,545
1997 Base$16,235
1997 GTR$18,735
Drive Abilities

All the second generation Probe models were available in Front-Wheel Drive configuration. The maximum speed for Ford Probe 2.5 24V is 220 km/h, while it is 204 km/h for the 16V configuration. A tilt-adjustable steering wheel that caters to various driver preferences is added. This type of configuration is often offered for its traction benefits. It aids the driver in inclement weather conditions as the engine’s weight rests more on the front wheels.

Conclusion

The aerodynamic sporty design of the second-generation Probe and liftback body type offered versatility on various fronts. Regarding performance and cargo space, Probe posed tough competition for the contenders. However, a few drawbacks posed buyer concerns, such as the limited rear visibility due to the liftback design. In addition, the rigorous internal and external competition faced by the second generation of Probe proved to be a decisive setback to the Ford Probe, and it was discontinued after the 1997 model.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Were all second-generation Ford Probes two-door cars?

The liftback coupe design features two doors, so all second-generation Ford probes were two-door cars.

How did the second-generation Ford Probe differ from the first generation?

The second-generation Ford Probe featured a more contemporary design than the first. The liftback body style was retained, but the styling and performance were upgraded.

Are second-generation Ford Probes considered collector’s items?

Some enthusiasts consider well-maintained second-generation Ford Probes as collectibles. However, their status as collector’s items mainly depends on conditions, rarity, maintenance and historical significance.

Written by: Motorcardata

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