The Mercury Topaz is a compact car that was manufactured by the Mercury division of Ford Motor Company for model years 1984 to 1994 as a slightly upscale variant of the Ford Tempo. It succeeded the Fox body Mercury Zephyr, and was replaced by the 1995 Mercury Mystique.
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 bring about the revolutionary 1986 Ford Taurus and Mercury Sable. Topaz and Tempo both were based on the Escort-derived CE14 platform. The body structure and power-train design borrowed heavily from the Ford Escort, but due to the larger size of the Topaz there were few common components. The Topaz shared the Tempo's standard 4-speed IB4 manual transmission and optional 3-speed FLC automatic. In late 1985, a 5-speed MTX-III manual became standard and the 4-speed IB4 was discontinued. Ford designed and made two engines and automatic/manual transmissions that were only ever available on the Mercury Topaz, and its re-badged and re-branded Ford cousin, the Tempo. Topaz and Tempo introduced many new design concepts and features that would become standard on many future Ford's and other automobile manufacturer's cars in a few years. The Topaz had a very aerodynamic design, and unlike its Zephyr predecessor, it was front-wheel-drive. Topaz focused on comfort and convenience, and Ford, by making Topaz FWD made interior space much larger than it would have been if the Topaz and Tempo were rear-wheel-drive. Other innovative concepts used first in Tempo were optional SRS airbags, a diesel engine option (the 2.0L Mazda RF Diesel I4, capable of over thirty miles per gallon highway), very aerodynamic styling (reducing drag, meaning better fuel efficiency and reduced wind noise intrusion into the passenger compartment) and features such as power lumbar support, four-way power driver's seat and cassette player.
Topaz (along with stablemate Tempo) was face-lifted in 1986, with new flush-mounted headlights to improve its aerodynamic styling and a nonfunctional light-bar grille from the then-new Sable. In 1987, the Mercury Topaz received a standard all wheel drive system on the trim levels GS-AWD and LS-AWD. This AWD system (developed exclusively for the Topaz and Ford Tempo) was available for model years 1987 to 1991.
- 2.0 L Mazda RF diesel I4 52 hp (39 kW) (optional 1984-1986 "GS")
- 2.3 L HSC I4, 86 hp (64 kW)-98 hp (73 kW) and 125 lb·ft (169 N·m) GS/LS
- 2.3 L HSO I4, 100 hp (75 kW) and 135 lb·ft (183 N·m) LTS/XR5/AWD