The U.S.-market Merkur Scorpio is merely a blip on the radar of automotive blunders in history. It owes its failure to numerous factors – styling not even being the most significant. Yet as much as I want to like the Scorpio, its expansive hatchback roofline has always turned me off (and probably a lot of potential buyers at the time).
Some cars like the Saab 9000, could make the hatchback design look slick and sporty. The Scorpio just looked plain clumsy. Naturally, this was something the car designer in me had an urge to fix.
The European-spec Ford Scorpio was available as a 4-door sedan. However like the hatchback, I’ve never found it particularly appealing or sporty. The sedan roofline looked too much like a squared-off Taurus or even worse, a Tempo. Neither of these resemblances would’ve have attracted yuppie Euro sports sedan buyers had the sedan been sold in the U.S.
The most obvious change I made from the original was to the roofline. I kept the slope of the hatchback’s roofline, yet made it distinctly sedan-like, evoking that of the Mercedes W124. Additionally, I moved the front wheels slightly forward, and the windshield back a bit. I also lowered the hood, making it level with the trunk.
Styling alone could not have saved the Scorpio and the Merkur brand. Paul highlighted a number of other factors in his Merkur Scoprio CC. My changes are purely an attempt at giving the Scorpio more proper “sports sedan” styling, better fitting the brand image that Ford tied to Merkur.