Sometimes cars just don’t live up to their automakers’ expectations. The 1995-2000 Mercury Mystique was one of those such cars.
Introduced as a 1995 model, the Mystique and its Ford Contour sibling were North America’s variants of the “world car” CDW27, which was more commonly known as the Ford Mondeo in most other parts of the world. With fresh styling, competitive engines, well-appointed interiors, and abundance of options, the Mystique would’ve appeared to possess all the makings of a successful small sedan.
Unfortunately, its high price, cramped interior, and “tweener” size, sandwiched between the Tracer and Sable, made it an unattractive choice in the eyes of most buyers. Never living up to its expectations, the Mystique was soon dubbed as the “Mercury Mistake” by many automotive journalists.
In regards to this particular ad, “Destined To Make Waves” had dual meaning in both an overzealous prediction of the car’s success, as well as referencing Lincoln-Mercury’s sponsorship of team Dennis Conner (who raced with the sailboat “Young America”) in the 1995 America Cup sailboat race. A special Mercury Mystique Young America Edition was sold, featuring special badging, a body-colored white grille, unique wheels, and exclusive blue and white leather with embroidered shark logo. Mercury couldn’t have made many Young America Editions, but alas, that’s the mystique.