gen1The FIRST GENERATION Probe appeared in 1988 and lasted until 1992 in the United States. In some markets the model years were from 1987 to 1991. It was based on a series of futuristic concept cars of the early 1980s, the likes of which have been seen in films like Judge Dredd, Back to the Future Part II and Total Recall. It was a coupe based on the Mazda GD platform, and was powered by a 2.2 L DOHC I4 cylinder Mazda F2 engine. The base engine produced just 110 hp (82 kW), but a 145 hp (108 kW) turbocharged version was available. This generation was available in several trim levels, which differ depending on the market the vehicle was sold in. In the United States, the Probe was available in GL, LX, and GT trim levels:


GL was the "bare bones" model, offering the base 110 hp (82 kW)/130 ftlbf F2 2.2 L engine and few options, but most Probes sold in the U.S. were equipped with air conditioning. LX added power windows, power locks, and power mirrors, as well as an optional manually operated moonroof; starting in 1990 the LX was available with the 3.0L "Vulcan" V6, also used in the Ford Taurus, Ford Ranger, Ford Tempo, and Ford Aerostar. The Probe GT (which was the best Probe built) included all options from the LX, but also stepped up to the F2T 2.2L turbocharged, intercooled engine, which put out 145 hp (108 kW) and a whopping 190 ftlbf (258 Nm) of torque delivering a vast significant performance booster. It also had 4 wheel disc brakes with ABS and 3 way adjustable suspension and a speed-sensitive variable-assist power steering (VAP). VAP provides sharp on-center feel and reassuring feedback as cornering forces increase.

First generation ProbeThe more energetic GT powerplant adds an IHI RHB5-VJ11 turbocharger and an intercooler to the intake tract, as well as a knock sensor and electronic boost control to the engine-control system. The entire arrangement is calibrated to provide strong midrange output; the maximum boost pressure rises to 9.3 psi in the vicinity of 3500 rpm, tapering down to 7.3 psi elsewhere. The results are 145 hp (108 kW) power peak at a relatively low 4300 rpm and 190 ftlbf (258 Nm) of torque at 3500 rpm.

The Probe GT's chassis and suspension system is based on a Mazda design, but its suspension tuning is the result of extensive Ford testing and calibration to achieve the optimized handling characteristics exclusive to the Probe. Both front and rear struts are nitrogen-gas pressurised, and the stabiliser bar sizes were optimised for hard cornering. The Probe GT also offers a special Automatic Adjusting Suspension, a computer-controlled system utilising variable damping shocks that adjust to best accommodate acceleration, braking, and cornering forces. A sort of forerunner to active suspension control, the system permits three different shock damping modes-Soft, Normal-Auto and Sport. The Soft mode provides the smoothest ride, while the remaining two modes are used for higher-performance driving. In these modes the microprocessor monitors vehicle speed, acceleration, braking, and steering wheel angle, and automatically adjusts the shock absorbers for better handling while reverting to a comfortable ride on smooth roads. Above 50 mph (80 km/h), the front shocks are automatically tightened to "firm" in Normal-Auto and to "extra-firm" in Sport to provide increased high speed stability


Gen2The SECOND GENERATION car came out in the United States in late 1992 as a 1993 model. It used the Mazda GE platform, which it shared with the Mazda MX-6 and the Mazda 626. The Probe came with Mazda-designed engines and was available in three trims:

The base version came with a 2.0L FS inline-4 producing 118 hp (88 kW)

The SE, Sports Edition, contained the base engine but was fitted with GT bumpers and side skirts. Many power accessory packages of the GT became optional to SE as well.

The GT version came with a 2.5L KL V6 producing 160 to 164 hp (119 to 122 kW), depending on the year and location. 4 wheel disc brakes and a sport tuned suspension.


Wild-orchidIn 1994 there was a "special edition" Probe that came in Royal Plum Pearl Metallic Clearcoat (more commonly known as Wild Orchid). While the special edition's features were limited, they included: purple coloured material in the center of the seats, "PROBE" stitched in purple on the floor mats, and the "PROBE" emblem on the back of the car was outlined also in purple. Wild Orchid Probe pictured to the left.




probeGTIn 1997 (the Probe's last year) a GTS model was offered. It had no more performance than the regular GT, but exterior modifications were distinct. Dual racing stripes available in either white, black or silver started at the top edge of the front bumper and continued on to the back lip of the hatch, terminating just below the center light reflector on the rear bumper. Chrome wheels and a spoiler were also included in the package, as well as having a "blank" center reflector which lacked "GT" lettering that was characteristic to the Australian and European models which were available in either 16V and 24V versus "GT","SE",or base model in North America.

In Japan, the 2.5L V6 was the higher performance KL-ZE, while the 2.0L was a I4 called the FS. In Europe and America, the 2.5L V6 was a lower performance KL-DE (often incorrectly referred to as the KL-03).

Originally, the Probe was only supposed to be on a one-year hiatus, as there were plans to bring it back in 1999 based on the Mondeo chassis. However due to a rationalisation of the coup models the Probe design was released as the Ford Cougar in Europe and the Mercury Cougar in the USA.






0–60 mph (97 km/h)

.25 mile (0.4 km)

Top speed



2.2 L (2184 cc) F2 I4

110 hp (82 kW) at 4700 rpm

130 ftlbf (176 Nm) at 3000 rpm



113 mph (182 km/h)*



2.2 L (2184 cc) F2T turbo I4

145 hp (108 kW) at 4300 rpm

190 ftlbf (258 Nm) at 3500 rpm



131 mph (211 km/h)



3.0 L (2982 cc) Vulcan V6

140–145 hp (104–108 kW)

160–165 ftlbf (216–223 Nm)



113 mph (182 km/h)*



2.0 L (1991 cc) FS I4

115-118 hp (97 kW)

135 ftlbf (183 Nm)



113 mph (182 km/h)*



2.5 L (2497 cc) KL-DE V6

164 hp (122 kW) at 5600 rpm

156 ftlbf (212 Nm) at 4000 rpm



132 mph (212 km/h)



2.5 L (2497 cc) KL-DE V6

164 hp (122 kW)) at 5600 rpm

160 ftlbf (217 Nm) at 4000 rpm



132 mph (212 km/h)

First Generation data
Second Generation data

First generation

Second generation

Engine Statistics

A brief history of the Ford Probe  

The Ford Probe Owners Club

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