Ford Probe

Ford Probe

Year of production 1988 - 1997

Category: USA / Australia

The Ford Probe was a coupe produced by Ford, introduced in 1989 to replace the Ford EXP as the company's sport compact car. The Probe was fully based on the Mazda G-platform using unique sheet metal and interior. The instrument cluster and pop-up headlight mechanisms are borrowed from the FC RX-7. While it was sold worldwide as a sporty coupe, the Probe was intended to fill the market niche formerly occupied by the Capri in Europe, and although it was intended as the replacement to the Ford EXP, it was also considered a possible replacement for the Ford Mustang in the North American market as a direct competitor with the Acura Integraand the Toyota Celica. During that time, Ford's marketing team had deemed that a front-wheel drive platform (borrowed Mazda GD and GE platforms) would have lower costs for production, and also because the platform had been gaining popularity with the consumers. Mustang fans objected to the front-wheel drive configuration, Japanese engineering, and lack of a V8, so Ford began work on a new design for the Mustang instead. On March 17, 1997, Ford announced the discontinuation of the Probe, Thunderbird, Cougar, andAerostar. Although the Probe, Thunderbird, and Cougar were discontinued, Ford planned on reintroducing the three in the coming years. Ford advertised the Probe less and less over the years and sales began to decline. With US sales numbers dropping from 30,079 in 1996 to only 16,777 in 1997, the decision to stop producing the Probe was made due to it being the worst selling Ford vehicle of that year.


Starting in the late 1970s, Ford and Ghia started exploring a series of futuristic designs with the "Probe" series of concept vehicles. The Probe I, first shown in 1979, was a wedge-shaped design that incorporated a number of drag-reducing features like covered rear wheels and pop-up headlights. This was followed the next year by a much more conventional lookingProbe II, whose hatchback styling was also reminiscent of the pony cars. The 1981 Probe III was an advanced demonstrator with covered wheels, but its bodywork evolved into the more conventional Ford Sierra (or Merkur XR4Ti) and styling notes that were used on the Ford Taurus. The 1982 Probe IV was a more radical concept car with a low Cd (drag coefficient), and evolved into the equally radical 1984 Probe V.

After the 1979 energy crisis, the economic slump initiated by high fuel prices prompted Ford to give the Ford Mustang a major redesign. The new design would be based on a totally new platform introduced to Ford by Japanese car manufacturer and Ford partner Mazda. But when the new generation of the Ford Mustang neared its release date, oil prices dropped to an all time low and Ford Mustang buyers expressed their displeasure in the style of the proposed replacement. The car was eventually released, not as a Ford Mustang but as the Ford Probe.

The Ford Probe is a product of the joint Ford and Mazda venture called the AutoAlliance International. Its unique body panels and interior were designed and manufactured in the AutoAlliance assembly plant located in Flat Rock, Michigan, the same facility that manufactured the Mazda MX-6 coupe and Mazda 626 sedan for the North American market.

The Ford Probe was introduced to the U.S. market in 1988 and was completely different from the Mazda MX-6, which was a 2-door coupe with traditional fixed headlights. The Ford Probe shares most of its mechanical parts with the Mazda MX-6 and 626. Both the Ford Probe and the Mazda MX-6 were based on the Mazda GD platform from 1988 to 1992, and on the GE platform from 1993 to 1997.

Initially planned to replace Mustang, Ford executives also expected the Probe to achieve success in the market. However, the car fell short of Ford’s expectations. The Probe's styling, while modern, was not universally accepted. It was also not affordable, making many buyers choose another, and more-prestigious brand, for the price of a Ford Probe.

1989–1992 Probe

The Ford Probe was a coupé based on the Mazda GD platform, and powered by a 2.2 L SOHC 4 cylinder Mazda F2 engine. The 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 concept cars of the early 1980s, that were seen in films like Judge DreddBack to the Future Part II, and Total Recall.

The first generation was available in several trim levels that 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:

  • The GL was the base model with the 110 hp (82 kW)/130 lb·ft (176 N·m) F2 2.2 L engine and few options. Most Probes sold in the U.S. were equipped with air conditioning.
  • The LX added; power locks, and power mirrors, and different other interior options, as well as an optional flip-open air roof. Starting in 1990, the LX was available with the 3.0 L "Vulcan" V6 engine, that was also used in the Ford Taurus, Ford Ranger, Ford Tempo, and Ford Aerostar.
  • The GT included all the equipment of the LX, but featured the F2T 2.2 L turbocharged, intercooled engine that produced 145 hp (108 kW) and 190 lb·ft (258 N·m) of torque. It came with an IHI RHB5-VJ11 turbocharger and an intercooler to the intake tract, as well as a knock sensor and electronic boost controller to the engine-control system. The boost pressure was 7.3 psi (0.50 bar) in the vicinity of 2,500 rpm. The GT version also came with 4-wheel disc brakes with ABS, a 3-way adjustable suspension utilizing variable damping shocks, and a speed-sensitive variable-assist power steering (VAP). The Probe GT's suspension system was based on a Mazda design, but its tuning was different and included nitrogen-gas pressurized front and rear struts, with stabilizer bars.

The 1991 Probe was given a 4-star crash rating in collision tests conducted by the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Engine specifications

Mazda 2.2 L SOHC 12 Valve I4 
Type Inline 4
Displacement 2.2 L (132 cu in)
Compression Ratio 8.6:1
Engine-control system Mazda with port fuel injection
Power (SAE net) 110 hp (82 kW) @ 4700 rpm
Torque (SAE net) 130 ft·lbf (180 N·m) @ 3000 rpm
Mazda 2.2 L Turbo SOHC 12 Valve I4  
Type Inline 4
Displacement 2.2 L (132 cu in)
Compression Ratio 7.8:1
Engine-control system Mazda with port fuel injection
Power (SAE net) 145 hp (108 kW) @ 4300 rpm
Torque (SAE net) 190 ft·lbf (260 N·m) @ 3500 rpm
Ford 3.0L Vulcan OHV 12 Valve V6  
Type V6
Displacement 3.0 L (183 cu in)
Compression Ratio 8.6:1
Engine-control system Ford EEC-IV
Power (SAE net) 140 hp (104 kW) @ 4800 rpm
Torque (SAE net) 160 ft·lbf (220 N·m) @ 3000 rpm

1993–1997 Probe

In 1990, the Ford and Mazda design teams merged once again to give the Ford Probe a complete redesign for the 1993 model year. As before, the new Probe was to share its under-structure with Mazda's MX-6 and 626. Mazda engineered the engine, transmission, and chassis, while Ford engineered the body and interior. Technically speaking, the second generation Probe is 60% Mazda and 40% Ford. Despite the car being extended 2 inches and widened 4 inches, it was 125 pounds lighter than the first generation Probe. Along with numerous other enhancements from lessons learned since the first gen's debut, the Ford/Mazda team brought the experience of many days at the track to the design table, creating one of the best handling cars on the road. The second generation Probe was then introduced in August 1992 as a 1993 model. It went on sale in Europe in the spring of 1994, filling the gap left there by Ford in that market sector since the demise of the Capri seven years earlier.

The base model started at just over US$13,000 and came standard with the new 2.0L Mazda FS-DE 16 valve 4 cylinder engine, performance instrument cluster with tachometer and full gauge compliment, and an electronic AM/FM stereo. The sportier GT model started at $15,504 and came standard with the new 2.5L Mazda KL-DE 24 valve V6 engine, low profile P225/50VR16 91V Goodyear VR50 Gatorback tires, 4-wheel disc brakes, unique front and rear fascias, fog lights, 5-spoke aluminum wheels, leather wrapped steering wheel, and driver seat power lumbar/seat back side bolster adjustment. By 1997, the GT with every option would total about $22,500. Both engines featured double overhead cam designs with the choice of a 5-speed manual transmission or a 4-speed automatic transmission.

Two automatic transmissions were available to the Ford Probe. At first both engines shared the same automatic transmission, the Ford F-4EAT transmission, but from 1994 onwards this changed. The V6 engine continued to use the 4EAT, but the 2.0 L I4 engine used a different automatic transmission, the Ford CD4E transmission. It was sourced by Ford, and manufactured at Ford's Batavia Transmission plant in Batavia, Ohio.

A new SE (Sports Edition) trim level was available for 1995 and 1996. It included the GT front fascia (without fog lamps), unique 15-inch (380 mm) aluminum wheels, P205/55R15 BSW and Sport Edition "SE" nomenclature.

In Japan, the 2.5 L V6 was the higher performance KL-ZE. In Europe and America, the 2.5 L V6 was a lower performance KL-DE (often incorrectly referred to as the KL-03) and the 2.0 L was the FS. The primary difference of the Japanese version is that it produced 36 hp (27 kW) more power through higher compression pistons, aggressive camshafts, intake manifold and head. It also lacked an emissions control component called Exhaust gas recirculation that is required by law in North America and Europe.

It's been often said in reviews that the 93-97 Probe GT is easily one of the best cars on the road for it's price. In a coast to coast road test by Automobile Magazine in search of the best cars in the world, the Probe GT scored third place, right behind an $80,000 Mercedes-Benz and an $80,000 BMW. In the article, the Probe listed at about $15,000.

Special editions

For 1993 and 1994, Ford offered a "SE" appearance package on the base model Probe. The package offered power windows, power door locks, and 3 spoke swirl-style alloys. "SE" was an appearance package and not an actual model/trim level. "SE" became a trim level in 1995 and was the middle grade model in the Probe lineup ahead of the base but behind the GT.

In 1994, Ford released a "Feature Model" of the Probe, better known as the "Wild Orchid Edition". Included on this limited model was Wild Orchid exterior paint, floor mats that had the embroidered "PROBE" badge outlined in Wild Orchid, black cloth bucket seats with unique Wild Orchid inserts, and the "PROBE" badge on the rear outlined in Wild Orchid. This special Wild Orchid package was exclusive to the Probe GT only. This special edition Probe GT was only made for 1994, but the Wild Orchid exterior color was also available on 1995 Probe GT's.

In 1997, a "GTS" appearance package was offered on the Probe GT. It had no more performance than the regular GT, but exterior modifications were distinct. Dual racing stripes available in either white or black 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. A chrome plated version of the GT's directional wheels and a spoiler were also included in the package, as well as having a "blank" center reflector which lacked "GT" lettering as the regular GT models have. The "GTS" was an appearance package and not an actual model/trim level.


  • Base • 1993–1995 ; 1997
  • SE • 1995–1996
  • GT • 1993–1997
  • GT Wild Orchid Edition • 1994
  • GTS • 1997

In most other markets outside North America, trim levels were labeled as simply 16v (I4) and 24v (V6).

Engine specifications

Mazda 2.0L FS-DE DOHC 16 Valve
Type Inline 4
Displacement 2.0 L (121 cu in)
Power (SAE net) 118 hp (88 kW) @ 5500 rpm
Torque (SAE net) 127 ft·lbf (172 N·m) @ 4500 rpm
0-60mph 9.2s
1/4 mile 16.8 
Top speed 113 mph
Mazda 2.5L KL-DE DOHC 24 Valve
Type 60 degree angle V6
Displacement 2.5 L (152 cu in)
Power (SAE net) 164 hp (122 kW) @ 5600 rpm
Torque (SAE net) 156 ft·lbf (212 N·m) @ 4000 rpm
0-60mph 7.0s
1/4 mile 15.5 at 89 mph (142 km/h) 
Top speed 133 mph

Year to year changes


  • The right side of the dash is redesigned to house a passenger side airbag
  • The stripe on the dashboard is gone, but remains on the interior panels
  • ABS light on instrument cluster is redesigned
  • New Ford CD4E automatic transaxle for base and SE models
  • CFC-free air conditioning
  • "Feature Model" Probe GT is released


  • Redesigned tail lights ; the 4 cylinder model's are outlined in black, the GT's are outlined in red
  • New alloy wheels for SE and GT (3 spoke 15" directional for SE, 5 spoke 16" directional "swirlies" for GT)
  • Two interior colors are dropped ; Red, and blue
  • Door panels are redesigned and are now a 1 piece design. GT models get a cloth insert on the door panels.
  • Cloth seats get new fabric that have a unique "wild" pattern
  • GT models get the option of Saddle leather interior
  • ABS is standard on Probe GT
  • GT models receive center reflector with 'GT' logo between tail lights. License plate indent moved down onto bumper.
  • GT decal on rear bumper replaced with metal '24v' badge
  • Graphic equalizer is dropped
  • "Feature model" Probe GT is dropped


  • Base model dropped ; SE is now the standard model
  • Probe GT's tail lights are now outlined in black
  • Illuminated exterior door locks are dropped
  • Saddle color interiors are now available in cloth
  • Spoilers are redesigned
  • Floor lighting is dropped
  • Probe GT gets more refined suspension in response to criticism of the harsh ride
  • Cloth seats are slightly restyled and get new fabric
  • Probe GT now has spoilers standard
  • Rear seats are redesigned
  • Probe GT no longer has a leather wrapped steering wheel
  • New seat belts with automatic locking retractors
  • Rear windshield wiper dropped as an option
  • OBD-II compliant


  • SE model is dropped ; base model returns and has the GT's front bumper
  • Cloth/leather inserts on GT door panels are removed
  • Base models get 93-97 Mazda 626 wheel covers with 15" 3 spoke directional alloys from 95 and 96 Probe SE optional
  • Rear windshield wiper returns as an option
  • ABS is no longer standard on GT models and is now an option
  • GT logos behind the front wheel wells have new letter styling
  • Probe GT no longer has "24v" badge beside the "PROBE" badge
  • Side door intrusion beams redesigned to meet 1997 Federal Side Impact Standards
  • GTS appearance package added to the GT's option list

US production numbers

Model year 
1993 119,754
1994 85,502
1995 59,261
1996 30,079
1997 16,777
Total 311,373

Remaining Probes on the road

Model yearBase/SEGTTotal
1993 16,134 12,908 29,042
1994 15,915 10,291 26,202
1995 14,810 6,620 21,430
1996 9,575 4,153 13,278
1997 5,964 2,720 8,684

1999-2002 Probe

The last Probe rolled off the assembly line in June 1997. A 3rd generation Probe built on the same platform as the Ford Contour and Mercury Mystique was to be released in 1999. In June of 1998, Ford introduced the new Probe as the 1999 Mercury Cougar. Unfortunately, as the Probe was born from what was to be the new Mustang, the new Cougar was born from what was to be the new Probe.


The Probe GT was Motor Trend magazine's Car of the Year for 1993. It also made Car and Driver magazine's Ten Best list for 1989, 1993, and 1994.

The 1993-1997 Probe was one of the few Fords through the 90's that Consumer Reports recommended.

The NASCAR Dash Series version of a 1990 Ford Probe driven by Jeffrey Collier set a new track record at Daytona International Speedway February 13, 1990 with a speed of 166.553 mph. That record still stands as the fastest closed course lap for a non-turbo 4-cylinder powered car.


source: Wikipedia

Produced sub-models Models

1 I
1988 - 1992
2 II
1993 - 1997


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Probe II 1993 - 2001 ford probe haynes repair service manual.pdf English 97.2 MB 343
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Year Engine code Fuel [ccm] Cylinders [kW] [Nm] No. of
2.2GT gasoline 2 184 4 / In-Line 108 kW 260 Nm 12
2.2i gasoline 2 184 4 / In-Line 82 kW 177 Nm 12
1990 1992 V63.0 gasoline 2 985 6 / Furcate 104 kW 217 Nm 12
II 2.0 16V gasoline 1 991 4 / In-Line 85 kW 167 Nm 16
II 2.0 SE gasoline 1 991 4 / In-Line 88 kW 172 Nm 16
II V6 2.5GT gasoline 2 496 6 / Furcate 120 kW 211 Nm 24

Our vehicles Ford Probe Add a vehicle

1994 Ford Probe II 2.0 (121 cui)

1 photos

Performance 85 kW (116 PS) at 5500 rpm. Torque 170 Nm (125 ft/lb) . Max speed 204 km/h. Acceleration 10.6 s ~ 0-100 km/h. Weight 1 295 kg. Fuel gasoline. 5-speed Manual transmission. Engine 1 991 ccm (121 cui), 4-cylinder, In-Line, 16-valves, 2.0 16V.

1993 Ford Probe II 2.5 (155 cui) V6

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Fuel gasoline. 5-speed Manual transmission. Engine 6-cylinder, Furcate, V6 2.5i 24V.

1996 Ford Probe II

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Fuel gasoline. 5-speed Manual transmission.

1998 Ford Probe II 2.5 (152 cui)

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Performance 120 kW (163 PS) at 5600 rpm. Max speed 220 km/h. Acceleration 7.8 s ~ 0-100 km/h. Weight 1 377 kg. Fuel gasoline. 5-speed Manual transmission. Engine 2 497 ccm (152 cui), 6-cylinder, 24-valves.

1996 Ford Probe II

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Performance 85 kW (116 PS) . Fuel gasoline. 5-speed Manual transmission. Engine 4-cylinder, 16-valves, ECP.


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