The love/hate cult of the Ford SVT Contour


When we talk about someone having passion for this car or that car, we usually assume it to be of the positive kind. But passion can go either way. Just ask the owner of a Ford SVT Contour, and you’ll hear a story of love, sprinkled with a bit of hate and occasional pain.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://www.hagerty.com/articles-videos/articles/2018/04/12/cult-of-the-ford-svt-contour


I am sorry, but is this type of car, the Ford SVT Contour, not almost identical with our good old Ford Mondeo MK I in Europe? Optically it looks like the same car, despite some minor modifications.


Yes. Ford touted this as a “global car” before the first-generation Focus. I think the body-in-white was identical to the Mondeo, as were several other components. This lead to the one of the main criticisms of the Contour/Mystique. The rear seat, designed for Europeans who didn’t value interior space as much as Americans, was cramped compared to the competition in the United States.


The Contour is the same car as the Mondeo, with modification to meet standards in the US market. Mechanically, they are almost identical. Euro market also got the estate version (station wagon), and IIRC you also had a limited availability of an all wheel drive version that was not offered in the U.S.

ST200 is the equivalent of the SVT. Contour & Mondeo owners swapped many parts across the pond in an effort to be unique. I personally sent a few SVT intake manifolds across the pond. Lost money on every deal, but it was fun to connect with other enthusiasts.

Some of the DNA lived on under the hood of the Jaguar X-Type.


Always had an odd soft spot for these. Probably from having a first gen SHO for my first car…