After a great first year, there were only a few small complaints about the Tempo / Topaz. Both of those complaints would be addressed in the second year of production. A new dashboard was introduced. An Electronic Fuel Injection system was introduced for the HSC engine for 1985. A second gas-powered engine was made available, the 2.3L HSO. This engine was the center point on a newly introduced trim line, known as the Tempo Sport GL and the Topaz Sport GS. All of these refinements help to make the Ford Tempo (not counting the sales of the Mercury Topaz) the #5 best selling car in the US.
The first gripe of the Tempo / Topaz was that the interior did not meet the expectations set by the exterior of the cars, especially in the design of the dashboard. For 1985, FoMoCo gave the dashboard area a slight tweak to make it look a little better. Gone was the flat front of the instrument cluster, replaced by an instrument cluster that was angled towards the driver at the top, creating a little ?hood? over the instrument cluster. The gauges were in their same locations as before. The wood grain panel surround on the Tempo was replaced by a more attractive ?brushed-metal? looking panel surrounded by black plastic trim. On the Topaz, this panel?s color scheme was reversed, with a brushed-metal surrounding black plastic. Both panels were more attractive than the ones they replaced. The stereo was removed from the main instrument cluster and set into it?s own cubby in the dash. The storage bin in the center of the dash was removed, and replaced by a storage shelf on the passenger?s side of the dash, which was now smaller compared to the flat front of the old ?84 dash. The air vents were also redesigned, being smaller than before. The last new touch on the dash was the inclusion of side-window demisters on all trim levels, which directed air from the defroster towards the side windows to keep them clear of fog in cold weather. All of the warning buzzers found inside the car (such as headlamps on, key-in-ignition warning) were replaced with less annoying chimes. Also new inside the car for 1985 were rear-door Child Proof Door locks. By flipping a lever on the door jam, this deactivated the interior door handle preventing a child from accidentally opening the rear door while in motion. With this switch activated, the exterior door handle continued to function as normal. Continuing on from ?84 was the A-frame steering wheel.
A new interior trim option was available in 1985. This new trim was leather seating surfaces. Sales brochures show that the leather seating surfaces were available in the US only, in the top of the line Tempo GLX and Topaz LS models. The leather interior was available in either San Beige or Charcoal Gray.
Exterior styling on both cars remained the same for 1985. A new addition this year was the Sport option for the Tempo GL and the Topaz GS. The exterior of the cars featured new charcoal colored trim pieces. This included all of the window trim, door handles, bodyside moldings, bumper end caps and a new bumper cap that covered the chrome of the front and rear bumpers. Trim around the headlights still remained chrome on both cars. On the Tempo Sport GL, the chrome strip inside the bodyside moldings was painted light blue, while on the Topaz Sport GS it was color coordinated with the wheels and painted gold.
All exterior badging remained the same as in 1984. The optional flip-open air roof and pop-out rear quarter windows (on 2-door models) were dropped from the option list in 1985.
1985 saw several changes under the hood as well as under the car. Introduced this year was the Electronic Fuel Injection (EFI) system. The heart of the EFI system was a centrally located fuel injector inside the throttle body. Fuel delivery through the injector was precisely metered by the EEC-IV computer. Any unused fuel is saved and sent back to the fuel storage system. The addition of EFI helped to reduce evaporative fuel loss, helped ease starting (especially in cold weather) and created a smoother running engine. The switch to EFI actually caused a very slight reduction in power, down to 86 HP @ 4000 rpm with torque coming in a t 124 lb-ft @ 2800 rpm.
All US Tempo / Topaz models received the EFI 2.3L HSC engine, the carbureted engine was no longer available. North of the border in Canada, as well as south in Mexico, the carbureted 2.3L HSC was still the workhorse of the Tempo / Topaz line.
Also news for 1985 was the introduction of the 2.3L High Specific Output (HSO) gas powered engine. Compared to the 2.3L HSC, the HSO engine received a horsepower increase of 20%, up to 100 HP @ 4600 rpm. Torque increased slightly to 125 lb-ft @ 3200 rpm. This power was the result of an all new cylinder head with larger ports and less valve shrouding, larger runners on the intake manifold and restrictions removed from the intake and exhaust systems. This new HSO engine was only available in the Tempo Sport GL and the Topaz Sport GS, the centerpiece of this new trim package, and could only be backed by the 5-speed MTX-III.
<insert performance graph for HSO>
Continuing on unchanged from 1984 was the available 2.0L Diesel engine. This engine continued to be the gas mileage leader for Tempo / Topaz buyers. The 2.0L Diesel engine was EPA rated at 41 city / 56 highway on the EPA cycle.
In 1985, due to lack of demand, the ?Fuel-Saver? 4-speed MTX was dropped from the options list. Standard transmission across the board was the MTX-III 5-speed manual transaxle. The MTX-III featured a relocated reverse gear. It was now located below 5th gear, instead of up and to the left of 1st gear. The MTX-III was the only transaxle available on the HSO engine. To further capitalize on the enhanced performance of this engine, the final drive ratio on the MTX-III was upped to 3.73:1 to increase off-the line acceleration, at a slight penalty in fuel consumption. The 2.0L Diesel could also only be backed by the MTX-III with a 3.73:1 final drive ratio. This was necessitated by the small power band of the Diesel engine.
Optional on all carbureted and EFI equipped HSC engines was the 3-speed FLC ATX. This transaxle continued on in 1985 virtually unchanged from 1984, using a final drive ratio of 3.23:1.
Ride & Handling
The suspension layout on the Tempo / Topaz did not change for the 1985 model year. The setup consisted of independent MacPherson struts up front with a front anti-roll bar. Out back, the independent suspension featured MacPherson struts as well.
New this year was the suspension package available on the Tempo Sport GL and Topaz Sport GS. The suspension was upgraded above the base suspension in a very similar fashion that the TRX suspension was, without the metric-sized wheels and tires. The Tempo Sport GL featured new 14? x 6.0? 7-spoke aluminum rims on 185/70R 14 performance radial tires. The Topaz Sport GS featured gold painted 13? x 5.5? aluminum rims on 185/75R13 performance radial tires. Optional on the Topaz Sport GS was the TRX Suspension, including the 365mm TR-Type Aluminum Rims. When these were optioned on the Sport GS, they were painted gold (just like the 13" Polycast rims).
The TRX suspension continues to be available in 1985, with upgraded handling package. The TRX suspension was only optional on the Topaz and unavailable on the Tempo. The highlight of the TRX suspension package was the 365mm diameter 4-spoke rims wrapped in 185/65R365 Michelin TRX tires. The TRX suspension was available on all Topaz trim lines.
The braking system on the 1985 Tempo / Topaz was upgraded as well. Front discs stayed in size of 9.3? in diameter. The big news was an increase of 1? (up to 8.0?) for the rear drum brakes.