The Mercury Mariner Hybrid offers a uniquely satisfying transportation choice for an ever-increasing segment of the population concerned about the environment. It’s a stylish, upscale sport-utility vehicle with nimble handling and impressive performance, as well as ample cargo and towing capacity. In addition, it’s an environmentally conscious SUV with remarkable fuel economy - an estimated 33 miles per gallon (mpg) city, 29 mpg highway - and is expected to meet the cleanest emissions rating achievable by a fossil-fuel vehicle (California’s Advanced Technology Partial Zero Emissions Vehicle standard).
Production pull ahead: Production begins a year ahead of schedule
Ford Motor Company continues to advance its environmental commitment and hybrid market leadership. To meet that commitment, Ford Motor Company executives added talent and resources to the Sustained Mobility Technical Team. The team’s efforts increased the speed of engineering and validation testing, enabling Mariner Hybrid to launch a year ahead of schedule.
Initially planned as a 2007 model, the Mercury Mariner Hybrid was pulled ahead one year in response to growing customer interest in hybrid gasoline-electric propulsion. Mariner Hybrid is one of four additional hybrid vehicles Ford Motor Company will introduce in three calendar years. When it arrives in showrooms in the fall of 2005, Mariner Hybrid will be one of the most fuel-efficient and cleanest sport-utility vehicles on the road. It shares the same advanced technology that earned Escape Hybrid the 2005 North American Truck of the Year Award from a panel of 50 distinguished automotive journalists.
Growing the Mercury brand: New models and goals
"We have announced an ambitious goal of increasing Lincoln Mercury sales from 300,000 to 500,000 annually by the end of the decade," says Hazel. "To attract new customers to Mercury, we are offering a breadth of new products that adhere to a focused brand identity and design theme, supported by a new emphasis on innovative retail sales and marketing initiatives."
New products like Mariner Hybrid are a key component of Mercury’s growth strategy. When Mariner Hybrid goes on sale this fall, it will join a transforming Mercury showroom with six new models introduced over four years:
The Monterey minivan offers upscale design, class-leading safety technologies and innovative cargo-management solutions.
The 2005 Montego, Mercury’s first all-new sedan in nearly two decades, encompasses modern design, a spacious interior, a smooth, quiet ride and outstanding value in a full-size sedan.
The 2005 Mariner blends modern Mercury design with refined driving dynamics in a small, stylish sport-utility vehicle, and will be joined by the 2006 Mariner Hybrid this fall.
The 2006 Mountaineer offers distinctive Mercury styling, a new interior, new powertrain and chassis features, as well as amenities such as power-deployable running boards and a heated windshield.
The 2006 mid-size Milan sedan offers clean, crisp lines, a distinctive interior with room for five and driving excitement. A hybrid version of the Milan sedan is scheduled for introduction in 2008 (calendar year).
A crossover vehicle for Mercury showrooms will follow in a couple of years.
No amount of futuristic powertrain technology can compensate for a lackluster chassis or driving dynamics. Fortunately, Mariner Hybrid shares the solid unibody construction, fully independent suspension, and lively dynamics of the conventional Mariner.
Agile in city and country: Independent front and rear suspension
Unibody construction provides the structural integrity to tow up to 1,000 pounds and the durability to support off-pavement driving in a space- and weight-efficient manner. Mariner Hybrid’s fully independent suspension offers a smooth ride, vital control of body motions, and ample ground clearance.
A strut-type front suspension combines a large-diameter shock absorber with a concentric coil spring; L-shaped arms connect the lower end of the strut to the unibody and a stabilizer bar is tuned to resist body roll.
Mariner Hybrid also features an independent rear suspension with a trailing arm and two lateral links to locate each wheel and an integrated coil-shock unit for springing and damping.
Mariner’s fully independent suspension offers exceptional vehicle dynamics, more responsive handling, and a better ride over broken pavement than solid-axle sport-utility vehicles typically deliver.
Electric steering: Consistent feel and effort, engine running or not
Rack-and-pinion steering provides a tight 37.7-foot turning circle for close maneuvers and easy parking. Steering feel is consistent and predictable because the power assist is provided by an electric motor instead of the traditional engine-driven hydraulic pump. As a result, steering effort and response remains constant, even when the gasoline engine shuts down to conserve fuel.
Regenerative braking: Converting momentum into electricity
Mariner Hybrid also features two brake systems that work cooperatively to slow the vehicle and collect energy that’s normally wasted. The conventional half of the equation is made up of four 11.9-inch-diameter disc brakes – vented front rotors, and solid rear rotors – gripped by single-piston calipers. An anti-lock braking system is standard.
Like all friction brakes, Mariner Hybrid’s conventional brakes convert excess momentum to wasted heat, dissipated through the rotors. However, the hybrid half of the system captures that momentum energy, which is converted to electricity for reuse.
This process is called regenerative braking. When the driver signals an intention to slow by lifting pressure from the accelerator pedal, or gently applying the brake pedal, a control module commands the electric traction motor to act as a generator. That provides a negative torque through the driveline to deliberately slow the vehicle and a positive flow of electrical current from the generator. The resulting voltage is used to recharge the nickel-metal hydride battery pack.
Regenerative braking works smoothly and decisively, and is undetectable to the operator. If additional stopping force is needed, the driver indicates that desire by pressing the brake pedal in the normal manner. The disc brakes and the regenerative channel then work in parallel to slow the Mariner Hybrid in a smooth, confident manner.
Thanks to its advanced powertrain, the Mercury Mariner Hybrid provides environmental stewardship without sacrifice. It offers the versatility of a sport-utility, including impressive acceleration, cargo and companion capacity, and the ability to tow 1,000 pounds. Yet, Mariner Hybrid also delivers remarkably low emissions that are expected to qualify for Advanced Technology Partial Zero Emissions Vehicle (AT-PZEV) certification in California, and other states that have adopted California’s clean-air standards. Mariner is also remarkably frugal with gasoline, with an estimated fuel economy of 33 mpg in the city, 29 mpg highway.
This remarkable feat is accomplished by six powertrain components that work in perfect unison. Ford Motor Company has received more than 40 patents, and has another 70 patents pending, on these powertrain technologies shared with the Ford Escape Hybrid. The integration of these technologies into a customer-friendly, advanced powertrain helped the Escape Hybrid recently receive the 2005 North American Truck of the Year Award.
Gasoline engine: Duratec 23 is lightweight, fuel efficient
Mariner Hybrid features a lightweight version of Ford’s Duratec 23 2.3-liter four-cylinder engine. The block and head are aluminum, which saves 40 pounds compared with the conventional Duratec 23. A second mass-saving feature is a friction-welded plastic intake manifold. Finally, the piston, ring and connecting rod assembly is 15 percent lighter than comparable modern engines. Less weight aids both fuel efficiency and acceleration.
Mariner Hybrid’s gasoline powerplant is a double-overhead-cam design with four valves per cylinder, pent-roof combustion chambers, and centrally located spark plugs for optimum breathing and efficient combustion. Direct-acting mechanical bucket tappets require no lash adjustment during a 10-year, 150,000-mile service life. Four-orifice fuel injectors provide a better spray pattern and finer atomization than is possible with more common single-orifice injectors. Butterfly valves positioned in the intake runners restrict airflow at low speeds to induce tumble as the fuel-to-air mixture enters the combustion chamber. Counter-rotating balance weights help eliminate vibration.
Unlike most modern engines, Mariner Hybrid’s engine uses a special Atkinson combustion cycle for improved efficiency. This consists of a 12.3:1 expansion ratio to extract more energy from every drop of gasoline and late-closing intake valves to minimize pumping losses. Keeping the intake valve open longer yields a compression ratio below 9.0:1 at low speeds for good drivability (no detonation) and a much higher compression ratio at high rpm for increased peak power.
Tuned for hybrid applications, the Duratec 23 generates 133 horsepower at 6000 rpm and 129 foot-pounds of torque at 4500 rpm.
The engine switches off at low speeds and light loads to conserve fuel, while propulsion is handled solely by the traction motor (below). The engine can also shut down during coasting and while the vehicle pauses at a stoplight to further reduce unnecessary fuel consumption.
Electric traction motor: Assisting the gasoline engine
The small and efficient four-cylinder engine is augmented by an electric motor during periods of high demand – for accelerating smartly to freeway speeds, transporting five occupants and their gear, or towing a 1,000-pound trailer. This arrangement contributes to reduced fuel consumption and increased performance. Combined, the gas and electric hybrid partners provide an effective 155 peak horsepower from 35 mph to the speed limit, yielding performance that feels similar to a V-6-powered Mariner, especially during passing maneuvers.
Mariner Hybrid’s traction motor is a compact permanent magnet design that operates on AC power drawn both from the generator and battery pack (via a power inverter that converts stored DC to AC). Its peak power is 70 kilowatts (equivalent to an extra 94 horsepower) at 3000 to 4000 rpm. Since electric motors deliver maximum torque at low rpm, they are an ideal complement to gasoline engines, which generate peak torque at higher rpm.
During braking, the traction motor temporarily becomes a generator. That generates negative torque to slow the vehicle, lessening the burden placed on Mariner’s four disc brakes, and helping recharge the electric battery pack. Engineers call this conversion of momentum into electricity regenerative braking, and it represents a major part of Mariner Hybrid’s efficiency advantage over conventional vehicles.
Planetary CVT: Efficient power delivery
A conventional automatic transaxle serves as the intermediary between the engine and the drive wheels. Mariner Hybrid’s advanced, electronically controlled transaxle handles that task plus several others. Inside this ingenious device, you’ll find one planetary gear set versus the two or more usually found in a conventional automatic. But instead of shifting from one ratio (gear) to the next in steps, the transaxle engineered specifically for use in hybrids does its work seamlessly, with no jerks, jolts, power interruptions or detectable ratio changes. Engineers call this a continuously variable transmission or CVT. Note that this transmission differs from the more familiar CVTs that use a variable pulley and steel belt.
Mariner Hybrid’s transaxle is a key component of the full hybrid system, as it smoothly blends together contributions from the engine and traction motor. As a result, the gasoline engine can be shut down at low speeds and light loads to save fuel, while propulsion is handled solely by the traction motor. The transaxle also routes a portion of the power produced by the engine to a generator.
Generator: Keeps the current flowing, the engine starting
On the Mariner Hybrid powertrain, the generator handles three important tasks. Its primary responsibility is generating electric current. Most of that energy is used to charge the battery pack during cruising but some of it is routed directly to the traction motor during heavy-load situations such as climbing steep hills or accelerating briskly to cruising speed. The second task is restarting the gasoline engine after shutdown for stoplights and coasting. In this instance, the generator acts as an AC motor. Rated at 28 kilowatts or 38 horsepower, it has no difficulty refiring the engine more rapidly than a conventional starter. The generator’s third responsibility is controlling the drive ratio in the transaxle’s planetary gear set so that the gasoline engine runs at its most efficient load and rpm as often as possible.
Battery pack: Electric fuel tank
Mariner Hybrid’s battery pack stores electrical energy for starting the gasoline engine and for supplementing its power output (via the traction motor). The pack consists of 250 nickel-metal hydride D-size cells connected in series, packaged under the cargo floor.
Thermal controls – an electric heater and fan-driven cooling air – maintain operating temperatures so this pack can operate in ambient temperatures ranging from -40 to 120 degrees Fahrenheit. "Batteries are like people," says Watson. "They don’t like to work when they’re cold, and get hot when they’re stressed."
The temperature control duct is integrated into the driver’s side of the cargo area, discreetly vented by the rear window.
Total battery capacity is 5.5 AmpHours and operating voltage varies between 216 and 397 volts. In the discharge mode, the battery pack can deliver up to 39 kilowatts of power and its maximum recharge rate is 31 kilowatts.
While it’s never necessary to plug Mariner Hybrid into a charger, in the unlikely event that insufficient energy is available to start the gasoline engine, jump starts are possible. A conventional 12-volt lead-acid battery is also provided to power Mariner’s accessories such as the keyless entry system.
Nickel-metal hydride batteries have been used with excellent success in notebook computers and cell phones for years. Mariner Hybrid’s battery pack is covered by warranty for eight years or 100,000 miles. To meet AT-PZEV requirements in states that follow California’s emissions standards, the warranty is extended to 10 years or 150,000 miles. Sin ce the 12-volt battery has absolutely no engine cranking responsibilities, it, too, should provide a longer than normal service life.
Electronic controller: Directs and integrates the powertrain systems
A suite of microprocessor-based control modules manage and integrate Mariner Hybrid’s powertrain-related functions. The master device is a vehicle systems controller built into Mariner’s powertrain control module. The engine controller is also housed within this under-hood device. The transmission control module, traction battery control module, brake system control module, and Intelligent 4WD controller are located near their respective components and wired so they can maintain two-way digital conversations with the vehicle systems controller by means of a high-speed data network.
On-board electronic devices convert the AC current produced by the generator motor and the traction motor to DC voltage suitable for recharging the battery pack. Likewise, power from the batteries must be inverted to AC to power the traction motor. In addition there are circuits that start and stop the gasoline engine and others that switch the traction motor to a generator during braking. Safety measures are also included to isolate high-voltage circuits in the event of tampering or a collision. When the vehicle is switched off, connection to the battery pack is interrupted.
Intelligent 4WD system: Off-road and all-weather traction
Fully automatic, electronically controlled, Intelligent 4WD is standard Mariner Hybrid equipment. In normal dry-pavement driving, propulsion is provided solely by the front wheels. A control computer monitors wheel speeds and accelerator position dozens of times per second to avoid slip and to optimize traction. If slippage is detected, an electromagnetic clutch controlled by the computer apportions the ideal amount of torque to the rear wheels until traction is regained.
Reaction times are faster than hydraulic or viscous-based systems and Intelligent 4WD engagement is so smooth and automatic that most drivers never sense its operation. There’s no binding during tight turns and excellent traction on slippery surfaces.
Smart, stylish and expressive, the Mercury Mariner Hybrid’s distinctive design clearly offers something different for the hybrid buyer. Unlike other hybrid vehicles where form follows function, Mariner Hybrid shares the contemporary proportions and clean, sophisticated styling of the conventional Mariner.
"Mariner Hybrid fits perfectly with Mercury’s design philosophy," says Richard Gresens, Mariner chief designer. "It’s a stylish, elegant design with clean simple lines. It’s an urban sport-utility, comfortable going to a club downtown, yet still possessing all of the capability and versatility of a sport-utility. At the same time, it’s environmentally friendly."
Distinguishing traits: Hybrid features a discreet vent in driver’s side C-pillar, Hybrid badging and unique wheels
Mariner Hybrid was crafted for those who appreciate excellent design, craftsmanship and the environmental benefits of a hybrid, without sacrificing the attributes of an SUV. Visually, Mariner Hybrid is identified by unique, 16-inch, five-spoke aluminum wheels wrapped with 235/70R-16 all-season tires. Unique badging on both front doors and the tailgate also distinguish Mariner Hybrid. Finally, a discreet air vent in the driver’s side rear-quarter window helps cool the rear-mounted nickel-metal hydride battery pack, an integral component of the hybrid powertrain.
The front end is instantly recognizable as Mercury, with the vertical, satin-aluminum-finished waterfall grille framing the floating Mercury emblem. The fascia features a stacked-element theme with complex refractor headlamps over inset foglamps. A high-impact-plastic (HIP) aluminum-look bumper insert and U-shaped air intake below the bumper enhance the tailored appearance and further connect Mariner Hybrid to the rest of the Mercury range.
"The Mariner Hybrid continues Mercury’s vertical design vocabulary, particularly in the front with the waterfall grille and stacked elements," says Gresens. "This vertical theme, combined with the more defined, architectural shapes, lends Mariner Hybrid a very contemporary, cosmopolitan appearance."
Upscale details: Body-color trim, 16-inch aluminum wheels, optional reverse sensing system
Befitting an upscale sport-utility, Mariner Hybrid features color-keyed front and rear bumpers, door handles, and body-side cladding. The body cladding is smoothly integrated with the broadly flared wheel arches, creating a clean, tailored profile, as well as helping defend the body sides against chips and dings. Turn-signal repeater lamps, another Mercury design cue, are mounted behind the front wheel openings.
The taillamps are enclosed by horizontal satin-aluminum-accent grilles, a strong visual cue shared with other Mercury vehicles, including Mountaineer sport-utility and Monterey minivan. The optional reverse sensing system, part of the Mariner Hybrid Premium Package, also is neatly integrated into the rear bumper.
As a new entry to the hybrid segment, the 2006 Mercury Mariner Hybrid is designed to attract young, diverse buyers to Mercury’s lineup who aren’t willing to sacrifice style.
The 2006 Mariner Hybrid arrives as the sophisticated choice for the sport-utility buyer who is conscious both of style and the environment. Mariner Hybrid offers significantly decreased emissions and fuel consumption with all the upscale features, passenger comfort and cargo utility that have made the conventional Mariner SUV so successful.
Satin-Aluminum: Interior accents repeat those of the exterior
Mariner Hybrid continues Mercury’s dedication to distinctive design and interior craftsmanship. Contrasting and complementary interior trim contributes to the ambiance, with accents of satin-aluminum and chrome finishes, and a unique center finish panel of rich Sappele wood. A floor-mounted shifter with a chrome surround and satin-aluminum-finished shift knob imparts a sophisticated feel.
"The satin-aluminum finish on the interior echo those of the exterior, for a cohesive design inside and out," says Richard Gresens, Mariner Hybrid chief designer. "For visual interest, the patterns are reversed: on the exterior, the satin-aluminum accents serve as the center pieces of the design; on the interior, the satin-aluminum runs up the sides of the wood-trimmed center stack. This creates a vertical theme, another visual tie to the exterior."
The interior is defined by two-toned seats and interior trim panels for the front and rear doors with large, bright-ringed speaker grilles and chrome-finished door handles.
Two-tone interior: Inspired by contemporary furniture
Premium herringbone cloth with thick French seams is the standard seating material, and the driver’s seat offers six-way power adjustment. The optional leather seating surfaces feature a two-tone treatment, with Pebble leather surrounding the light parchment perforated leather inserts.
According to Gresens, "The two-tone seats are another vertical design element that contributes to the spacious feeling of the interior. Plus, the perforated leather inserts offer a nice touch that enhances the upscale, refined interior of the Mariner Hybrid. Like contemporary furniture, the seats are both comfortable and attractive."
Flow chart: Optional display tracks energy flow
Mariner Hybrid is available with an advanced audio, navigation and hybrid drivetrain status display, available as a stand-alone option or as part of the Premium Package. The available Hybrid Energy Audio & Navigation System features a four-inch screen with an intriguing graphic display of energy flow during idle state, electric drive, gas-engine drive, hybrid drive and regenerative braking. It also serves as an audio system interface and a GPS navigation system display.
The Premium Package also includes leather seating surfaces, heated front seats, heated side mirrors, a reverse sensing system and the Safety Package that includes the Safety Canopy™ side curtain air bag system with rollover sensor and chest-protecting side impact air bags.
A four-speaker AM/FM audio system with a six-disc in-dash CD changer is standard; the acclaimed seven-speaker MACH audio system is optional. Other options include a roof rack and a power moonroof with sunshade.
Unhindered versatility: 65.5 cubic feet of cargo
"A critical engineering goal for Mariner Hybrid was to impose no interior sacrifices," says Tom Watson, Mariner Hybrid powertrain manager.
In fact, the only change in the interior utility or comfort from the conventional Mariner is a negligible change in cargo volume. The battery pack that acts as the electric fuel tank is stored under the rear cargo area and features a temperature-control duct integrated into the driver’s side C-pillar. As a result, Mariner Hybrid can accommodate five people and 27 cubic feet of cargo, or 65.5 cubic feet of cargo with the 60/40 rear seat folded flat. The conventional Mariner offers slightly more volume: 29.3 cubic feet with the rear seat in position, or 66.3 cubic feet with the rear seat folded and seat cushion removed.
Mariner Hybrid also features a multifunctional message center. This two-line, 24-character LCD provides such trip statistics as average fuel economy, distance to empty, and estimated remaining oil life. A battery indicator dial notes whether the hybrid powertrain’s nickel-metal hydride battery pack is charging during regenerative braking or cruising, or discharging during electric motor assistance.
Mariner Hybrid incorporates a comprehensive list of safety and security features to help protect passengers. Some of these key items include: structural energy management zones for frontal and offset frontal impacts; the advanced Personal Safety System; an available Safety Package, which includes the Ford Motor Company exclusive Safety Canopy side air curtain rollover protection system and the chest-protecting side impact air bags; Occupant Classification Sensing for the front passenger air bag; and standard four-channel anti-lock braking system.
Safeguards remained at the forefront of the hybrid development and engineering process. The high-voltage electrical power necessary to operate Mariner Hybrid should be safe for every expected circumstance.
Whenever the ignition switch is turned off, the high-voltage battery is automatically disconnected. Other safeguards are in place to cover service and collision situations Mariner Hybrid in the event of an accident. Even the battery pack has been designed to move up and outward in the event of a rear-collision to help prevent it from being crushed. As such, emergency response procedures for Mariner Hybrid are similar to those used for a traditional gas-powered vehicle.
Robust structure: Protection even in offset front impact
Mariner Hybrid’s structure is designed to help protect occupants in all types of impacts, including offset frontal crashes. In such a collision, only a portion of the front structure must bear the full brunt of the impact. To help cope with these uneven crash forces, the vehicle’s front rails have structural composite reinforcements to precisely manage the rate at which they absorb energy and help prevent passenger compartment intrusion.
Standard equipment: Personal Safety System
The 2006 Mariner Hybrid also features the Personal Safety System as standard equipment. The Personal Safety System is one of the most advanced arrays of occupant protection technologies on the market. By analyzing collision factors and determining response in a fraction of a second, it is designed to provide increased protection in many types of frontal crashes.
The first line of defense is a driver’s side front air bag capable of deploying at full or partial power. In less severe frontal crashes, the air bag inflates with reduced force – or not at all – helping reduce the risk of injury due to the inflation of the air bag.
Safety belt pretensioners tighten the front safety belts during the first milliseconds of a crash. Energy management retractors gradually slacken the safety belt, if necessary, to help reduce the force of the belt on the occupant’s chest. As ever, a vehicle occupant’s best defense in the event of a collision remains using the safety belt.
A four-channel, anti-lock brake system is also standard equipment.
Tailored safety: Occupant classification sensing
Occupant Classification Sensing works in concert with the Personal Safety System to facilitate deployment of the single-stage front passenger air bag. If the passenger seat sensor detects no weight on the seat – or minimal weight, such as a magazine or a purse – the passenger air bag automatically is deactivated. Similarly, if the sensor detects weight that would indicate the presence of a small child, the air bag remains turned off and a lighted indicator in the center stack alerts the driver with the message PASSENGER AIR BAG OFF. If, however, an adult is seated properly in the passenger seat, the system automatically arms the air bag, which is then ready to inflate in a collision, if needed.
Additional safety: Side curtain and chest side air bags
Mariner Hybrid’s optional Safety Package includes the Safety Canopy side curtain air bag system and chest-protecting side impact air bags. The Safety Canopy side curtain air bags, which debuted on the 2002 Mercury Mountaineer, augment side impact and rollover protection by deploying from the roof’s side rail behind the headliner in certain types of rollover and side-impact situations. A sensor monitors the vehicle’s roll angle and rate. If the system determines that a rollover may be imminent, the Safety Canopy air bags deploy – independently of the driver and front passenger air bag – and remain inflated for several seconds. Chest-protecting air bags are available for the front-seat occupants to reduce the possibility of severe chest injuries in the event of a side impact.
Green side of Ford Motor Company: Future vehicles will be cleaner
Ford Motor Company continues to develop sustainable mobility, with the goal of designing vehicles that have a negligible impact on the environment. The industry is in agreement that vehicles powered by hydrogen fuel cells are the long-term solution, but still are decades from being commonplace.
While hydrogen fuel cell technology continues to develop, potential alternatives that improve on today’s conventional internal combustion engines are emerging. These include hybrid-electric vehicles such as Mariner Hybrid, advanced clean diesels and hydrogen internal combustion engines.
Ford Motor Company continues to advance its commitment to and leadership in the hybrid-electric market. Within three years, Ford Motor Company will offer five full-hybrid vehicles for consumers: The Mercury Mariner Hybrid and Escape Hybrid, as well as hybrid versions of the Mercury Milan, Mazda Tribute and Ford Fusion.
Emissions: Tailpipe emissions better than ambient air in most major cities
The Mercury Mariner hybrid is one of the greenest, cleanest vehicles ever produced by Ford Motor Company.
As a measure of the progress made, consider these statistics: before exhaust-emissions controls were adopted in the late 1960s the typical car generated 84 grams of carbon monoxide, 11 grams of unburned hydrocarbons and about four grams of nitrogen oxides per mile of travel. Every hour of its life, 47 grams of fuel would evaporate from its tank. (There are 454 grams in a pound.)
By the beginning of the 21st Century, those emissions had been reduced by 96 percent. Mariner Hybrid is expected to qualify for Super-Low Emissions Vehicle II (SULEV II) rating in California and other states that have adopted California’s clean-air standards. For the full 10 years and 120,000 miles covered by SULEV II certification, maximum permissible carbon monoxide emissions are 1.0 gram per mile. Unburned hydrocarbons are reduced to 0.01 grams per mile and nitrogen oxides won’t exceed 0.02 grams per mile. Compare these figures to the 100 or so grams per mile of emissions produced by an uncontrolled car in the 1960s.
That 1960s-vintage uncontrolled car would produce more than a ton of smog-producing hydrocarbons during 100,000 miles of driving. In comparison, a SULEV II vehicle like Mariner Hybrid will emit less than one pound of hydrocarbons over the same distance.
To qualify for California’s even more meritorious label of Advanced Technology Partial Zero Emissions Vehicle (AT-PZEV), Mariner Hybrid must exceed the SULEV II standards, extending the emissions certification to 150,000 miles (versus the standard 120,000-mile requirement), and release NO evaporative emissions.
At least 100 new components were required to reduce evaporative emissions to the undetectable level. After Mariner Hybrid’s engine and catalytic converter are up to full operating temperature, the air quality leaving the exhaust pipe is often better than ambient air in Los Angeles.
Mileage: Estimated 33 mpg city, 29 mpg highway
A key distinction between conventional vehicles and full hybrids is that a hybrid invariably achieves better mileage in the city than on the highway. For example, Mariner Hybrid is expected to deliver 33 mpg in city driving and 29 mpg on the highway. To understand why, it’s necessary to understand how Mariner Hybrid achieves such remarkable fuel economy.
The Mariner Hybrid features a long list of fuel-saving powertrain technologies to stretch the miles out of every gallon of gasoline, starting with a Duratec 2.3-liter gasoline engine that improves all-around efficiency by about four percent versus conventional engines. Second, the electronically controlled planetary continuously variable transmission keeps the engine running at its most efficient load and rpm most of the time. Third, automatically shutting down the engine at stoplights, during deceleration and at low speeds cuts fuel consumption.
This is possible because of an electric traction motor that provides additional power to the front wheels, augmenting and even completely replacing, power from the gasoline engine. In addition, the electric motor is capable of regenerative braking, which converts momentum into electricity that’s stored in the battery pack.
The cause for the decreased highway fuel economy is that two efficiency boosters – shutting down the engine and recapturing lost energy with regenerative braking – don’t apply to highway trips.
Although hybrid-electric vehicles like the Mariner Hybrid deliver significant improvements in environmental responsibility, Ford Motor Company realizes that there is not one answer for sustainable mobility. As a result, of all the manufacturers on the planet, only Ford Motor Company is actively involved in the development of all four emerging technologies – hybrid-electric, clean diesel, hydrogen internal combustion and fuel cells.