Mercury unveiled the 2010 Milan, a new generation that adds for the first time a hybrid model to the line-up. The new Mercury will be built at Ford’s Hermosillo (Mexico) Stamping and Assembly Plant and will go on sale in spring 2009.
The 2010 Mercury comes with new grille, fenders, hood, and front and rear fascias. The chin was pulled forward and the fascia was pulled down to give the 2010 Mercury Milan a wider, sportier look. Those changes as well as substantial underbody work made for a cleaner, more aerodynamic car.
Under the hood there is a 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine that delivers 155 hp and 136 lb.-ft. of torque. The engine is mated to an electronically-controlled continuously variable transmission or e-CVT. The hybrid version comes with a new smaller, lighter nickel-metal hydride battery has been optimized to produce 20 percent more power. It can operate up to 47 mph in pure electric mode, approximately twice as fast as some competitors. Plus, the city driving range on a single tank of gas is expected to be more than 700 miles.
Most of Detroit’s concept cars from the 50s and 60s were like the mediocre rock stars of the same era. They get a lot of attention for a little while, but when the spotlight faded away they died young. Concept cars disappear for a number of reasons including keeping company design secrets, failure to meet current safety regulations, too many are produced to store them all, avoiding taxes, etc. But all reasons are meet by the same fate: death by crusher.
There are a very few of these originals that stay alive in private hands, and eBay currently has one for sale. It seems the 1954 Mercury XM-800 avoided the crusher through donation. Ford gave the car to an automotive specialist school at the University of Michigan. When the school closed, the car was sold into private hands. Eventually the car wound up in the hands of concept car collector Joe Bortz.
The XM-800 may have been able to live on, but today it’s in need of a good restoration. The all-fiberglass car was never made with intension of lasting this long. Since it is a one of a kind car, restoration will be a little harder than ordering parts form a catalogue. But like any good concept car, it’s worth the effort.
This is not the first time this Mercury concept car has been offered on eBay, but hopefully this time it will find a new loving home.
Mercury has been in an identity crisis. The latest marketing suggests that the brand is supposed to be young, hip and female, but hardly anyone bought it – literally. Mercury had sunk so far that it was about to become another discontinued brand like GM’s Oldsmobile or Chrysler’s Plymouth. But it seems Ford had a change of heart and is going to pump new direction in the forgotten brand. Mercury will now be the gateway brand to Lincoln.
This doesn’t seem like a too far step considering that all Lincoln dealerships also carry Mercury products. Now Mercury’s future now will be complementing Lincoln by selling premium small cars and crossovers. "Lincoln will start with midsized sedans and move up from there," said Derrick Kuzak, Ford’s global product chief. "Mercury brings a younger, more female customer than the Ford brand. We’re focusing (Mercury) very much on small, fuel-efficient products." By 2010 Mercury should get a version of the new Ford Focus, but it will also possibly give up some of its larger vehicles such as Sable, Moutaineer and Grand Marquis, because they no longer fit in the brand’s new identity.
Unofficial sources told that Ford will launch no new Mercury models fter the 2012 model year. The first model will be the Milan midsize sedan as it will get a midcycle refresh early next year.
Models like the Sable, Grand Marquis and recently refreshed Mariner will continue until roughly the 2011/2012 model year as well.
The news is not such a big surprise as Mercury has been absent from the auto show scene for quite some time.
On the other hands, according to Automotive News, Mark Fields, Ford’s president of the Americas, said on Monday that Mercury brand is an important part of the U.S. automaker’s line-up and the company is continuing to invest in the nameplate: "It is an important part of the stable of brands," Fields told reporters at an event promoting the new Lincoln MKS sedan in suburban Detroit.
Mercury continues pushing fashion-forward design, with a new runway-inspired production series called VOGA. Literally translated as “fashionable and trend-setting,” VOGA hits primetime today at the South Florida International Auto Show, debuting on a 2008 Mercury Mariner. Over time, the VOGA series will be offered on a series of Mercury products.
That’s what Mercury dealers think, at least according to an Automotive News survey. According to the publication, 23 percent of Mercury dealers were NOT worried the brand would be dropped by Ford. The rest were: 45% said they were “very concerned” that Ford would discontinue Mercury. 32% said they were “somewhat concerned” that the brand would be terminated.
Some are more worried than others about how the demise of Mercury would affect them. 28% belived that other Ford brands (...) > Full story
Mercury Milan challenges the perceptions of what an exceptional mid-size car should be by combining distinctive, sophisticated styling, an expressive, modern interior and segment-leading quality, all at an unexpected value.
For 2008, Mountaineer also addresses consumers’ tech-savvy wishes with the addition of Mercury Sync™ – an industry-exclusive, voice-activated and hands-free in-car communications and entertainment system (late availability). Developed in collaboration with Microsoft, the system fully integrates mobile phones and media players into the vehicle using Bluetooth technology and USB connectivity. Mountaineer’s navigation system is improved for 2008 as well, now offering voice-activation capability for greater ease of operation.
Mercury unveiled the 2008 Mercury Mariner Hybrid, a stylish, upscale small sport-utility vehicle with nimble handling and impressive performance, along with ample cargo and towing capacity. It’s an environmentally conscious SUV with remarkable fuel efficiency, and also meets the cleanest emissions rating achievable by a fossil-fuel vehicle (California’s Advanced Technology Partial Zero Emissions Vehicle standard).
New 2008 Mercury Mariner, boasting a new design, lower suggested MSRP and greater fuel efficiency, aims to build upon one of the strongest vehicle conquest rates within Ford Motor Company. Cutting-edge 3D animation technology drives captivating new ads that showcase the 2008 Mercury Mariner’s sophisticated design and styling. Hitting network airwaves now, the ads will appear in lifestyle media that tap into the Mariner customer’s passions for cooking, (...) > Full story