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Mariner SUV To Be Part Of Product -Led Renaissance...
The all-new 2005 Mercury Mariner sport utility joins a flood of new products Lincoln-Mercury plans to add during the next three years. Mariner debuts in 2004 as the third of four all-new nameplates being added the Mercury showroom.
Mercury’s four new products include:
· The Monterey minivan – coming this fall
· The Montego sedan – coming in fall 2004
· The Mariner sport utility – coming in fall 2004
· A new mid-size sedan – coming in 2005
Mariner introduces modern Mercury design, refined driving dynamics and unique product features in a small, fuel-efficient SUV designed to attract new customers to Mercury showrooms.
“There’s a lot of excitement in store for our Mercury dealers during the next few years,” said Darryl Hazel, president, Lincoln Mercury. “Customers are going to see a new look and a new showroom selection rolling out beginning this fall.”
Mariner in Mercury’s Showroom.
Building on the style and success of the Mountaineer, Mariner brings contemporary Mercury design to customers who are looking for a compact urban SUV, but don’t need the cargo and passenger space of the larger, seven-passenger vehicle. The Mariner will be the entry-level sport utility in the Lincoln-Mercury showroom, which features a comprehensive lineup of upscale and luxury SUVs including the Mercury Mountaineer, Lincoln Aviator and the full-size Navigator.
Distinctive Mercury Design
Based on one of the best-selling small sport utilities on the market, the Ford Escape, the Mercury Mariner is designed for customers who want a little more. Mariner delivers a new level of design sophistication, more standard features, upgraded interior materials and unique content that appeals to Mercury buyers.
“Our goal is to achieve a high level of differentiation in our Mercury products in a clean, contemporary design,” says J Mays, Ford Motor Company vice president of Design. “These are clean, intelligent designs without a lot of excess. The design is thoroughly modern inside and out, with a Mercury family resemblance and a particular attention to detail on the interiors.”
The new designs feature a stacked element theme at the front of the vehicle with distinctive headlamps over integrated foglamps and vertical, satin aluminum finished grill elements. As the newest iteration of Mercury design, Mariner adds a satin aluminum bumper insert, which ties in with the grill design. The “U” shaped air intake contributes to the tailored and organized theme.
Mariner strikes a sophisticated profile with color-keyed body side cladding offering chip and ding protection in an integrated, clutter-free design. Turn signal repeater lamps are mounted on the fenders, another distinctive Mercury design cue, which further distinguishes Mariner from the competition. The wheels on the Mariner concept are cast aluminum with a satin finish.
The taillamps are shrouded with horizontal satin aluminum accent grilles, which also appear on the Mountaineer and the Monterey minivan.
“The Mariner has a level of design sophistication that is a step above in this segment,” says Mays. “The exterior is a clean, smart, modern design. The interior is a great place to be – inviting and distinctive, with just the right look and feel of luxury.”
Mercury is going to great lengths to introduce high levels of craftsmanship in its interiors, where customers spend most of their time interacting with their vehicle. Ford, Lincoln and Mercury have increased investment in interior craftsmanship threefold in recent years. Mariner’s interior design and execution will further separate it from the competition.
Opening the doors introduces the driver and passengers to unique two-toned door panels with large, bright ringed speaker grilles in all doors. Chrome door handles add refinement. In addition, the seats are stitched with thick French seams.
The tailored interior is highlighted with wood grain, satin aluminum and chrome accents. For a sporty feel, the customer will enjoy the new floor-mounted shifter, which is accented with a chrome surround and a satin aluminum shift knob. The instruments in the cluster have bright bezels and dark gray faces. Satin aluminum and wood grain bezels on the unique center console and center stack further contribute to the rich interior theme.
Fun To Drive
Mariner was designed to be a visually appealing, functional and capable SUV. Mariner is tuned for the urban environment with outstanding car-like handling. The production Mariner will be available in front- or four-wheel-drive for buyers seeking added surefootedness in inclement weather. Mariner benefits from an all-new electronic four-wheel drive system, which automatically transfers torque from front to rear as required by road conditions without driver intervention.
“This combination means Mariner automatically adapts to adverse road conditions, whether snow or ice-covered city streets, or a rough dirt road,” says Phil Martens, vice president of Product Creation, North America. “Mariner is distinctive and sophisticated as well as agile, nimble and maneuverable - it drives like a car but offers SUV versatility.”
Mariner features unibody construction for lightweight, nimble maneuverability, low stance for ease of entry and exit, and enhanced safety protection. Four-wheel independent suspension contributes to the Mariner’s refined car-like ride and handling. Mariner powertrains include a 2.3-liter 16-valve I-4 and a 3.0-liter 24-valve V-6 Duratec engine. Both engines come with a standard 4-speed automatic transaxle.
Mariner Safety Features
Mariner features the latest level of the Personal Safety System™ one of the most comprehensive and technologically advanced safety systems available in any vehicle in any class. Seat mounted front side air bags and side air curtain airbags are optional.
The all-new 2005 Mercury Mariner will be produced at the Ohio Assembly Plant in Avon Lake and will go on sale in late 2004.
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