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Montego is Mercury’s All-New Premium Sedan – Graceful in Design, Rich in Features

Model - Mercury Montego

Status - Model Year 2004, Available mid 2004

Source - Ford Motor Company

“Introduction of the Montego sedan represents a watershed event for the Mercury brand. It offers the whole package — great exterior design, surprisingly generous interior space and strong value. The Montego is adding new energy into the Lincoln-Mercury showroom. It’s what we want customers to expect from Lincoln-Mercury.” – Darryl B. Hazel, President, Lincoln-Mercury

Ford Motor Company is launching into the Year of the Car in 2004 by introducing six new car and crossover models, including an important sedan with available all-wheel drive for Mercury dealers: the all-new Montego.

The 2005 Montego mid sized sedan is the third of four all-new Mercurys that will arrive in showrooms over the next three years as Lincoln-Mercury continues to revamp and bolster its lineup.

Montego offers many innovations, including Ford’s industry-leading safety technology. Its all-new, continuously variable transmission and six-speed automatic transmission combine performance with fuel economy. And its European-inspired chassis delivers crisp, responsive handling.

Montego’s premium interior is roomy and contemporary. Its smart ergonomics – flexible seating and cargo storage capability – set new standards for midsize sedans. A spacious, second row and new-to-the-class “high-package” seating position provides for unprecedented passenger comfort and reinforces the driver’s commanding view of the road.

There is no mistaking the modern design cues on the new Montego for anything but a Mercury. The signature waterfall grille, strategic use of contrasting metallic surfaces such as satin aluminum and chrome, distinctive taillight bezels and unique tailoring continue the distinctive automotive design vision Edsel Ford set for Mercury some 65 years ago.

New Mercury Offering

Montego takes its place at the top of the midsize-sedan segment. Offered in Premier and Luxury trim levels, Montego’s distinctive exterior design, contemporary, roomy interior and available features like all-wheel-drive are expected to attract new customers to Mercury showrooms.

Montego continues the strong product momentum at Mercury that began with the launch of the Mountaineer sport utility vehicle in 2002 and continued with this fall’s introduction of the Monterey minivan.

Among Montego’s features are:
- Advanced high-intensity-discharge (HID) headlamps
- LED tail lamps that light up 200 milliseconds faster than traditional bulbs
- Available all-wheel-drive system for sure traction whatever the weather or road conditions
- Natural, upright seating for maximum comfort and outward visibility
- Total interior volume that surpasses all vehicles in its class
- Among best-in-class acceleration and handling
- Energy-channeling frame structures and active safety features engineered by Ford and Volvo
In addition, the new Montego was engineered using the Total Vehicle Geometry protocol that measurably improves quality and adds to the car’s overall value.

Sculpted for Those Who Appreciate Design

Elements like premium materials, colors and surface textures signal that the all-new Montego sedan is an aspirational vehicle – a reward for those who value design.

“The design is refined, technical and substantial,” said J Mays, Ford group vice president, design. “With Montego, we wanted to offer our customers an intelligent, sophisticated vehicle that reflects their worlds and brings outstanding design within reach of those who most appreciate it.”

In Montego’s design language, “technical” describes its well-executed geometric exterior shapes, as well as its use of metallic surfaces like satin aluminum and chrome inside and out. Some design elements also incorporate technologies that deliver consumer benefits, like the HID headlamps that present a clearer view of the road at night, and LED taillights that provide highly visible communication to other drivers on the road.

Balance is an important aspect of the design. From any angle, the Montego offers a blend of satin and chrome, with the edge going toward satin aluminum – a material Chief Designer George Bucher calls “cooler than cool.” The satin-metallic waterfall grille is complemented by the bright chrome, jeweled HID headlamps. And the technical, modern nature of the metal finish on Montego’s 18-inch alloy wheels (standard on the Premier series) is countered by the classic 15-spoke design.

“We’re blending a traditional luxury element – a spoke-like wheel – with a modern technical milled finish,” Bucher said. “This blend of the traditional and the technical is very much part of the Mercury design persona.”

Contemporary Interior

Attention to detail was important in establishing the proper interior environment for the Mercury Montego.

“Details are very important,” Bucher said. “The details, like tastefully decorative elements, colors, patterns and textures, are designed to reward the occupants.”

A key feature of Montego’s interior design is its upscale two-tone treatment. Bucher chose colors from the same family to preserve the sense of balance. “It’s a modern interpretation of two-tone,” Bucher said. “It’s subtle, yet it establishes a distinctive persona in the showroom or in the driveway.”

Surface textures invite interaction. Satin aluminum cuffs wrap the steering wheel spokes. Chrome is used on the door handles and on trim rings around the dash-mounted analog clock, gauges and climate control vents. The steering wheel and shift knob are wrapped in leather.

“The fabrics are soft to the touch,” Bucher said. “The leather seats have a fine, ‘mini-perf’ texture, as opposed to coarser European-style perforation patterns. All of the surface treatments invite you to touch.”

Comfort and Convenience

Montego’s interior dimensions put it among the leaders in virtually every category, including best-in-class headroom and knee room in the second row. The natural, upright seating position – borrowed from sport utilities like the Mercury Mountaineer – offers both comfort and visibility that give the driver confidence and command of the road.

In designing the high-position seating, engineers focused on maximizing height of the “H-point,” or pivot point of the human hip. The vertical distance from the H-point to the floor determines whether the seating position is upright or “stretched out.” In Montego’s front row, for example, the distance between the H-point and the heel-point – where the occupant’s foot touches the floor – is 12.7 inches. This is the most generous in its class, more than an inch greater than its nearest competitor. This design also makes for easier entry and exit.

Comfort is further enhanced through premium features like a power-adjustable driver’s seat, tilt steering wheel, optional power-adjustable pedals and available two-user memory function (standard on Premier) for the exterior mirrors, seat and pedal positions. The driver’s power window has one-touch operation in both directions. A power moonroof and Rear Park Assist also are available.

Montego’s trunk is deceptively large, with a class-leading 21 cubic feet of space – nearly 50 percent larger than most competitors. With the split, second-row seat folded, the trunk expands to offer a best-in-class 49.9 inches of total load floor length. The front passenger seat also can fold flat for added cargo-carrying capability.

First-row seats have two power points, including one in the center console, handy for recharging portable devices like mobile phones or laptop computers. A small cutout prevents the charger cord from getting pinched when the console lid is closed.

Other storage areas include:
- Map pockets on the back of the front seats
- Storage pockets with molded-in bottle holders in all four doors
- Four cup holders – two each in the front console and rear-seat pull-down center armrest
- Standard overhead console, with storage for sunglasses and other small items

Montego Offers Crisp Handling, Braking, Acceleration and Sure Traction

Engineers drew on best practices from throughout Ford Motor Company to craft the confident ride and handling that define the new Mercury Montego sedan.

The Volvo-inspired chassis provides a stable platform, with fully independent suspension for a quiet ride and responsive handling. The proven Duratec 30 V-6 engine has been refined for smoother, quieter operation. The all-new, continuously variable transmission, developed with joint venture partner ZF-Batavia, and premium six-speed automatic transmission, developed by Aisin AW, each offer wide overall gear ratios for strong acceleration and economical operation. The CVT, which precisely selects the right gear ratio to meet the performance demanded by the driver, makes the Montego’s relatively small, fuel-efficient V-6 feel like a larger engine. It is standard on all-wheel-drive versions of the new sedan.

Although final fuel economy numbers won’t be available until closer to the launch date, the all-new Mercury Montego is expected to be among the most efficient in its class.

Sure-Footed Traction

Mercury Montego’s optional all-wheel-drive system also uses electronic controls to achieve optimum performance whether on dry, wet or snow-covered roads – or traveling through mud or sand.

At the heart of the AWD system is an electronically controlled, electro-hydraulic Haldex limited slip coupling located between the drive shaft and the rear differential. Normally, the vehicle functions with front-wheel drive only. But when the Haldex controller senses a difference in speed between the front wheels and rear wheels, it taps into available drive-shaft torque and distributes up to 100 percent to the rear wheels. All this happens so quickly – within 50 milliseconds – the driver may never know traction was compromised.

Suspension Design Aids Ride, Handling

The suspension design was inspired by Volvo and optimized for the Montego using computer-aided-engineering modeling. The multi-link, independent rear suspension assembly is built on a stout, U-shaped subframe that boasts exceptional torsional stiffness. Its resistance to shaking, bending and other movement under road impact allows shock absorbers, springs and bushings to do their jobs better. The rear suspension uses 30 different bushings – each computer-designed to perform specific tasks.

In all-wheel-drive models, the rear subframe is attached to the chassis by four isolated mounts that prevent vibrations from reaching occupants. All-wheel-drive Montegos also employ Nivomat self-leveling rear shocks by Sachs. They feature internal valves that sense ride height, and, when required, use energy from the vehicle’s own motion to increase hydraulic pressure inside the shocks to raise the car. This ensures that all-wheel-drive Montegos maintain the desired ride level under various loads, like when the trunk is heavily laden.

The front suspension uses MacPherson struts with a rearward-facing L-arm, which provides quick steering while isolating the cabin from road shocks.

Braking Benefits From Systems Approach

Braking feel and response are enhanced by oversized rotors, dual-piston aluminum front calipers and high-friction pad materials. The standard anti-lock braking system improves performance on slippery surfaces, and electronic brake force distribution continually optimizes the balance between the front and rear brakes. A new type of high-friction, low-metallic brake pad material produces less dust than comparable pads.

The dual-piston front brake calipers are made from cast aluminum that reduces vehicle weight by 10.8 pounds when compared to comparably sized cast iron single-piston calipers. The front brake discs are 315 mm (12.4 in.) in diameter by 28 mm (1.1 in.) thick. The rear brake discs are slightly larger – 330 mm (13 in.) in diameter – but only 11 mm (0.43 in.) thick.

Safety Built on Strong Foundation

The all-new 2005 Mercury Montego builds on Ford’s industry-leading Personal Safety System™ with new features – including best practices inspired from Volvo – that address front-, side- and rear-impact protection.

When equipped with optional side air bags and Safety Canopyâ„¢ side curtain air bags, Mercury Montego is expected to earn top ratings in crash tests. These independent tests will be conducted after the Montego reaches U.S. showrooms.

The vehicle also is expected to meet the stringent new Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 208 that governs front-impact protection for variously sized occupants – whether belted, unbelted or out of position – and a proposed future standard for rear impacts.

Front, side and rear structural elements were engineered with crash safety in mind. Montego engineers balanced the need for structural strength to safeguard the passenger compartment from intrusion with the need for collapsible elements that absorb energy and reduce the overall crash “pulse” that ultimately reaches vehicle occupants.

The front structure uses a “tripod” design that channels frontal crash forces upward and downward into a high-strength steel “ring” of protection surrounding the passenger compartment.

For protection in side impacts, the two B-pillars are braced together at the top by a structural roof bow that crosses the vehicle. Acting somewhat like a lever anchored at the roof rail, the strong, reinforced top portion of the B-pillar safeguards occupants while the lower portion absorbs energy. This energy is channeled further through a cross-car tube derived from Volvo’s Side Impact Protection System (SIPS). The front seats are mounted atop this SIPS tube, placing them above the energy path.

Montego’s active safety systems collect information from various sensors throughout the car – including a seat-position sensor that determines the driver’s distance from the steering wheel, a weight-sensor in the front passenger seat, crash severity sensors and rollover sensors used for the

Safety Canopy™ – to tailor response to the type and severity of the impact.

The driver and passenger air bags offer two levels of deployment speed to match specific crash situations. If the front passenger seat is occupied by a child, or is empty, the passenger air bag is suppressed. A new adaptive steering column collapses horizontally at two different speeds, based on whether the driver is belted or unbelted.

Other elements of the Personal Safety System™ include safety belt pretensioners, load-limiting retractors and optional seat-deployed side air bags. Every seating position gets three-point safety belts and head restraints. The patented BeltMinder™ system reminds the driver and front passenger to buckle up. Up to two compatible child seats can be attached to the LATCH – lower anchors and tethers for children – points in the rear seat.

Total Vehicle Geometry Provides Formula for Quality

Montego benefits from Total Vehicle Geometry – a proprietary quantitative approach to quality developed by Volvo. TVG examines every aspect of vehicle engineering continuously, from the first day of the design process through prototyping and full production.

Under TVG, all engineers take responsibility for a “systems” approach to in the creation of the vehicle. They keep all of the CAD drawings continuously up to date so that future vehicle programs can benefit from the latest engineering solutions.

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