2004 New York Auto Show
NEW YORK, April 7, 2004 – Ford Motor Company is stepping up its commitment to hybrid vehicle technology by announcing today that it is adding a third vehicle to its hybrid product line-up – the 2007 Mercury Mariner Hybrid SUV.
The news is being announced at the New York International Auto Show, where Ford is demonstrating the "no compromise" capabilities of the 2005 Ford Hybrid Escape, the industry’s cleanest and most fuel-efficient SUV. The new Escape Hybrid goes on sale later this summer.
"Hybrid technology is a very strong fit for the Mercury brand," says Darryl Hazel, president, Lincoln Mercury. "The 2007 Mariner Hybrid will offer sophisticated technology along with a sophisticated design. It will be another important vehicle to attract new buyers to the Lincoln Mercury showroom."
The hybrid version of the Mercury follows the debut of the gasoline-powered Mariner compact SUV this summer. The 2005 Mercury Mariner offers distinctive Mercury design, a refined car-like ride and unique features. Mariner is designed to be fun-to-drive, agile, sporty and durable, yet affordable.
The Mariner Hybrid will use the knowledge gained by Ford in developing the Escape Hybrid, the company’s first gasoline/electric hybrid SUV. It is the world’s first no-compromise SUV, combining fuel economy and emissions benefits of a "full" hybrid along with all the cargo capacity and on- and off-road capability of the Ford Escape.
The company also plans to produce a hybrid version of its new Ford midsize sedan down the road. Ford announced that vehicle during last year’s New York International Auto Show.
Ford also announced today that Mary Ann Wright, chief engineer of the Escape Hybrid, will lead a new group as director of Ford’s Sustainable Mobility Technologies and Hybrid Vehicle Programs. Under the direction of Phil Martens, Ford group vice president, Product Creation, and Gerhard Schmidt, Ford vice president of Research and Advanced Engineering, this group will have responsibility for fuel cells and hybrid vehicles, plus the infrastructure that goes with them.
"We will continue to develop all of our hybrids in-house, including core research," explains Jim Padilla, Ford Motor Company executive vice president and president of The Americas. "The experience we’ve gained developing the Escape Hybrid gives us a huge advantage over most of the industry, and it’s a lead we intend to continue."
Ford also is working on long-term research related to hydrogen-powered vehicles. This work includes the development of a Ford Focus with a supercharged hydrogen internal combustion engine (H2ICE), an H2ICE-powered Focus with a Modular Hybrid Transmission System (MHTS) called the Hydrogen Hybrid Research Vehicle (H2RV) and a growing fleet of Focus Fuel Cell Vehicles (FCV) -- all on the road today.
Ford is the only automaker with such a full-range of production vehicles and research efforts intended to move society to a hydrogen-powered future.
"Ultimately, we need to develop fuel cell-powered vehicles, but first we need to develop the hydrogen economy," Padilla adds. "To get to fun-to-drive fuel cell cars, rugged and durable fuel cell trucks and fuel cell SUVs that are versatile and capable, we need terrific hydrogen internal combustion engine vehicles to build the hydrogen infrastructure and full functionality hybrids to build our experience with electric drivetrains. In fact, our announced hybrid vehicles are helping us invent the future."