Press Release:
– Available safety package features Safety Canopyâ„¢ side air curtain system and seat-mounted side air bags
– Available premium package combines interior comfort, safety and convenience features
– Two new exterior colors: Tungsten Grey Clearcoat Metallic and Light Sage Clearcoat Metallic
– 2006 Mercury Mariner Hybrid earned the Green Car Journal’s first Green Car of the Year award
Overview
The Mercury Mariner Hybrid is a key component of Ford Motor Company’s commitment to building a better world. Mariner Hybrid combines the spaciousness, style and functionality of the Mercury Mariner with the ultraclean emissions and impressive fuel economy of a gas-electric vehicle.
Configured as a full hybrid, Mariner Hybrid can travel up to 25 miles per hour (mph) solely with clean electric power, as the 2.3-liter gasoline engine automatically shuts down to conserve fuel and curb emissions. When more power is required, the gasoline engine and the electric traction motor team up to deliver comparable acceleration performance to the conventional Mariner powered by a 3.0-liter Duratec V-6.
As a result, Mariner Hybrid delivers an impressive 32 miles per gallon in the city and 29 mpg on the highway. In addition, the vehicle meets the rigorous Advanced Technology Partial Zero Emissions Vehicle (AT-PZEV) emissions standard in California and in other states that have adopted California’s emissions standards.
This combination of style, fuel efficiency, utility and clean emissions earned the Mariner Hybrid the Green Car Journal Green Car of the Year award for 2006, the journal’s first such award.
For the 2007 model year, two new exterior colors are available — Tungsten Grey Clearcoat Metallic and Light Sage Clearcoat Metallic — along with two feature packages that combine interior comfort, safety and convenience features.
Mariner Hybrid is produced at Ford’s Kansas City Assembly Plant in Claycomo, Mo.
Design and Equipment
The Mariner Hybrid’s exterior design follows Mercury’s brand themes: clean lines and contemporary proportions inspired by modern urban architecture. Complex refractor headlamps are stacked over inset fog lamps. The satin-aluminum-finished waterfall grille establishes a vertical theme surrounding a prominent Mercury emblem. Satin-aluminum finish also adorns the taillamps, a design cue shared with the Mercury Mountaineer and the Mercury Monterey minivan. Bumpers, door handles and protective side cladding are smoothly integrated and color-keyed for a clean, tailored appearance.
Consistent with customer desire to make a statement in a tasteful manner, Mariner Hybrid has only a few distinctive exterior touches: an air vent built into the driver’s side rear-quarter window to help manage the temperature of the hybrid powertrain’s battery pack; discreet road-and-leaf ‘Hybrid’ badges mounted on the liftgate, front doors and acoustic engine cover; and unique 16-inch, five-spoke wheels.
A key engineering goal was to incorporate the hybrid technology without imposing sacrifices in style, passenger comfort and cargo-hauling capacity. Mariner Hybrid’s upscale interior ambiance is established by two-toned seats and door trim panels, accented with bright-ringed speaker grilles and chrome door handles. Satin-aluminum and chrome finishes harmonize with Sappele wood-grain finishes on the center console and stack.
The instrument cluster features a multifunction message center, which reports trip statistics, mileage information and remaining oil life. A battery indicator dial is provided to inform the driver which way electrical current is flowing — to the battery during regenerative braking or from the battery to the electric motor when engaged to assist Mariner Hybrid’s gasoline engine.
The available Hybrid Energy Audio and navigation system features a 4-inch screen that displays the energy flowing from the gasoline engine, the electric motors, the battery pack and the wheels. The graphics reflect idle state, electric drive, gas-engine drive, hybrid drive and regenerative braking.
The available premium package incorporates leather seating surfaces, heated front seats and side mirrors, Reverse Sensing Systemâ„¢, the Hybrid Energy Audio and Navigation System and the safety package (side curtain air bags with rollover sensor and front side air bags).
Powertrain and Chassis
The Mercury Mariner Hybrid powertrain blends the best features of a gasoline engine and an electric motor to achieve nearly 50 percent higher driving efficiency and lower emissions with no loss of the conventional Mariner’s functionality or performance. 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 70 more pending, on these technologies shared with the Ford Escape Hybrid.
The core powertrain components are a 2.3-liter Atkinson cycle engine, two AC electric motors that provide motor and generator functions, an electronically controlled continuously variable transmission (CVT), and 250 D-size nickel-metal hydride batteries in a compact, rear-mounted, sealed package.
Configured as a full hybrid, this powertrain is able to propel the Mariner Hybrid to 25 mph solely with clean electric power. When the vehicle’s 133 horsepower isn’t required — during coasting, at stoplights or crawling at low speeds through traffic — the gasoline engine automatically shuts down to conserve fuel and curb emissions.
The gasoline engine and the AC traction motor team up when needed for passing acceleration, climbing steep grades or towing a 1,000-pound trailer. With a combined output equivalent to 155 horsepower and the continuously variable transmission’s immediate ratio-changing capability, passing acceleration is comparable to the conventional Mariner powered by a 3.0-liter Duratec V-6.
Mariner Hybrid delivers impressive fuel economy, with estimated ratings of 32 miles per gallon in the city and 29 mpg on the highway. Unlike conventional vehicles, Mariner Hybrid gets greater fuel economy in the city, where it uses the gas engine less. In addition, Mariner Hybrid takes advantage of frequent stops for regenerative braking.
Mariner Hybrid meets the rigorous Advanced Technology Partial Zero Emissions Vehicle (AT-PZEV) emissions standard in California, and other states that have adopted California’s emissions standards.
The vehicle’s standard intelligent four-wheel-drive (4WD) system monitors throttle position and individual wheel speeds to supplement front-wheel drive with four-wheel drive before slippage and loss of mobility occurs.
Mariner Hybrid’s chassis is optimized for space and weight efficiency, essential for delivering a fun-to-drive character. The solid foundation is accompanied by a fully independent suspension. The MacPherson strut front suspension features shock absorbers, coil springs, L-shaped arms and a stabilizer bar. The independent multilink system uses a trailing arm and two lateral links to locate each wheel, and coil-over shocks.
The rack-and-pinion steering is electrically assisted, rather than using the traditional hydraulic steering pump for consistent steering efforts and control whether the gasoline engine is stopped or running. Regenerative braking uses the traction motor to assist the four-wheel disc brakes in slowing Mariner Hybrid while simultaneously generating electricity for charging the battery.
The result is a confident, fun-to-drive vehicle, defined by its smooth, controlled ride, nimble response to steering commands and inspiring brakes.
Safety and Security
The agile handling and four-channel anti-lock brake system (ABS) help Mariner Hybrid owners to avoid accidents. However, should an accident occur, Mariner Hybrid is backed by an array of safety features.
The standard Personal Safety System® includes right front passenger sensing to tailor the front-passenger air bag deployment to match the passenger’s size and the severity of the accident. An available safety package offers side air bags combined with the Safety Canopy side air curtain system with rollover detection.
The unibody structure is engineered to help protect the occupants in all types of collisions, including offset front impacts.
Major Features and Options
Mercury Mariner includes: four-wheel ABS; electric power-assisted steering; hybrid powertrain system; intelligent 4WD; auto-dimming rearview mirror; remote keyless entry; tire pressure monitoring system; fog lamps; AM/FM, six-disc CD player with MP3 capability; message center; leather-wrapped steering wheel with speed control; unique center panel finish with Sappele wood; 16-inch aluminum wheels and tires; Personal Safety System® and power group (power windows with one-touch-down driver window, locks and mirrors with accessory delay).
Options include: Audiophile audio system with six-disc CD player and MP3 capability, power moonroof, safety package, premium package and Hybrid Energy Audio and Navigation System.
Price this car:
MSRP: $27,950 – $27,950
Invoice: $26,335 – $26,335
Source: Mercury Press Release

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