Image credits: © Mercury.
2005 Mercury Montego news, pictures, and information
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 wîth 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 -leading safety technology. Its all-new, continuously variable transmission and six-speed automatic transmission combine performance wîth 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 §egmènt. 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 wîth the launch of the Mountaineer sport utility vehicle in 2002 and continued wîth 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, wîth 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 – wîth a modern technical milled finish,' Bucher §äid. 'This blend of the traditional and the technical is very much part of the Mercury design persona.'
Attention to detail was important in establishing the proper interior environment for the Mercury Montego.
'Details are very important,' Bucher §äid. '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 §äid. '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 §teering 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 §teering wheel and shift knob are wrapped in leather.
'The fabrics are soft to the touch,' Bucher §äid. '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 §teering 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, wîth 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 wîth 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, wîth 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. (concept carz)
The Volvo-inspired chassis provides a stable platform, wîth 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 wîth 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. (concept carz)
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.
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 wîth 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, Ú-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 wîth a rearward-facing L-arm, which provides quick §teering 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 -leading Personal Safety System™ wîth new features – including best practices inspired from Volvo – that address front-, side- and rear-impact protection.
When equipped wîth optional side air bags and Safety Canopy™ 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 Ú.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 wîth crash safety in mind. Montego engineers balanced the need for structural strength to safeguard the passenger compartment from intrusion wîth 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 §teering 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 §teering 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. Úp 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.
Únder 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.
– Jan Vulcan, Chief Nameplate Engineer
Chassis, Powertrain Offer New Levels of RefinementEngineers drew on best practices from throughout Ford Motor Company to craft the confident ride and handling that define the new Mercury Montego sedan. (concept carz)
By tailoring a Volvo-designed chassis to match Ford's proven, a further refined Duratec 30 V-6 engine and an all-new, continuously variable transmission, Montego's design team crafted an engaging and rewarding driving experience that will surprise and delight customers throughout North America.
Montego was engineered using the latest computer-aided design tools, and it incorporates new, powerful onboard electronics to achieve its performance and efficiency goals. 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.
Among Montego's features are:
* An all-new, continuously variable transmission – marking the auto 's highest-volume CVT application. It enhances fuel efficiency while providing smooth, stepless operation
* An all-new six-speed automatic transmission that offers a wider gear ratio span than competing four- or five-speed designs, resulting in better acceleration and fuel efficiency
* An improved Duratec 30 3.0-liter V-6 engine, complete wîth electronic throttle control and delivering 200 horsepower and 200 foot-pounds of torque wîth less unwanted noise and vibration. Combined wîth Montego's new wide-ratio transmissions, the Duratec engine delivers acceleration that is among the best in its class.
* Available all-wheel drive and traction control that enhance grip on all road surfaces
* A sophisticated chassis design, inspired by Volvo, that offers high torsional stiffness for crisp handling and a smooth ride
* Dual-piston cast-aluminum front calipers that contribute to confident braking
New Transmissions Marry Economy, Performance
The new CVT will be standard on all-wheel-drive Montego Luxury and Premier series, helping make Ford Motor Company the 's volume leader in CVTs.
CVTs offer several key advantages over traditional 'step' automatics, including improved fuel economy and an enhanced feeling of performance.
Both of these advantages stem from the CVT's wider ratio span – the difference between the transmission's highest and lowest gear ratios. Montego's CVT has an overall ratio of more than 6-to-1. That compares to 4-to-1 for a typical automatic.
The lowest gear ratio – the equivalent of first gear on a conventional step transmission – multiplies engine torque to launch the vehicle from a standing start, ensuring stronger, off-the-line acceleration that will delight drivers.
The highest gear ratio – equivalent to the top gear on a conventional automatic – is used primarily for cruising at steady speeds, maximizing fuel economy. The CVT is expected to deliver up to 8 percent better mileage than a conventional four-speed automatic.
The CVT also allows the Montego's efficient V-6 engine to deliver V-8-like performance because it precisely matches gear ratio to engine speed to answer the demands of quick acceleration, a steep hill or other loads.
'The beauty of a CVT is that no matter what speed you're driving, it will always seek out optimal torque,' said Ray Nicosia, manager, vehicle engineering for Ford's North American cars and family vehicles. 'That's why it feels so responsive.'
The new ZF-Batavia CVT also is designed for ease of ownership. Maintenance recommended at 60,000 miles includes draining and refilling the transmission fluid – no filter change is necessary, and under normal use the drive belt is good for the life of the vehicle.
Montego's more conventional Aisin AW six-speed automatic transmission produces similar results. It offers a nearly identical overall ratio span to the CVT, and its electronic controls allow the unit to 'learn' from the driver, adapting its shift points to optimize performance or fuel economy.
As a fuel-saving measure during city driving, the neutral idle speed activates while the transmission is in Drive and the vehicle is stopped. When the transmission selector is in Low range, the controller enables engine braking to assist wîth hill descents or other demands.
The six-speed transmission also is relatively maintenance free, wîth fluid that is rated for 10 years/150,000 miles.
Faster, Smarter Electronics
The Montego's high level of performance is made possible in part by new powertrain electronics. The new Black Oak controller uses PowerPC machine language and floating-point calculations to perform more tasks more quickly. Transmitted along an information highway called a Conrolled Area Network, it monitors data from all the vehicle's sensors and reacts accordingly.
Powertrain engineers took advantage of this capability and design a special calibration for times that CVT-equipped vehicles drive downhill. The system detects that the vehicle is on a descending grade and adjusts engine speed and transmission ratio to hold a steady speed. And like most powertrain functions, this is entirely seamless to the driver.
This type of calibration, as well as design of the accelerator pedal components, provides the familiar feel and response of a traditional mechanical throttle linkage while offering the precise performance advantages of electronic throttle control.
Confidence-Building All-Wheel Drive
Mercury Montego's optional electronically controlled all-wheel-drive system delivers optimum performance whether on dry, wet or snow-covered roads – or traversing mud or sand.
Normally, the Montego functions in front-drive mode only. But like the vehicle's other electronic components, the controller continuously monitors information flow along the Controlled Area Network (CAN) bus to determine whether AWD operation is needed. It can react within 50 milliseconds to distribute virtually all of the available torque to the open rear differential.
'Volvo's AWD technology was a great enabler for us because it is much more difficult to package all-wheel drive in a passenger car than in an sport utility vehicle or a truck,' said Phil Kurrle, design and release supervisor for car powertrain subsystems. 'Through Volvo's leadership, we now have access to lightweight and compact all-wheel-drive components that have proved their reliability beyond question.'
More than 90 percent of the all-wheel-drive components are common to the Volvo system.
The Brains Behind Montego's AWD
The Swedish-built Haldex coupler works through a combination of hydraulic and electro-hydraulic activation of its internal clutch pack.
When the vehicle is in motion, the drive shaft is in motion as well, driven by the CVT-mounted power transfer unit. If the drive shaft turns more quickly than the output shaft at the rear of the Haldex, oil flow is generated, which produces hydraulic pressure in the Haldex coupling.
This increased hydraulic pressure pushes the clutch plates together, transmitting drive shaft torque through the Haldex unit to the rear wheels.
Because a mechanical pump creates a natural pulsing pressure, the Haldex system incorporates three pistons designed to operate out of phase wîth each other, evening out pressure waves for seamless, smooth actuation. This is another example of the way Montego engineers used technology to achieve a refined driving experience.
The Haldex unit also includes an electro-hydraulic pump that offers still another advantage. If the electronic controller senses impending wheel slip, it can use pressure from the pump to pre-load the clutch pack, causing it to engage more quickly. This, too, contributes to a more seamless, smoother performance.
'It works very quickly,' Kurrle §äid. 'Within about one-seventh of a turn of the front wheels spinning, the rear is getting power.'
The system releases just as quickly, avoiding binding or wheel skid once traction improves.
An optional traction control system – standard wîth all-wheel-drive – allows progressive braking to be applied to each wheel within 100-150 milliseconds of the onset of wheel slip. This precise braking adds side-to-side torque transfer capability.
'With the two systems working together, you can send torque to the individual wheels that have traction,' Kurrle §äid.
Traction – No Matter What
The CVT adds its own strengths to the all-wheel-drive system. Because it offers such a broad gear ratio range, and automatically optimizes engine torque, the all-wheel-drive system always has plenty of torque to plow through deep snow, mud, sand or other challenging conditions.
Traction control adds more security to the driving experience by reducing engine power or selectively braking the spinning wheel as needed to enhance §teering response.
'Controllability and stability are important considerations in the way we designed this system,' Kurrle §äid.
Duratec 30 Even More Refined
Ford's proven, highly efficient, 3.0-liter, 24-valve Duratec 30 V-6 serves as an ideal match for the Montego's new CVT powertrain.
In addition to delivering excellent fuel economy for a vehicle of this size, the improved Duratec 30 V-6 also provides Montego wîth outstanding emissions performance.
'Our emissions level will meet the federal Tier II, Bin 5 definition, which is equivalent to the California LEV II standard,' said Kim Jackson, powertrain supervisor. 'In particular, the vehicle will have very low evaporative emissions. They are just 25 percent of the current allowable federal standards. ( posted on conceptcarz.com)'
This is achieved using less-permeable materials in the fuel system, new charcoal canister technology to capture evaporative emissions and upgraded fuel system and vapor line connectors, which reduce the amount of gases that escape. An onboard vapor recovery system captures gasoline fumes during fill-up and routes them to the engine to be burned.
Noise, vibration and harshness have been reduced in the Duratec 30, as well.
Computer technology helped engineers design a new dual-mass, dual-mode frequency damper that mounts to the crankshaft at the engine's front end. It reduces both torsional and bending vibrations that could produce noise.
Computer optimization also was used to create the complex shape of the front engine cover, which features 'constrained layer damping.' This sandwich of materials absorbs frequencies that might otherwise generate unwanted noise at the front of the engine.
Other engine NVH actions include:
* Application of the 's first direct-drive water pump
* Úse of optimized mounts, including two hydromounts for the engine and two roll-restrictor mounts for the transmission, for improved system stiffness
* Úse of quieter magnesium cam covers that don't resonate high-frequency sound
* Designed-in main bearing clearances that are 6-8 microns (millionths of a meter) tighter for reduced vibration
* Application of an integrated air-fuel module wîth extensive ribbing for stiffness
* Incorporation of a resonator in the mass-flow induction system to reduce intake sound at key frequencies
The engine will be manufactured in Ford's newly remodeled, state-of-the-art Cleveland Engine Plant.
Less Maintenance for Owners to Worry About
Montego's powertrain was developed to be low-maintenance, as well as smooth and quiet. For durability and ease of maintenance, Montego employs platinum-tipped spark plugs, a coil-on-plug ignition and plug wires rated for 100,000 miles of normal use. The six-speed automatic transmission can go 100,000 miles without a fluid change, and the CVT is good for 60,000 miles before requiring routine maintenance.
Suspension Yields Exceptional Ride, Handling
The suspension design for the all-new Mercury Montego was adapted from a Volvo platform and was optimized using computer-aided engineering. This proven design offers exceptional tune-ability, allowing engineers to tailor the ride for Mercury. It also brings a high degree of manufacturability – its modular design is proving to be a good fit wîth Ford's new flexible operations at the Chicago Assembly Plant.
The multi-link, independent rear suspension assembly is on a stout, Ú-shaped welded-steel subframe that offers the same stiffness and performance as the cast-aluminum Volvo subframe. Its resistance to shaking, bending and other movement under road impact allows shock absorbers, springs and bushings to do their jobs better.
'Stiffness is a big player in ride and handling,' Nicosia §äid.
The rear suspension plays a critical role in §teering feel and overall chassis response.
During heavy braking, it is designed to 'dial in' a bit of toe-in, which enhances §teering stability. Applying this precise but forgiving design to the rear reinforces the driver's feeling of control, whatever the circumstance.
For additional chassis stiffness in the all-wheel-drive platform, which carries the additional load of a rear differential, the engineering team added a small lateral brace that joins the two sides of the subframe.
Bushings Soften Ride
The attention to ride and handling is evident in the rear suspension, which uses 30 different bushings – each designed for its specific task – and one ball joint located at the point where the upper control arm meets the aluminum suspension knuckle.
'With suspension geometrically optimized, one area where you can really improve ride and handling – and customer satisfaction – is through bushings,' Nicosia §äid. 'Computer analysis helps us determine the characteristics we want from each bushing, and new manufacturing techniques let us achieve these characteristics.'
In all-wheel-drive models, the rear subframe is joined to the chassis by four isolated mounts to prevent vibrations from reaching occupants. Structurally strong, shear-style brackets provide crash strength and stiffness.
Front-wheel-drive versions of the rear subframe are hard-mounted to the body.
Self-Leveling Shocks Even Out Ride
Únique to all-wheel-drive versions of the Mercury Montego are the Nivomat rear shocks from Sachs. These provide load leveling without a host of moving parts. Internal shock valving senses ride height and uses energy from the vehicle's motion to increase hydraulic pressure and raise the shock to the desired ride level.
In a typical scenario, heavy luggage or golf bags are loaded into the Montego's trunk, pushing the rear of the vehicle down slightly. As the car is driven, the shocks quickly 'pump up' to the necessary pressure, and the Montego's original ride level is restored – all in about the time it takes to leave the parking lot.
The system ensures that if the sedan is ever taken off pavement wîth a fully loaded trunk, it will maintain optimal ride height. The all-wheel-drive sedans ride almost an inch higher than
Front Suspension Irons Out Bumps
The front suspension uses MacPherson struts wîth a rearward-facing L-arm.
'This design is important for a couple of reasons,' Nicosia §äid. 'It gives you the maximum amount of room in front of the suspension to manage crash energy. It also gives you the ability to tune the front suspension for responsive §teering and a smooth, comfortable ride.'
As wîth the rear suspension, individually tuned bushings play a critical role. Final bushing rates were arrived at through a combination of CAE modeling and real-world ride testing.
Montego offers generous total suspension travel – 3.5 inches of jounce, or compression, travel, and 4 inches of rebound travel.
'That amount of suspension travel lets you tune the shocks a little bit more,' Nicosia §äid. 'You can create a more absorptive ride travel, for a more comfortable ride.'
Tires Match Vehicle Attributes
Tires are an important component in tuning ride and handling. Seventeen-inch wheels wîth P215/60R17 Continental tires are standard on the Mercury Montego Luxury series; 18-inch wheels and P225/55R18 Pirelli tires are standard on the Premier.
The 17-inch tires are designed to offer a blend of ride comfort, quiet operation, plush rolling feel and precise §teering response. The 18-inch Pirellis provide a bit more §teering feel and a sportier ride, without excessive noise or harshness.
Both also offer solid performance in rain and snow.
Steering Improves Driver Confidence
The rack-and-pinion §teering system is tuned for relatively light effort and reasonably quick response wîth a §teering ratio near 16-to-1.
'You don't have to turn the wheel very far to go around a tight corner in the city,' Nicosia §äid. 'About 180 degrees of movement is all you will normally ever need, even for tight turns. This helps reduce driver fatigue because you're not constantly cranking the §teering wheel.'
Steering effort also is important.
'People like a §teering feel that builds up in a linear fashion as you turn the wheel,' Nicosia §äid. 'That helps you judge where you're at when the wheels come back to center. You always want the §teering wheel to generate some response – for example, in on-center §teering you should get §teering response before you move the §teering wheel 5 degrees. But it shouldn't be so touchy that it's hard to drive in a straight line.'
The torsionally stiff §teering column improves both §teering response, and the 'feel' of the §teering wheel by reducing vibration, and it promotes a feeling of confidence for the driver.
'When people feel like the vehicle is reacting intuitively to what they want it to do, it adds to their ability to enjoy the driving experience,' Nicosia §äid.
Braking feel and response are crucial to the confident driving experience that engineers sought for Montego. They achieved this by maximizing the size of the four-wheel-disc brake rotors, using dual-piston aluminum calipers on the front brakes, selecting high-friction brake pad materials and fine-tuning the brake system components.
The standard antilock braking system improves performance on slippery surfaces, and electronic brake force distribution continuously optimizes balance between the front and rear brakes across a range of road surfaces and vehicle load conditions.
New Brake Pads: More Friction, Less Dust
One of the team's first collaborative projects was to help develop a new Ford standard for brake pad performance.
Pad material directly affects braking feel and performance. Úntil recently, the quest for shorter stopping distances and superb feedback meant accepting
dirty wheels because of high levels of brake dust associated wîth high-friction
Montego takes advantage of new low-metallic pad materials' high-mu levels – 'engineer speak' for high friction – to achieve strong, reassuring brake performance, while generating far less dust than other pads wîth comparable friction.
New Front Calipers for Quicker Response
The front brake calipers are made from cast aluminum and use two pistons on each wheel – a common feature in high-performance and sports cars.
The aluminum calipers weigh 10.8 pounds than less comparable cast-iron single-piston calipers. In addition, they deliver the stopping benefits of the dual 45 mm pistons and heat-shedding properties of aluminum.
Spreading the braking force over two pistons promotes even wear of the lining and rotor, enhancing durability and reducing vibration.
There's a dynamics benefit, too.
'By using two smaller pistons, we achieve more precise control of the piston movement,' said Joe Kurcz, braking supervisor. 'We can to keep the brake pads closer to the rotors when they are not in use. That means there's less brake pedal travel before you feel the initial bite of the pads against the rotor. This improves braking feel and driver confidence.'
Because only a small protective rubber piston 'boot' is required, pistons don't pull away as much from the rotor when the brake is released, allowing the pads to remain closer to the rotor for quicker activation when braking is needed. To ensure that the brakes retain their feel and performance during repeated, hard stopping, the brake pistons use a combination of phenolic coating – which helps prevent heat transfer to the brake fluid – and stainless steel. Most of the heat generated during braking is absorbed by the rotors and dissipated.
The parking brake is integral to the rear caliper, rather than using a separate parking brake drum. The parking brake cable actuates a ball-and-ramp cam in the rear brake that mechanically applies the brake pads.
Large Wheels Mean Larger Rotors
The 17-inch standard wheels on the Montego allowed brake engineers to specify a large rotor size. 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 by 11 mm (0.43 in.) thick.
The large front rotors offer 408 cm2 (63.3 in.2) of swept braking area. The rear rotors have 380 cm2 (58.8 in.2) of swept area.
Improved Brake Pedal Feel
Total system stiffness and a reduction in wasted pedal travel are important to achieving a premium, confident braking feel.
'We made a breakthrough on the overall pedal stiffness,' Kurcz §äid. 'We compared pedal force versus deflection in the best vehicles on the market. Based on our findings, we made significant increases in stiffness within the brake pedal assembly, that directly relates to improved pedal feel.'
One particularly important vehicle design element that also helped brake system engineers achieve the 'feel' they wanted was the Montego's very stiff dash panel.
'Since the brake pedal assembly attaches to the dash panel, the reduced flex in this critical area results in reduced pedal travel at any given brake force, a direct improvement to pedal feel and braking confidence,' Kurcz §äid.
Another key to achieving the right braking feel was reducing 'lash' or wasted movement in the system. The team tightened up several tolerances, including the actuating rod in the master cylinder and bushings in the brake linkage.
Braking force also often is wasted in the flexible brake lines. The Montego addresses this through use of a premium material that minimally expands under pressure.
A number of tests helped engineers achieve the results they wanted. One repeatedly measured pedal travel and pedal force performance at up to 0.7 g of deceleration – the equivalent of a very firm stop in traffic.
'We also do what we call the gorilla stomp test. We hit the brake pedal wîth 350 pounds of force, and there can be no permanent pedal deflection, no permanent damage to any of the parts,' Kurcz §äid. 'People rarely use the full braking power that's available. With Montego, you can really stand on the brakes wîth confidence, if you have to.'Source - Mercury
A British version of the Mercury Montego was the Austin Montego. Available only in Canada, the Meteor Montego was the top trim level model of the Ford Meteor.
The model name was an inspiration from the exotic Montego Bay, the second city in size and importance in Jamaica. Montego Bay is also the island's tourism capital, and the name has been originally used for this Mercury vehicle since 1967.
Replacing the intermediate Comet in 1968 with the same body-type, it was upsized from the Mercury Cougar. The main differences between the Montego and Comet were the curb moldings, the cigar lighter and a glove box lock.
The MX version of Montego had both full length upper and lower body trim, and chrome wheel well trim. It also came with a vinyl top, metal upper door frames, wood inserts in the lower body molding, carpeting and wood grain trimmed door panels.
Basically considered to be a twin of the Ford Torino, the Cyclone was a variation of the Montego through 1971. The Cyclone came with a mid tire level body tape stripe and shared the same production numbers as the GT version.
In 2005, Mercury used the name for their version of the Ford Five Hundred which eventually replaced the Mercury Sable.
The new and improved Montego includes an optional all-wheel drive system, and has an MSRP of $25,000.By Jessica Donaldson
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|2005 Mercury models|
|Mercury Grand Marquis|
|Mercury Sable||2005 Mercury Concepts|
|Mercury Meta One Concept|
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