The Winding Road staff had their camera phones at the ready when they found themselves being overtake on Michigan roads by what appears to be a prototype for a Mercury-badged version of the Ford Freestyle crossover. Apparently these mules have been seen around the Detroit area a lot in the past week. Though Ford has said in the past that Mercury would not get a version of the Freestyle, Ford has decided to continue producing the crossover with a Blue Oval badge, so a Mercury version based on the Meta One concept might still be on the table. Though we can't see it, the Winding Road folk say the mule has Mercury's signature waterfall grille, and we're guessing Mercury might use the name Magellan for such a 7-passenger crossover.

Allow me to refer back to comments made in a previous post when I said a Mercury version of the Freestyle should be made, but also that Ford should discontinue the Freestyle. This would give Mercury an actual vehicle of its own, as well as free up some breathing room for the production version of the Fairlane concept that's a couple years out. Plus, Mercury could offer the Monticello/Magellan right out of the box with Ford's new 3.5-liter V6 to kick things off, just as the Freestyle should have been launched but wasn't.

[Source: Winding Road]