• Oct 19, 2006
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]


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  • 14 Comments
      • 8 Years Ago
      John, lovely idea about restricting certain models to Mercury and taking them from Ford -- except for the dealer network. Lincoln Mercury dealers are getting rare in some areas (such as Los Angeles). Combining Ford, Lincoln, and Mercury dealers sounds good, but it makes Lincoln totally non-competitive, since other luxury cars have exclusive dealers than pamper customers in the service department.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Mercury has a very small premium in price over Fords.

      Generally, I think Mercury's have a better look than their Ford counterpart. I would take a Millan any day over a Fusion (the lights on the Fusion are too tacked on, they are too "look at me" and don't go with the rest of the car, Kinda like a Nissan Altima)

      But it is pathetic that Mercury has exactly zero non-badge engineered cars. Mercury if you are listening folding hardtop Millan Convertible. But chances are Chrysler will beat you to the punch and the sebring will remain the best selling convertible on the market.
      • 8 Years Ago
      well,
      after seeing the photos - it look like Ford will put different grill adn taillights on te Freestle - the Meta One had a different C pillar and that made all the difference in styling. this thing still will look like an aftermarket UGLY Frestyle
      • 8 Years Ago
      I like the idea about killing the Freestyle but keeping the Mercury version for Mercury alone, with the 3.5 V6. It would give that brand some much needed identity. And how about a new Cougar based on the Mustang, but with the new 3.5 V6 as the standard engine, leather interior and a nice new grille and LED tail lights? That would be sweet.

      With some new product, Mercury could come back. It's like Ford's not even trying.
      • 8 Years Ago
      I could go either way as to whether this should be a Mercury only product or not. IF they keep the FreeStyle going while also selling this version...then YES, it should have the 3.5 V6 as standard and it CAN be optional (or standard) on the FreeStyle.

      By the way, if Magellon or Monticello are the best names they can come up with.....they might as well throw in the towel on this idea now. If the name MUST start with an M (does it really have to?) and Ford/Mercury are into resurrecting model names from the past....how about Montclair? This was actually a top model name at Mercury at about the time that Ford started adding "500" to the Fairlane name. (The Fairlane 500 of 1957 preceded Fords use of the 500 with the model name Galaxie.)
      • 8 Years Ago
      One has to wonder why Ford is holding on to Mercury which never really had a purpose. They should just take the dying horse our back and set it free.
      • 8 Years Ago
      It's a premium Ford for fools and women.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Mercury has been dead for years, so killing it isn't an option. But it should be possible to rid the world of any Mercury bodies out there that haven't been buried yet. I doubt that giving Mercury a Freestyle variant will sell more Freestyles.

      Now that Lincoln dealers have a Lincoln-branded Fusion, there's no need to give life support to the Mercury brand so Lincoln dealers have something to sell other than Town Cars and Navigators.

      If Lincoln dealers need more volume from lower priced cars, Ford can badge-engineer another Lincoln-branded Ford--just slap some heavy chrome on a Ford 500 and VOILA! a new Lincoln sedan to sell.

      In any case, Mercury is a joke and a stale one at that.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Any doubt why Ford, and some of US FOOLS, need Mercury? Four words. Look at a Buick!
      • 8 Years Ago
      Screw the 3.5L V6. give the the drivetrain from the Escape HEV so I can have a nice 30+Mpg 7 passenger wagon. People would be lining up around the block to shell out $35k-$40k for the thing.

      A 2.3L Turbo I4 (from the Mazda6) would also be nice.
      • 8 Years Ago
      What's a Mercury?
      • 8 Years Ago
      DJ...get serious, would Ford or GM, or for that matter Honda, want to name anything that would have the word BURNS in it? (Pinto, GM full size pickups, CR-Vs)
      Besides, the Montgomery Burns sounds like just a bit like the Monterey...without burns, which is what you will be if you are stupid enough to fall for FordMercury's "fire sale" lease deal on a Monterey.
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