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Shocking absolutely nobody, Ford's Cisco Codina revealed Mercury's newest model in Chicago today, the 2008 Sable, and we've got live shots and additional official images for you. We've already talked about what a great decision this was, and even given you the details about this "new" model, but we'll sum it up so you don't have to use our search feature, as nifty as the new search might be.
By resurrecting the Sable (and Taurus) nameplates, Ford will save millions of dollars trying to imprint the 500 and Montego brands on customers' minds. Sable alone has a 60% customer awareness level. Dealers in particular were cited as a strong voice in bringing back the name for Mercury. The car itself is pretty handsome wearing its new face. Strongly resembling the outgoing Montego with a Milan schnoz, the new Sable should offend nobody, and possibly boost dealer traffic. Perhaps in an attempt to explain why the Mercury division won't likely get a tall-wagon version like Ford's Taurus X, Codina pointed out that Mercury's Mariner cute ute is generating more conquest sales from other brands outside the Blue Oval than any other vehicle besides the Mustang.
You can check out the full press release again after the jump, or browse the gallery that includes never-before-seen shots from the manufacturer and images from the show floor.
MERCURY SABLE RETURNS TO SHOWROOMS WITH MORE POWER, STYLE AND SOPHISTICATION
• Unique designs features inside and out set the 2008 Mercury Sable apart in the marketplace.
• Modern, refined interior features include unique trim options and two-tone seating surfaces with contrast stitching.
• Available convenience and entertainment features include DVD navigation, SIRIUS® satellite radio and Ford Sync™.
• New Sable has 30 percent more power than the outgoing Montego thanks to standard Duratec 35 V-6 and six-speed automatic transmission
• Standard electronic stability control and available all-wheel drive provide confident ride and handling in all weather conditions.
• New 2008 Mercury Sable to reach showrooms this summer.
CHICAGO, Feb. 7, 2007 - Unveiled today at the 2007 Chicago Auto Show, the new 2008 Mercury Sable offers customers a sophisticated new look inside and out, a significantly quieter cabin, a more plush ride and a more powerful 3.5-liter V-6.
"Mercury products are aimed at winning over new customers who value distinct touches, and this new Sable is sure to impress with a more refined interior design and jewel-like details throughout," says Cisco Codina, Ford's group vice president of North America Marketing, Sales and Service.
"Mercury has a great deal of momentum right now, with a fresh lineup including the redesigned Mariner small SUV and popular Milan sedan. The new Sable will help continue this momentum," Codina adds.
Sophisticated style brings the exterior to life
Sable's modern, distinctive look builds on the clean, modern design themes first introduced on the Mercury Mountaineer and that were further refined on the Milan and new Mariner.
"Mercury customers tend to have a more unique sense of style," says Moray Callum, director, Ford Car Design. "They have come to expect a different level of sophistication and refinement in the surface development, paint finishes and details like satin aluminum."
Sable's clean, integrated front-end design centers on Mercury's signature satin aluminum waterfall grille flanked by exquisitely detailed, jeweled projector beam headlamps that sweep up over the front fenders. Additional visual highlights at the front of vehicle include new chrome surrounds for the fog lamps and bright, satin aluminum caps on the side mirrors.
Sable's distinctive LED taillamps feature a predominantly white lens with red accent stripes. The new rear fascia has a cutout for the chrome-tips on the dual exhaust system, a visual cue that suggests more power under the hood. A chrome strip on the bottom edge of the deck lid provides a finishing touch.
Cool and expressive accents sharpen the interior
Complementing the clean exterior, a core attribute of Mercury design is a modern, airy interior. With Sable, this design direction comes to life in two-tone interior trim with unique accents. Customers preferring a more technical appearance, for example, can opt for Cyber Carbon, a deep, high-gloss accent that resembles carbon fiber. Alternatively, two modern wood grain accents – Guitar Maple or San Macassar – are available.
Standard cloth seats wear an updated and modern graphic design while the Premier Series offers supple two-tone leather seats detailed with contrast stitching and featuring a new, more modern, perforated pattern. The rectangular shapes of the perforations are placed farther apart for a more progressive, contemporary look. The same pattern is repeated on the door panels.
Customers attracted to clean, contemporary Mercury design are also very sophisticated in their technology needs. The 2008 Sable offers the right connection for driver and passenger alike.
In addition to a standard auxiliary audio input jack, available convenience features include a voice-activated navigation system, a DVD entertainment system and factory-installed SIRIUS® satellite radio and Ford Sync™, a voice-activated hands-free in-car communications and entertainment system which fully-integrates mobile phones and digital media players.
A comfortable, quiet driving experience
A completely revised sound package gives the new Sable interior quietness that rivals many luxury cars. Technologies like expandable foam pellets in the A-Pillars and improved sound-deadening material in the doors, headliner and pillars help reduce interior noise levels
Sable's quiet and confident ride is delivered in part by a revised MacPherson-strut front suspension with 10 percent more travel, new dampers and spring rates, and a retuned independent coil-over rear suspension. A new power steering system uses an intelligent electric pump to provide extra steering assist for such tasks as parking, and dials down the assist when it's not needed, for example, when cruising on the freeway.
Sable features an award-winner, 3.5-liter V-6 engine and a sharp, six-speed transmission. The Duratec 35 engine makes an estimated 260 horsepower, a nearly 30 percent increase over the outgoing Duratec 30, and 245 pound-feet of torque.
The available all-wheel-drive system – similar to the system used on the new Mercury Mariner – features an electronically-controlled center coupling that can distribute exact amounts of torque from front to rear, up to 100 percent to either axle.
The 2008 Mercury Sable's real-world fuel economy, even with the additional power and performance, is expected to be similar to the outgoing Montego model – thanks mainly to advancements in powertrain technology.
A clever, safe choice
The new Sable is expected to be a segment leader in safety, capable of achieving five stars in all four categories for the U.S. government's crash tests.
AdvanceTrac® electronic stability control system is standard on all Sable models. Additional standard safety features includes dual-stage driver and passenger front air bags, seat-deployed side air bags for driver and front passenger, and Ford's Safety Canopy™ side curtain air bags for both rows of seats. A new steering wheel design recesses the airbag 15 millimeters farther away from the driver, for an added measure of safety.
About Ford Motor Company
Ford Motor Company, a global automotive industry leader based in Dearborn, Mich., manufactures and distributes automobiles in 200 markets across six continents. With about 300,000 employees and more than 100 plants worldwide, the company's core and affiliated automotive brands include Aston Martin, Ford, Jaguar, Land Rover, Lincoln, Mazda, Mercury and Volvo. Its automotive-related services include Ford Motor Credit Company. For more information regarding Ford's products, please visit www.fordvehicles.com.