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2005 Mercury Montego Introduced

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"Introduction of the Montego sedan represents a watershed event for the Mercury brand. It offers the whole package – great exterior design, surprisingly generous interior space, all-wheel drive, and strong value. The Montego is adding new energy into the Lincoln-Mercury showroom. It's what we want customers to expect from Lincoln-Mercury."

- Darryl B. Hazel, President, Lincoln-Mercury

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 with available all-wheel drive for Mercury dealers: the all-new Montego.

The 2005 Montego midsize 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 industry-leading safety technology. Its all-new, continuously variable transmission and six-speed automatic transmission combine performance with 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 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 like 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 segment. 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 with the launch of the Mountaineer sport utility vehicle in 2002 and continued with 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 Interior dimensions that put Montego among the leaders in virtually every category 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, with 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 – with a modern technical milled finish," Bucher said. "This blend of the traditional and the technical is very much part of the Mercury design persona."

Contemporary Interior

Attention to detail was important in establishing the proper interior environment for the Mercury Montego.

"Details are very important," Bucher said. "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 said. "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 steering 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 steering wheel and shift knob are wrapped in leather.

"The fabrics are soft to the touch," Bucher said. "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-steering wheel 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, with a remarkable 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 with 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, with storage for sunglasses and other small items Storage bin on top of the instrument panel 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.

The Volvo-inspired chassis provides a stable platform, with fully independent suspension for a quiet ride and responsive handling. The proven Duratec 30 V-6 engine has been refined for a smoother, quieter operation. The all-new, continuously variable transmission, developed with 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.

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.

Intelligent All-Wheel Drive

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 with 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 traction to the rear wheels. All this happens so quickly – within 50 milliseconds – that 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, U-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 one 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 with a rearward-facing L-arm, which provides quick steering while isolating the cabin from road shocks.

Braking Benefits From Systems Approach

Braking feel and response are enhanced by large 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 with 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 industry-leading Personal Safety System™ with new features – including best practices inspired from Volvo – that address front-, side- and rear-impact protection.

When equipped with 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 U.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 with crash safety in mind. Montego engineers balanced the need for structural strength to safeguard the passenger compartment from intrusion with 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 steering wheel, a weight-sensor in the front passenger seat, crash severity sensors and rollover sensor 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 steering 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. Up 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.

Under TVG, all engineers take responsibility for a "systems" approach 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.

2005 Mercury Montego Preliminary Specifications
Subject to change prior to on-sale date)



Engine type

60-degree V-6, aluminum block and heads


182 cu in / 2,967 cc


200 hp @ 5,650 rpm


200 lb-ft @ 4,500 rpm


3.5 in / 89 mm


3.1 in / 79.5 mm

Compression ratio


Intake manifold

Composite integrated air-fuel module

Exhaust manifolds

Cast iron


DOHC, four valves per cylinder

Fuel injection

Sequential multi-port fuel injection



Oil capacity

6.0 quarts / 5.2 liters

Emissions level


Recommended fuel

87 octane unleaded



ZF-Batavia Continuously Variable Transmission


Chain drive


Ratio range


Final drive ratio

4.98:1 (FWD)
5.19:1 (AWD)

Aisin AW six-speed automatic


Gear ratios


Final drive ratio





Front suspension

Independent, MacPherson strut, rearward-facing lower L-arms, stabilizer bar

Rear suspension

Independent, multi-link coil-over-shock, stabilizer bar



Power rack-and-pinion



Turning circle, curb-to-curb

40.0 feet / 12.2 meters



12.5-in (315 mm) x 28 mm vented disc, dual-piston aluminum caliper


13-in (330 mm) x 11 mm solid disc

Swept area, front

63.3 in2 / 408 cm2

Swept area, rear

58.4 in2 / 380 cm2

Assist type

Vacuum, standard ABS and electronic brake force distribution



4-door, 5-passenger sedan

DIMENSIONS AND CAPACITIES (in inches / mm unless otherwise noted)




200.7/ 5,098


73.7 / 1,872


60.1 / 1,527


112.9/ 2,868

Track width, front

64.6 / 1,641

Track width, rear

65.0 / 1,651

Ground clearance

5.1 / 130

Fuel capacity

19.0 gallons / 72.0 l



SAE passenger volume

107.1 cubic feet / 3,032 l



1st row
2nd row

39.4 / 1,001
38.6 / 980

Shoulder room


1st row
2nd row

57.9 / 1,471
57.6 / 1,463

Hip room


1st row
2nd row

54.3 / 1,379
54.6 / 1,387



1st row
2nd row

41.3 / 1,049
40.9 / 1,039

H-point height


1st row

22.7 / 577

Trunk volume

21.0 cubic feet / 595 liters

Total volume

128.1 cubic feet / 3,627 liters

(in pounds / kg)


Base curb weight


Front-wheel drive, six-speed

3,650 / 1,656

Front-wheel drive, CVT

3,667 / 1,663

All-wheel drive, CVT

3,818 / 1,732

Maximum towing capacity

1,000 / 455



P215/60R17 BSW


P225/55R18 BSW



17-inch six-spoke painted aluminum


18-inch 14-spoke bright aluminum



Air Bags

Dual-level driver and passenger front air bags
Optional seat-deployed side air bags for driver and front passenger
Optional Safety Canopy side curtain rollover side air bags

Safety belts

Height-adjustable lap and shoulder belts for front outboard seating positions; front seat has digressive load-limiting retractors and pillar-mounted pyrotechnic pretensioners
Three-point safety belts for all seating positions BeltMinder™ safety belt reminder for driver and front passenger

Adaptive steering column

Child safety

Childproof rear door locks. ISOFIX anchors (2 in 2nd row)


Inertia activated shutoff switch for fuel pump



Ô passive anti-theft system, remote keyless entry and keypad standard on all series
Approach lamps (perimeter lamps)
Anti-theft perimeter alarm




1st row

Two in center console, bottle holders in both door panels

2nd row

Two in center armrest, bottle holders in door panels

Power points

One in instrument panel, one in center console storage bin


Storage bin in instrument panel
Map pockets in all four doors

Heated side mirrors
Message center with compass

Automatic headlamps
Leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob

Standard features


Continuously variable transmission

Two-tone interior theme

Six-way power-adjustable driver’s seat

Drivers manual lumbar

Fold-flat front passenger seat

Seatback map pockets

Illuminated vanity mirrors, driver and passenger

Four-wheel ABS

Color keyed body side moldings

Split folding rear bench seat

Height adjustable rear seat headrests

Fold-down rear seat arm rest with cup holders

High-intensity discharge headlamps

Light-emitting diode (LED) tail lamps

LED High mount stop light

Automatic headlamps

Heated power side mirrors

Power windows and door locks

Fog lamps

Remote keyless entry

Dual-zone automatic temperature control and air conditioning

Electronic speed control

Tilt steering column

Satin steering wheel spoke covers

Body side moldings

Chrome window trim

Satin Mercury waterfall grille

Keypad entry on driver’s door


Interval windshield wipers

Two 12-volt power points (one in IP one in console storage bin)

Front console

Woodgrain interior appliques|

Premium AM/FM Stereo System with single disc CD player

Redundant audio controls on steering wheel

One-touch automatic driver’s window (up and down)

Floor mats

Solar tinted glass

Day/night auto dimming rearview mirror

Power-assist steering

Electric rear window defrost

Decklid liner

Deluxe sound (NVH) isolation

Second Row A/C registers

Analog Clock

All speed traction control

Electronic message center

Overhead console with sunglass storage


All-wheel drive
Power adjustable pedals with memory (Premier)

Leather seating surfaces
Power moonroof
Reverse sensing system
Side Impact Air Bags and Roll Over Air Safety Canopy (package)

Trim levels


With standard equipment above

Premier adds

Six-speed automatic transmission (Continuously variable transmission only on all-wheel-drive)

All-speed traction control

Perforated leather seating surfaces

Heated driver and front passenger seats

18-inch aluminum wheels

Memory function for heated side mirrors, six-way power driver’s seat and power adjustable pedals

Audiophile stereo, with rear subwoofer and CDx6 changer and MP3 capability

Trunk cargo net

Homelink Trainable garage door opener

Eight-way (ilo six way) power driver seat, two-way power passenger Seat

Four-way (ilo two way) power passenger seat

Passenger manual lumbar

Storage compartment in second row armrest

Unique Dark Zapelli woodgrain appliques

Woodgrain switchplates on door trim panels


Exterior colors

Dark Shadow Grey Clearcoat Metallic
Light Tundra Clearcoat Metallic
Merlot Clearcoat Metallic
Pueblo Gold Clearcoat Metallic
Norsea Blue Clearcoat Metallic
Silver Frost Clearcoat Metallic
Ebony Clearcoat
Oxford White Clearcoat

Interior colors

Charcoal Black


"We used smart engineering and modern technologies in the all-new Mercury Montego to create a confident, reassuring driving experience. With any of the powertrain combinations, you feel smooth acceleration, confident cornering on nearly any type of surface and firm, predictable braking, with quiet, responsive performance. You are free to enjoy the comfortable surroundings and unique Mercury environment."

– Jan Vulcan, Chief Nameplate Engineer

Chassis, Powertrain Offer New Levels of Refinement

Engineers drew on best practices from throughout Ford Motor Company to craft the confident ride and handling that define the new Mercury Montego sedan.

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 industry’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 with electronic throttle control and delivering 200 horsepower and 200 foot-pounds of torque with less unwanted noise and vibration. Combined with 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 industry’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 with hill descents or other demands.

The six-speed transmission also is relatively maintenance free, with 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 with 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 said. "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 with 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 said.

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 steering response.

"Controllability and stability are important considerations in the way we designed this system," Kurrle said.

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 with 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."

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 industry’s first direct-drive water pump
  • Use of optimized mounts, including two hydromounts for the engine and two roll-restrictor mounts for the transmission, for improved system stiffness
  • Use 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 with 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 with Ford’s new flexible operations at the Chicago Assembly Plant.

The multi-link, independent rear suspension assembly is on a stout, U-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 said.

The rear suspension plays a critical role in steering feel and overall chassis response.
During heavy braking, it is designed to "dial in" a bit of toe-in, which enhances steering 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 said. "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

Unique 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 with a fully loaded trunk, it will maintain optimal ride height. The all-wheel-drive sedans ride almost an inch higher than
front-wheel-drive versions.

Front Suspension Irons Out Bumps

The front suspension uses MacPherson struts with a rearward-facing L-arm.

"This design is important for a couple of reasons," Nicosia said. "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 steering and a smooth, comfortable ride."

As with 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 said. "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 with 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 steering response. The 18-inch Pirellis provide a bit more steering 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 steering system is tuned for relatively light effort and reasonably quick response with a steering 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 said. "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 steering wheel."

Steering effort also is important.

"People like a steering feel that builds up in a linear fashion as you turn the wheel," Nicosia said. "That helps you judge where you’re at when the wheels come back to center. You always want the steering wheel to generate some response – for example, in on-center steering you should get steering response before you move the steering wheel 5 degrees. But it shouldn’t be so touchy that it’s hard to drive in a straight line."

The torsionally stiff steering column improves both steering response, and the "feel" of the steering 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 said.

Confident Braking

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. Until recently, the quest for shorter stopping distances and superb feedback meant accepting
dirty wheels because of high levels of brake dust associated with high-friction
pad materials.

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 with 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 said. "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 said.

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 with 350 pounds of force, and there can be no permanent pedal deflection, no permanent damage to any of the parts," Kurcz said. "People rarely use the full braking power that’s available. With Montego, you can really stand on the brakes with confidence, if you have to."


"Safety is a critical consideration when you’re creating a confident driving experience. Our safety team has been involved in the design of the new Mercury Montego right from the start of the program. We built on best practices from throughout the company, including Volvo, and confirmed the engineering with extensive computer modeling and crash testing. We feel these will be among the safest vehicles on the road."

– Chris O’Connor, Crash Safety Supervisor

Raising Bar on Occupant Protection

The 2005 Mercury Montego raises the bar on vehicle safety. The all-new sedan incorporates Ford Motor Company’s industry-leading Personal Safety System™, which in the Montego adds new features that address front-, side- and rear-impact protection and borrows other best practices from Volvo.

In addition, Montego offers Ford’s innovative Safety Canopy™, which provides head protection for occupants in side-impact and rollover situations.

When equipped with optional side air bags and Safety Canopy, Montego is expected to earn top crash-test ratings. These independent tests won’t be conducted until after Montego reaches U.S. showrooms.

Montego also is expected to meet the stringent new Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 208, which governs front-impact protection for variously sized occupants, whether belted, unbelted or out of position. Montego also is expected to meet even-tougher future standards for rear impacts.

Among Montego’s safety features are:

  • Energy-channeling frame structures engineered by Ford and Volvo that help absorb crash forces before they reach the passenger compartment
  • A strong roof cross-member and energy absorbing cross-car tube that provide exceptional side-impact protection
  • Available side air bags and Safety Canopy ™ for industry-leading head and chest protection for front and rear occupants during side impacts and rollovers
  • Energy-absorbing adaptive steering column and collapsible drive shaft
  • Occupant-sensing technology, dual-stage front air bags and load-limiting safety belt retractors and pretensioners that tailor safety system response to crash severity

Crash-Force Management

Front, side and rear structural elements also were designed with crash safety in mind. In each case, safety engineers balanced the need for structural strength to safeguard the passenger compartment against intrusion with the need for collapsible elements that absorb energy and reduce the overall crash "pulse" that ultimately reaches vehicle occupants.

The front structural elements of the new Mercury Montego incorporate a "tripod" design that channels frontal crash forces upward and downward into a high-strength steel "ring" of protection surrounding the passenger compartment.

The structure begins with two octagonal frame rails and shotgun-style structures near the top of the wheel wells. These two elements are tied together with steel bracing. The front of the frame rails is engineered with failure points for an energy-absorbing, controlled collapse during impact.

Laser welding creates varying thicknesses within the front frame rails, providing strength and rigidity toward the rear to support the suspension and controlled deformation at the front in a collision. Energy not absorbed by these structures is directed through the "tripod" around the passenger compartment.

Like other elements of the vehicle’s design, many structural components are engineered to do more than one job. For example, the strong roof brace that connects the B-pillars is a key to providing occupant protection in side impacts, as well as offering support in the event of a rollover. It also contributes to overall vehicle stiffness for a smooth, quiet ride.

Patent Pending on Innovative Bumper Plate Design

One innovation made possible by sophisticated computer crash modeling is the shape of the front bumper plate – the steel mounting point for the front bumper. Ford Motor Company has applied for a patent on the plate shape.

"We used a lot of Cray supercomputer and work-station time optimizing everything," crash supervisor Chris O’Connor said. "We discovered that changing the shape and mounting system of the front bumper plates gave us a dramatic improvement in reducing peak crash forces."

The new plate helps optimize frame-rail functionality. In a typical installation, the bumper plates are attached to both sides of the frame rails. But the company’s safety engineers found that this design places more load on the inside face of the frame rail – the side closest to the engine – in the first moments of a frontal impact, creating a twisting force that tends to unevenly collapse the rail.

Mounting the plates only to the outer portion of the rails reduces this initial force on the inside face of the frame rail by 14 percent and promotes a more even collapse of the energy-absorbing structures. This transfers more than 21 percent of the overall crash energy from the inner face of the frame rail to the outer face, evening the forces and reducing intrusion into the passenger compartment by 15 percent.

New Benchmark in Side-Impact Performance

Safety engineers incorporated tailor-welding technology to help improve side-impact performance. Tailor-welded blanks use laser welding techniques to create steel sheets of varying thicknesses to be stamped into body panels.

For example, the tops of the B-pillars, which use a layer of high-strength steel called DP-600, are thicker, for strength, while the lower portions have a thinner cross-section. DP-600 steel also is used in part of the dash panel.

"It’s one of the stiffest steels available," O’Connor said.

The two B-pillars are braced together at the top by a structural roof bow that crosses the vehicle. Acting somewhat like a lever or pendulum anchored at the roof rail, the strong, reinforced top portion of the B-pillar helps safeguard occupants while the lower portion collapses, absorbing energy in a collision.

These forces are further channeled through a cross-car tube – derived from Volvo’s Side Impact Protection System. This SIPS tube directs side-impact forces beneath the front seats. A bend in the middle of the tube, under the center console, serves as a trigger point for deformation under severe loads, dissipating energy.

As part of the vehicle’s "high package" seating configuration, front seats are mounted atop the SIPS tube. In concert with the other structural safety systems, this command seating position assures that most typical vehicle-to-vehicle side crash forces are diverted underneath the seats. As a side benefit, mounting the front seats on the SIPS tube creates added foot room for second-row passengers, improving comfort.

A Step Ahead in Meeting Future Crash Standards

Rear-impact performance also is very strong, thanks in part to another engineering innovation. The rear frame rails were designed to absorb initial impact forces, then channel remaining energy into a secondary crush zone past the floor well. Ford has proved the design effective in 55-mph rear crash tests and has applied for a patent on the design.

This rear-impact performance is designed to meet a proposed future federal crash standard well before it is scheduled to take effect.

In the Montego, all seating positions have head restraints to protect against whiplash. Head restraints are adjustable in the front row and fixed in the rear.

Montego’s fuel tank is protected on all sides. It is in front of the rear suspension, surrounded by subframe rails or cross-members. The horseshoe shape of the rear subframe guides crash energy around the fuel tank and into the vehicle’s lower structure.

Breakthrough Technology Offers New Level in Occupant Protection

Volvo’s safety expertise and Ford Motor Company’s engineering resources combine to deliver a new level of occupant protection in the Montego.

One tangible result of the collaboration is a new adaptive steering column that collapses in different ways during frontal impacts, depending on the amount of crash energy and the driver's size and position.

It works by incorporating an energy-absorbing steel "bend sheet" that holds the upper and lower portions of the column together. The bend sheet shape better controls the collapse of the steering column during impacts.

By tapping into information from various sensors, the safety control module – the computer "brains" of the safety system – determines how quickly the steering column should collapse. Factors considered include the driver’s seat position and seatbelt use.

If the situation calls for it, the safety control module signals a mechanical device to pull a steel pin out of the bend sheet, cutting in half the column’s resistance to collapse. This results in a "softer" column, should the driver impact the steering wheel. The steering column response is tailored to work with the air-bag deployment level.

Safety Belts, Air Bags Designed to Work Hand-in-Hand

Federal government statistics indicate safety belts save lives, which is why Ford engineers put considerable emphasis on Montego’s restraints system. Safety restraints used in the Montego were refined through more than 50,000 crash simulations.

To begin with, three-point belts are used at all seating positions. In addition, Montego takes Ford Motor Company’s award-winning BeltMinder™ system to the next level, using an instrument-panel icon and a gentle chime to remind
not only drivers, but front-seat passengers to buckle up. Introduced in 1999, BeltMinder™ has been shown to increase real-world safety belt use.

Montego’s rear seat offers two LATCH (lower anchors and tethers for children) mounting points for child seats. They are designed to accommodate one child seat in the center position or up to two in the outboard positions. Federal safety data show that child safety seats reduce infant fatalities by more than 70 percent.

LATCH-compatible child seats snap quickly and easily into robust anchor points in the fold between the seat’s lower and back cushions, while the upper strap hooks onto a mounting ring on the seat or parcel shelf.

For optimum response, Montego’s safety belt system employs pyrotechnic pretensioners to take up any slack in the belts on impact. As the crash progresses, digressive load-limiting retractors behind the B-pillar trim help pay out belt material to reduce peak loads on the occupants. The belts work in concert with dual-stage front air bags to reduce crash forces reaching the front-seat occupants. Air-bag deployment is tailored to the crash, taking into account occupant size and position, severity of impact and belt use.

In addition, the driver’s seat is equipped with an advanced track sensor to gauge the driver’s proximity to the steering wheel. The front passenger seat employs an occupant classification system technology to determine the presence and weight of a front passenger. If the seat is unoccupied, or if the system senses a light load like a child or child seat, the passenger air bag is deactivated. This helps prevent unneeded passenger air-bag deployment, offering added protection for smaller occupants like children and lowering the cost of vehicle repair.

Side air bags and the exclusive Safety Canopy curtain air bags are optional on the new Montego. Using data compiled by crash-severity, rollover, seat-track position and belt-usage sensors, plus information from the passenger-seat occupant classification system, the safety computer determines within milliseconds which, if any, air bags to deploy.

During side impacts, side air bags are released from the seatbacks to provide thorax protection. The ceiling-mounted Safety Canopy™ curtain air bags offer head protection for both rows. And they are designed with a special deployment strategy that keeps them inflated longer for added protection during a rollover.

A recent study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety found the combination of head and thorax protection can reduce fatalities by more than 45 percent in side impacts.

That Feeling of Security

Enhancing that feeling of security are standard four-channel antilock brakes that can help drivers maintain control under extreme braking conditions. Electronic brake force distribution monitors braking front-to-rear and optimizes performance under varying loads.

Traction control is standard in the Premier and optional on other models. It constantly monitors slip at all four wheels and can act in as little as 100 milliseconds to help restore or maintain traction. The system works by first reducing engine power by retarding ignition spark timing, then, if necessary, cutting fuel flow. Finally, if needed, it activates selective braking to stop wheel spin.

To protect against theft, the Mercury Montego is equipped with the SecuriLock™ passive anti-theft system. Only a key with the correct code – there are 72 million billion possible combinations – will start the vehicle. A remote perimeter vehicle alarm is optional.

The standard key fob allows one-button door locking and unlocking and the ability to open the trunk from outside the vehicle. A standard keypad on the driver’s door allows quick and convenient access to the vehicle, if the keys and key fob are locked inside. Doors lock automatically once the vehicle begins moving.

Standard automatic headlamps provide additional, short-time convenience lighting after the vehicle is turned off. Lamps located along the bottom of the side mirrors on some series are activated by the unlock button on the key fob, providing perimeter lighting at night.

The optional reverse sensing system uses ultrasonic waves from sensors mounted in the rear fascia to help drivers negotiate tight parking spaces and head off dings and scrapes. It sounds a series of increasingly rapid beeps as the rear bumper closes in on a stationary object.


"The all-new Montego is pure Mercury, from the signature grille and HID headlamps to the LED taillights with their bright horizontal bars. It’s a very modern design that suggests a high degree of sophistication. The interior fulfills this promise with two-tone themes and premium surfaces like leather, chrome and satin aluminum. These visually rewarding elements will enhance the experience of owning this excellent new sedan."

– George Bucher, Chief Designer

Mercury Montego Puts Emphasis
on Sophisticated Design

The all-new Montego sedan continues the Mercury design theme launched with the 2002 Mountaineer sport utility and refined with the recently introduced 2004 Monterey minivan.

"Mercury design is modern and intelligent, with clean and intuitive elements that communicate sophistication," said Chief Designer George Bucher. "You see tasteful use of contrasting colors and textures. It is design with a purpose – nothing is done to excess. It lives on the cutting edge, without going over
the edge."

Premium materials, colors and surface textures firmly position the Montego as an aspirational vehicle. The car’s high-quality cabin reinforces Montego’s credentials with its class-leading space and natural, comfortable "high-package" command seating.

Simply stated, the Montego rewards those who value design.

"The styling is subtle, cool and technical," Bucher said. "Our customers thrive in a sophisticated and intelligent environment, and their vehicle should reflect that."

Montego features include:

  • A harmonious interplay of satin and bright metal finishes inside and out that create an aura of sophistication
  • Geometric exterior surfaces that present a clean, modern look
  • Tailored interior elements, including upholstery stitching and unique woodgrain graphics
  • More total interior volume than any vehicle in its class; Competitors that are up to 7 inches longer overall don’t offer as much room as the Montego.
  • Surprising cargo space, with the largest trunk – at 21 cubic feet – in its class, plus folding seats for even more cargo-carrying flexibility
  • Natural, upright seating position for maximum comfort and exceptional visibility
  • Innovative premium platform architecture engineered with Volvo
  • Top quality, thanks to adoption of the Total Vehicle Geometry engineering protocol

Cool, Technical Exterior 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."

The Montego communicates Mercury design right up front, with a satin-metallic waterfall grille that is unique to the brand. The satin grille is complemented by the bright chrome, jeweled effect of the high-intensity-discharge headlamps. From any angle, Montego appears balanced, with its broad, geometric surfaces and satin-aluminum and bright metal accents.

"Satin aluminum is cooler than cool," Bucher said. "Where chrome picks up color, satin aluminum retains its purity. It’s not even blue – it’s white."

Vertical elements along the lower fascia, which includes integral fog lamps and central ducting, align with the boundary between the grille and headlamps, reinforcing the lines that sweep over the hood.

Large satin aluminum wheels – 17 inches on the Luxury series and 18 inches on the Premier – are key components of Montego’s sophisticated profile. Combined with the sedan’s low-profile tires, the wheels communicate authority and connection with the road – hallmarks of the Mercury brand.

A thin line of chrome surrounds the greenhouse, while mirrors, door handles, door frames and side moldings are body-colored.

The 17-inch, six-spoke aluminum wheels on the Luxury series are painted with a metallic finish. The 18-inch alloy wheels on the Premier are clear-coated for durability.

"It’s a very classic design," Bucher said of the 18-inch wheel. "Again, we’re blending a traditional luxury element – a spoke-like wheel – with a modern technical milled finish. This blend of the traditional and the technical is very much part of the Mercury design persona."

That styling theme is repeated at the rear, where LED taillights – the largest application of LED taillights in the Ford Motor Company lineup – are accented with horizontal metallic bars.

"The LED taillights are another good example of technical design – the lights themselves use technology, and we use bright accents to complement the headlamps," Bucher said.

The deck lid is proportional to the overall body and features a central, satin-metallic Mercury logo. A substantial satin aluminum header over the license plate balances the chrome taillight elements and chrome rear window trim.

Detail-Oriented Inside

Establishing the proper interior environment is essential to Mercury’s design mission.

"Details are very important," Bucher said. "The details, like tastefully decorative elements, colors, patterns and textures, are designed to reward the occupants."

Balance is crucial, as is evidenced by Mercury’s hallmark two-tone interior design. Done to excess, a two-tone look can communicate overt sportiness. For the Montego, Bucher chose complementary colors from the same family to preserve the sense of equilibrium.

"It’s a modern interpretation of two-tone," Bucher said. "It’s subtle, yet it establishes a distinctive persona in the showroom or in the driveway."

Interior surface textures invite interaction from the driver and passengers. Metallic surfaces are plated metal, not painted composite, including the satin aluminum cuffs that wrap the steering wheel spokes. As on the exterior, satin features are balanced with chrome, which is used on the door handles and gauge and climate-control-vent trim rings.

"The fabrics are soft to the touch," Bucher said. "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."

Both steering wheel and shift knob are leather-wrapped. The Premier series offers a burl-pattern wood grain appliqué on the instrument panel and doors, as well as around the window switches and door locks. The Luxury series presents a distinctive straight grain pattern. Both feature a chrome-trimmed analog clock in the center of the instrument panel – a Mercury family feature that communicates luxury. The clock and instrument dials are gray, with satin aluminum pointers and hubs.

The color palette of the instrument panel and doors is split horizontally, with a darker finish on top and lighter colors used below. This two-tone theme is repeated in the leather seating surfaces, which also have contrasting tailored stitching.

The only interior color variant that does not receive this full two-tone treatment is the black interior, which employs black seats, doors and carpet and a light canopy.

Roominess Equals Luxury

Montego’s interior is among the leaders in virtually every dimension, including best-in-class headroom and knee room in the second row. Front-row seats are cleverly mounted on a cross-car beam that enhances safety and provides extra foot room for second-row passengers.

Montego’s upright seating position offers both comfort and sport utility vehicle-like visibility to give the driver confidence and command of the road.

In fact, sightlines were maximized for all occupants of the Montego, with rear seats raised slightly to give passengers a better view without compromising the driver’s rear vision.

In designing the high-position seating, engineers focused on maximizing the "H-point," the pivot point of the human hip. The distance from the H-point to the floor determines whether the seating position is upright or "stretched out." In Montego’s front row, the distance between the H-point and the heel-point – where the occupant’s foot touches the floor – is 12.7 in. This is the most generous in its class, and more than an inch greater than its nearest competitor.

The upright seating, coupled with wide door openings and ceiling-mounted grab handles, makes for exceptionally easy ingress and egress.

Second row seats offer similar comfort, with 13.1 in. of H-point height and 40.9 in. of legroom. Knee clearance measures 6.1 in. – best in class and more generous than many full-size cars.

Montego’s Trunk is Ready for Anything

Montego’s trunk is deceptive. Under its well-proportioned decklid lies a class-leading 21 cubic feet of space. That beats most competitors by nearly 50 percent – even with the space-saving spare tire housed under the load floor.

With the split second-row seat folded, the trunk expands to offer a class-leading 49.9 inches of total load floor length. For added cargo-carrying ability, the front passenger seat also folds flat. An available cargo net – standard in Premier – enhances versatility.

Comfort, Convenience

Ergonomics engineer Chris Civiero employed sophisticated electronic tools to evaluate every control, handle, knob, dial, pedal and switch on the Montego, ensuring easy access for users of all sizes.

Driver comfort is enhanced through a power six-way adjustable seat with manual lumbar support, tilt steering wheel and optional power-adjustable pedals, as well as optional two-user memory for the exterior mirrors, seat and pedal positions. The Premier offers eight-way power adjustment for the driver’s seat, with power recline and fore/aft movement for the front passenger. The driver’s window has one-touch power operation in both directions. A power moonroof is available.

First-row seating features two power points, including one in the center console, handy for recharging portable devices like mobile phones or laptop computers. A small cutout keeps the charger cord from being pinched when the console lid is closed.

Other storage spaces includes:

  • Map pockets on the back of the front seats
  • Storage pockets with 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, with storage for sunglasses and other small items

"People get excited about wow factors, like a flip-open cup holder," Civiero said. "But when these fancy designs break or spill your coffee, that’s not good. It’s better to be basic – and right."

The Montego cup holders are wide at the top to accommodate giant-size convenience store drinks and tapered toward the bottom to assure that smaller cups won’t slide around.

Location, Location, Location

The radio and instrument panel typically get a lot of attention from the driver, so they drew a lot of attention from Montego’s design team. The result is a set of intuitive controls that doesn’t require a lot of study.

"My top priority is the driving task – the ability of the driver to operate the vehicle safely, to operate in the driving environment," Civiero said.

"On the sound system, we know people use their radio pre-set buttons more than the scan button for finding stations. You design the faceplate layout with that in mind. You definitely don’t want to force someone to go through a deep menu on the radio display while they’re driving."

Other important controls are placed in intuitive locations – the rocker switch for adjustable pedals is on the instrument panel near the headlamps, and the remote mirror control is on the "sail" panel at the front of the driver’s door. Each passenger seating position gets a reading lamp that provides even lighting without glare.

The window controls use an intuitive "push down, pull up" design.

Lessons Learned From Total Vehicle Geometry

Montego benefits from a quality-assurance program called Total Vehicle Geometry, which ensures top-notch fit, finish and design craftsmanship by requiring all engineers to take responsibility in a "systems" approach to vehicle creation.

No one says, "That’s not my job," including Bucher.

"It gives us a robust method for executing the design," he said. "The more you work with the engineers, the more you feel a part of the program. Making something doesn’t stop with designing it – that’s just the beginning."

Bjorn Mattsson is the TVG manager for Montego. His Swedish accent provides a clue to his previous tenure with Volvo, where he worked for more than 20 years. Working his way from a test driver of heavy trucks, he saw first-hand the value of a system that puts quality first.

"TVG is a circular process," Mattsson explained. "What we learn during the design, planning, prototyping and production stage of one program is incorporated into future product programs for continuous quality improvement."

Computer-aided design is a key enabler for the TVG team. All vehicle components originally are designed with computer tools. Parts evolve as engineering teams discover new or better ways to do things when prototypes come together. TVG assures that all these modifications are immediately translated back into the CAD system, so every engineer can access current data at any time.

"This optimizes the fit between components so we are not building in any ‘tension’ that could later cause squeaks and rattles," Mattsson said. "Every component is considered in the context of the vehicle."

The results have been impressive. At Montego’s body-in-white stage, 85 percent of parts met tolerance specifications. Air leakage tests – a measure of fit and finish for the passenger compartment – exceeded the engineering standard. And at the first prototype stage, most fit and finish already met the engineering target. First prototypes made their way through the pilot plant in record time, and prototype build quality was the company’s best ever.

This Volvo-pioneered quality system proved a good fit with Ford’s Consumer-Driven 6-Sigma methodology. The top 45 suppliers on the Montego team were incorporated into the program up front, becoming part of the TVG team. They brought along their Tier II suppliers. All could access and search the master database for best practices as they produced their components.

"Everyone can follow the roadmap between the manufacturer and the suppliers’ pre-assemblies," Mattsson said. "The result is unprecedented quality from our suppliers, which translates into the highest quality product for our Mercury customers."