DETROIT - If you think the name is odd, take a look at this strange-looking "segment-buster" from Ford's Lincoln-Mercury Division. The (my) mercury Concept is dubbed "a multi-activity vehicle that blurs the boundaries between a car, a truck and a sport-utility vehicle."
Blurry might be the best way to look at this five-door, five-passenger all-wheel-drive concept. It appears that J Mays, Ford VP of design, didn't use up all of his ideas for VW's New Beetle before coming to Ford, because the curved-arch roofline of his (my) mercury concept certainly mirrors the Bug's. That wouldn't necessarily be bad, if it weren't for the fact that the rest of this vehicle's design is a mishmash of angles and edges, creases and curves.
Built off the same platform as the Ford Contour and Mercury Mystique, (my) mercury sports a set of center-opening, suicide-style doors on each side and a fixed roof made of two amber glass panels. Access to the rear cargo area is via a combination of upward-opening hatch and a flip-down tailgate that can pull out like a drawer to expand the floor area before locking flat for loading stuff. The rear bucket seats fold forward for even more cargo-carrying ability.
Inside, (my) mercury features a center console up front that houses a mouse-like ball which controls the sound system, climate controls and integrated global positioning system -- displayed on a screen mounted in the center of the dash. Mid-mounted speedometer, tachometer and fuel gauges are supposed to make it easy for Mercury to build both left- and right-hand-drive versions for different global markets -- as if enough buyers could be found to warrant worldwide sales.
We know that Ford is planning at least two hybrid-style multi-activity vehicles to be built off of this platform after the Contour/Mystique cars are dropped next year. Thankfully, the Ford version looks somewhat like a conventional mini-ute. But if Mercury's production version looks much like the (my) mercury concept, then the marketing folks better get on their horse trying to draw Gen-Xers and free-thinkers into Mercury showrooms real soon.
Mr. Mays must not have noticed all the balding guys with the lime-green pants and white loafers still filling Mercury showrooms across America to kick tires on Grand Marquis sedans. Mercury may have moved its headquarters to California, and hired some guy whose first name is merely the letter "J" with no period after it to design some of their cars, but the division's image-rebuilding process hasn't gone far enough to draw enough young buyers to this concept.
My, my. (my) mercury? My goodness, no!
КОНЦЕПТ-КАР (MY) MERCURY, ПОСТРОЕННЫЙ на базе Ford Contour, демонстрирует дальнейшее развитие концепции New Adge во внешнем облике автомобиля. Каплевидный дизайн, когда крыша плавно перетекает в лобовое стекло, распашные двери плюс возможность легко превратить легковую машину в пикап за счет трансформации заднего дивана да плюс полный привод - еще одно представление Ford Motor Co. о семейном автомобиле XXI века.
Журнал "Автопилот" номер 02 за 1999г.