2006 Merucry Milan: a premium mid-size sedan with a distinct personality and value
Mercury has issued the following press release:
The all-new 2006 Milan accelerates Mercury's growth plan by adding an upscale and expressive, yet affordable, five-passenger mid-size sedan. It is the brand's new entry point and first vehicle in this segment in a decade. The Milan appeals to new, younger customers by translating Mercury's new identity – sophisticated design, stylish and functional interiors and rewarding, city-tuned driving traits – into a spirited sedan entering one of the industry's most hotly contested segments.
The new Milan's expressive exterior and high-end interior are aimed squarely at Generation X customers, an even younger audience than new Mercury products are currently drawing to showrooms. Mercury research indicates that 46 percent of Gen Xers shop outside mainstream brands to find clothes, furniture and home accessories to match their unique tastes.
EXPRESSIVE EXTERIOR: Sleek and modern form breaks mid-size mold
The 2006 Milan injects spirit into the staid sedan scene by wrapping Mercury's new metropolitan identity – first established by the 2002 Mountaineer – around a well-proportioned mid-size sedan. Mercury's new sedan draws design inspiration from large, modern cities that advance design, fine arts and architecture much like the vehicle's namesake Milan, Italy, did in the 19th Century.
"The name 'Milan' connotes visions of a modern, fashionable European city, fitting the car's design theme and young customers like a finely tailored suit," says chief designer Darrell Behmer. "Just like the city, the car is expressive of both style and taste.
The Milan's exterior features Mercury's signature cues – the dramatic waterfall grille, clean lines, distinct rear treatments, satin aluminum finishes and attention to detail – that accentuate its long wheelbase and dynamic stance.
PREMIUM PLEASE: Stylish and flexible interior
Milan brings a fresh flair to the interior design of mid-size cars by carrying the exterior's modernity and clean surfaces through to the cabin. Mercury's hallmarks of upscale, quality materials, satin aluminum finishes and a passionate attention to detail provide a dramatic departure from "plain vanilla" mid-size sedans.
Mercury designers drew inspiration from the finishes of well-designed home appliances and the details of finely crafted handbags and other personal accessories.
The engineering team's relentless pursuit of a quiet cabin reinforces the premium design precision and craftsmanship. Advanced aerodynamics computer modeling, a solid structure and strategic use of sound-deadening materials contributed to reduce noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) to help continue driving customer satisfaction long after first impressions subside.
Milan uses upgraded materials throughout its interior, such as leather seats and either Satin Metallic or Wales Mahogany wood trim finishes. One element that sets Milan apart from most mid-size sedans is the availability of two-tone leather seating surfaces with contrast stitching.
In addition to carrying people in comfort, Milan makes quick work of cargo with easy-to-use and flexible storage spaces that facilitate multiple errand runs in large cities. Its roomy 15.6-cubic-foot trunk boasts a flat load floor and low liftover height as well as compact decklid hinges that won't crush boxes or groceries. What's more, the rear seats feature a standard 60/40-split and fold-flat function with spring assist, allowing pass-through access to handle extra-long items and provide best-in-class storage space.
NIMBLE AND AGILE: Chassis designed for ever-changing city-driving conditions
Milan's driving dynamics reinforce the car's well-proportioned stance and help customers negotiate ever-changing traffic environments. Milan's CD3 architecture is 12 percent stiffer than the base architecture, providing a solid foundation for responsive ride and handling as well as a quiet cabin designed to survive miles of punishing, pockmarked roadways.
Milan rides on a sophisticated short- and long-arm front suspension that features double ball-joint lower control arms and coil-over shocks. The multi-link rear suspension performs like a double-wishbone setup. These sophisticated designs limit lateral forces on springs for increased ride comfort and control to help absorb road imperfections like potholes.
Milan's rack-and-pinion steering system provides quick and confident control to help drivers avoid hazards altogether. Engineers mounted the steering gear on a front sub-frame to isolate any potential noise or vibration. At all four corners Milan is equipped with large disc brakes tuned for precise, controlled stops in everyday or emergency situations.
SAFETY: A Mercury standard
Milan's competent, well-balanced chassis also helps drivers avoid accidents. Should an accident occur, the Milan features a comprehensive safety package with advanced high-strength steel construction and as many as six available air bags.
Mercury safety engineers developed body structures that help direct crash energy away from the passenger compartment and used energy-absorbing materials to help cushion the effect on vehicle occupants.
Engineers strengthened Milan's sides to better manage intrusion into the cabin during a side impact. Available side air bags and side-curtain air bags enhance this protection.
CLEAN AND POTENT: 160-hp Duratec 2.3 I-4 or 210-hp Duratec 3.0 V-6
The new Milan comes with a choice of powertrains geared for the challenges and responsibilities of city driving, offering performance balanced with fuel efficiency and clean emissions.
Milan offers two engine choices – a 2.3-liter Duratec 23 inline four-cylinder that provides 160 horsepower flowing through either a five-speed manual or automatic. A 3.0-liter Duratec 30 V-6 pumps out 210 horsepower through an advanced six-speed automatic transaxle.
Ford Motor Company is taking a leadership position in six-speed automatic transmissions to simultaneously boost performance – without necessarily going to larger engines – and fuel economy with the wider ratio spreads allowed by the extra gear.
Today, less than one percent of all vehicles sold use a six-speed automatic. But by 2010, Ford Motor Company expects 15 to 20 percent will have six speeds, and 50 percent by 2015.
This V-6 powertrain gives Milan an edge in passing situations with quick kick down and acceleration for crisp acceleration from 55 to 75 miles per hour (mph.)
In about a year, Milan's powertrain offerings will expand with the availability of all-wheel drive. And in 2008, Milan will become Mercury's second full-hybrid vehicle, joining the Mariner. It will also be the fifth full-hybrid offered by Ford Motor Company after the Ford Escape Hybrid, Mercury Mariner Hybrid, Mazda Tribute Hybrid and Ford Fusion Hybrid.
GREAT VALUE: With distinct style, premium features
Complementing the new sedan's upscale design, Milan's raft of standard features appeals to customers seeking smart designs and smarter values.
Both the entry Milan and more well-equipped Milan Premier arrays give consumers the choices they want by offering both the four- and six-cylinder powertrains. All Milan models feature a six-way power driver's seat, a CD-equipped audio system, an analog clock, remote keyless entry, power windows and locks, and power heated exterior mirrors.
"Milan's exterior design and interior styling is well appointed, sophisticated and modern," says Revier. "And the available two-tone interior is something you don't see in this segment, only in more expensive luxury cars."
The 2006 Mercury Milan goes on sale in the United States in the fall of 2005.