January 7, 2003
Mercury Messenger previews Mercury’s “rejuvenation”
Detroit, Michigan – The debut of the Mercury Messenger marks the beginning of the rejuvenation of the Mercury brand, says the company’s design director. Mercury plans to add four new products to its U.S. lineup over the next four years including: a minivan, a small SUV and two cars.
The high-performance two-seat, rear drive sports coupe features a long hood that houses a 4.6-litre V8 engine. The Messenger’s stance is enhanced by 20-inch wheels with 305 mm wide tires on the rear and 19-inch wheels with 275 mm wide tires on the front. The spoke wheels have a turbine theme, with vanes that reflect the appearance of the Mercury “flying M” logo. The functional vanes help direct airflow over the vented brake disc and high performance brake calipers.
The cockpit is placed directly between the wheels to further emphasize the car’s proportions.
The seats in the Messenger are mounted laterally to the tunnel and rocker panel to further strengthen the lightweight aluminum hydro-formed monocoque, while forming part of the integral occupant safety cell.
“This vehicle is driver-focused, from the commanding seating position to the way the vehicle interfaces with the person behind the wheel,” said Lincoln Mercury Design Director, Gerry McGovern. “Use of the controls inside the cockpit is intuitive.”
“The next-generation Mercury products will feature a distinct new front-end appearance with vertically stacked elements combined with a horizontal grille theme. They’ll have a family resemblance, but be distinct in their own automotive genre. Interiors will provide a contemporary environment that is technically advanced, with innovative seating, comfort with simplicity, using high-tech materials. Functions that interface with the driver and passengers will be logical and storage opportunities will be creative,” said McGovern.