Tuesday, January 15, 2013

My 2010 Mercury Hybrid Project

Back in early 2010 I was "desperately" trying to save Mercury in the only way I could: with renderings. It was my idea that Mercury could become FoMoCo's high-tech, hybrid division. Ford would be the mainstay bread-and-butter cars, the volume sellers, in a position it has held for more than 100 years. Mercury would be a step-up in price and features, but instead of just "fancy" upholostery, the drivetrains would have been exclusively hybrid and electric. The styling, inside and out, would be more contemporary and high-tech than Ford's more traditional looks. Lincoln would have been pushed further upscale, ensuring Ford's presence in the full luxury market. Alas, it wasn't meant to be. Mercury was dead not long afterwards. In all, I believe I created more than 40 Mercurys in about 2 years of trying to bring the marque back to relevancy. 

My first car was a '69 Comet sport coupe, the bottom-of-the-line pillarless coupe. It was nicely optioned though with 302 V8, power steering, power brakes, air conditioning and a power trunk opener. I'm not sure how many low-line Comets were equipped like that.

The renderings:

Subcompact "B" market Comet sports hatch.

 Compact-sized Medalist sedan. "Medalist" was last used in the mid '50s by Mercury.

Slightly larger Marin sedan, a prototype to replace the then-current Milan, but...

 
... then I created this new Milan 4-door "coupe" which I preferred.

Sitting at the top of the Mercury heap would have been this Cyclone sedan, a full size hybrid sedan with supercar levels of power.

Moving to crossovers, this Villager would have anchored the compact segment ...

... and the Mountaineer would have elevated their top-shelf SUV to Range Rover levels of capability at Land Rover prices.

So much work for nothing!   : )

6 comments:

  1. Hi Casey,

    It's too bad all your great ideas were for naught. I hope some of your idess for Lincoln have a greater return on your investment!

    It's hard to believe that Mercury, Oldsmobile, Pontiac, Playmouth, etc., are no longer with us, a result in most of these cases of unimaginative, thoughtless or lackluster marketing or being starved of product. The nameplates that left us in the 50s -- Nash, Hudson, Packard, Kaiser -- were mostly a result of changing market forces (and the Ford/Chevrolet war), ie, the lack of V8s until it was too late and, in Hudson and Kaiser's cases, the throwing away of money on small cars that were big mistakes. Oh well -- I'm raving again, but everytime I think of what has happened to treasured nameplates, well, you know how I get!

    Paul, NYC

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    1. Rave away Paul! I'm still hoping that perhaps "Mercury" will come back as a trim level on a Ford at some point. If I remember correctly, the hubcaps on the first '39 were labeled "Ford-Mercury" so it wouldn't be entirely without precedent, lol.

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  2. Very good pictures. Also in Canada, we got another division called Meteor who was poised between Ford and Mercury. It was sold to Canadian Mercury-Lincoln dealers as an affordable line-up for them. Mercury got even some pick-up trucks until 1968 in the Great White North. Meteor final years was an affordable Mercury model below the Marquis and vanished in the mid-1970s.

    It could be interesting to imagine some "what if" about what if DeSoto had continued to live to the 1970s and 1980s? How they could had look (even if there could had been some possible K-car DeSotos ^^;)? I sketched once an attempt to imagine how a Fuselage 1970 DeSoto would had look. ^^; And there also some proposal of another car who might have been, 1975 Plymouth Barracuda.

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    1. Hi St├ęphane! Thanks for the comments! Bringing DeSoto into the 21st century is an interesting idea! I'll certainly keep in the back of my mind. I bet your fuselage version would have been sharp! I've never seen that Barracuda clay either, so thanks for that! -casey

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  3. Nice retrospective of a brand with a pretty special history in design. Looking thru your list of marques I don't see any Pontiacs. Are there any in your history?

    BobF

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    1. Hi Bob! Good catch! I have 10 entries for Pontiac on my other blog. I didn't realize I had never posted any here. Here's the link, most are chops:
      http://artandcolour.blogspot.com/search/label/Pontiac

      I'll do a Pontiac retrospective here nest. My "Ventura" 4-door coupe from several years ago seems to have almost today's Lincoln snout.

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