by: Jenny McLane
The Mercury Mariner Hybrid uses both gasoline engine and electric motor, which gives a 50% increase in driving efficiency with a much lower emission. All this is achieved by the use of 6 powertrain components, which work in perfect unison. Ford motor has 40 patents in hybrid engine technology and 70 pending.
"The greatest appeal of the Mercury Mariner Hybrid is that it satisfies both your environmental conscience and sense of style. Mariner Hybrid retains the clean, tailored appearance of the conventional Mariner," said Peter Horbury, Executive Director, North American Design.
Being a full hybrid, the Mercury Mariner employs both series- and parallel-hybrid characteristics. The gasoline engine shuts down to conserve fuel during coasting, at stoplights, and at low speeds. The electric motor, drawing electricity from the battery, is able to drive the vehicle without assistance up to 25 mph.
It has 2.3-liter DOHC Duratec four-cylinder engine with 2 ac electric motors with 250 D-size nickel-metal hydride batteries in a compact, rear-mounted, sealed package. The vehicle could go up to 25 mph with only electric power. The gas engine automatically shuts down at stoplights, during coasting or while vehicle is crawling at low speeds. 2006 Mercury Mariner Hybrid has a greater fuel economy in city driving where electric motor runs the vehicle up to as much as 25 mph.
The Mariner hybrid has 16-inch, five-spoke aluminum wheels wrapped with 235/70R-16 all-season tires and a discreet air vent in the driver's side rear-quarter window that helps cool the rear-mounted nickel-metal hydride battery pack. It has an all-new Intelligent 4WD System, which automatically transfers torque from front to rear as required by road conditions without driver intervention.
Mariner powertrains include a 2.3-liter 16-valve I-4 and a 3.0-liter 24-valve V-6 Duratec engine. Both engines come with a standard 4-speed automatic transaxle.
It also features a front end with the vertical, satin-aluminum-finished waterfall grille framing the floating Mercury emblem. The fascia features a stacked-element theme with complex refractor headlamps over inset fog lamps. A high-impact-plastic (HIP) aluminum-look bumper insert and U-shaped air intake below the bumper.
Mariner has the latest level of the Personal Safety SystemTM, one of the most comprehensive and technologically advanced safety systems available in any vehicle in any class. Seat-mounted front side air bags and side air curtain air bags are optional.
"Mariner Hybrid fits perfectly with Mercury's design philosophy," says Richard Gresens, Mariner chief designer. "It's a stylish, elegant design with clean simple lines. It's an urban sport-utility, comfortable going to a club downtown, yet still possessing all of the capability and versatility of a sport-utility. At the same time, it's environmentally friendly."
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About the author:
Jenny McLane is a 36 year old native of Iowa and has a knack for research on cars and anything and everything about it. She works full time as a Market Analyst for one of the leading car parts suppliers in the country today.