"Mercury takes on a new L'Attitude - The Mercury L'Attitude, a concept car that combines the practical spaciousness and refinement of a family wagon with the robust off-road capability and fun-to-drive aspects of a sport utility, makes its world debut at the Greater Los Angeles Auto Show.
Mercury L'Attitude is a new breed of vehicle intended to suit the needs of today's dynamic lifestyles.
"The Mercury L'Attitude is a fresh interpretation of a family adventure vehicle," said Jim O'Connor, Ford Motor Company vice president in charge of Mercury. "It takes some of the best features of the current Mercury Sable wagon, such as design flair, precision driving dynamics, plus excellent interior comfort and space, yet stretches the envelope by giving the vehicle a definitive off-road look and feel."
The innovative tailgate design is one of the vehicle's most prominent features. A molded spare tire well has been designed into the center of the tailgate, which frees up cargo space inside the vehicle. The tailgate and window open as a single unit from the side, providing drivers easier access to the spare, which stores about waist high.
The round outline of the spare storage compartment and the tailgate's integrated bumper contribute to the rugged look of a sport utility vehicle. The compartment's lower half drops below the load floor, and with the tailgate open, a circular depression is created in the bumper.
Three step pads along the depression allow easy access to the roof. The roof also can be reached from two exposed step wells built into either side of the lower bumper, which allow access without opening the tailgate.
The theme of versatility and flexibility is carried over into the roof system. The roof consists of a three-panel glass sunroof system from Rockwell International. The front and middle panels operate as dual sunroofs that can be raised for venting or slid back to an open position. A roof rack system extends the length of the roof and uses two sliding crossbars that stack in the back when not in use.
In keeping with the L'Attitude's adventure theme, rear seat passengers can stand with the middle panel open for photography or getting a better view of the great outdoors. Camera mounts equipped with Nikon cameras have been added to enhance the vehicle's versatility.
High-intensity discharge headlamps, marker lamps and rear taillamps increase visibility at night. Projector beams located below the headlamps direct high-beam light long distances for off-road use. Sweeping neon turn signals, consisting of two horizontal neon tubes in the rear and a u-shaped neon tube in the quarter panel, illuminate more quickly and with more intense color than conventional bulbs. This allows the turns signals to stand out from the brake lights making them more visible to the other motorists. A chrome-plated grille boldly accentuates the vehicle's Mercury heritage.
L'Attitude's off-road ability is improved by the 17-inch, six-spoke alloy wheels wrapped in custom-cut Goodyear tires. The large wheels and tires help to give the concept wagon its purposeful stance and are housed beneath accentuated wheel flares.
Olive-pearl metallic paint gives the L'Attitude a sophisticated air. The 3.4-liter, V-8 SHO engine provides refined power to cope with performance demands on the street or off-road.
Interior flexibility is a main theme of L'Attitude. The backs of the taupe leather rear bucket seats fold forward to further extend the rear cargo space, and the bottoms lift and lock in an upward position to expose a flat observation platform. Passengers can stand comfortably on this floor space with the middle roof panel fully open.
To keep up with the active lifestyles of Mercury drivers, L'Attitude is equipped with a portable Apple Newton global positioning system navigational unit housed in the front console. It offers a map display, directional guidance, a telephone dialing device and mobile office capabilities.
Side air bags join the list of safety items on the L'Attitude, which include slow-speed impact-resistant bumpers, dual air bags and side door beams."