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* The all-new 2006 Mercury Milan mid-size, premium sedan starts at $18,995 for a well-equipped I-4 model and at $21,995 for a V-6 with a class-leading six-speed automatic transmission.
* Milan provides customers with a compelling package of value, versatility and distinctive Mercury design.

DEARBORN, Mich., June 24, 2005 – Lincoln Mercury today announced the all-new 2006 Mercury Milan will feature a starting manufacturer's suggested retail price (MSRP) of $18,995 when it goes on sale this fall. Milan models equipped with a V-6 engine and class-leading six-speed automatic transmission begins at $21,995. All prices include destination and delivery charges.

The Milan accelerates Mercury's product renaissance by adding an upscale and expressive, yet affordable, five-passenger mid-size sedan to its lineup. The Milan is Mercury's first mid-size sedan in a decade and completes the brand's return to traditional higher-end volume segments.

" Milan 's upscale, sophisticated styling will set its owners apart, while its unique interior environment and unexpected value will reward their smart choice," says Al Giombetti, Lincoln Mercury president. " Milan gives customers everything they want in a mid-size sedan – without giving up style."

Contemporary design sets Milan apart

Milan builds on the design-led transformation of the Mercury showroom, incorporating Mercury's overall theme of technical finishes and vertical design elements reminiscent of contemporary architecture. The Milan 's exterior features Mercury's signature cues – the dramatic waterfall grille, clean lines, distinct rear treatments and satin aluminum finishes.

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 and an attention to detail provide a dramatic departure from the many "plain vanilla" mid-size sedans on the market today.

Powertrains balance performance, fuel economy and low emissions

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. A 2.3-liter Duratec 23 PZEV I-4 provides 160 horsepower flowing through a five-speed manual or optional five- speed automatic transmission. A 3.0-liter Duratec 30 V-6 pumps out 221 horsepower and is paired with an advanced six-speed automatic transaxle – exceedingly rare in the entry mid-size sedan segment. The Duratec 30's 205 foot-pounds of torque will help it achieve class-leading acceleration during passing at freeway speeds. It's expected to be about a second faster than cars in its competitive set from 55-75 mph, and it clocks 0-60 mph times of less than 8.5 seconds.

The Duratec 23 will qualify for Partial Zero Emissions Vehicle certification in California , while the Duratec 30 gains Ultra-Low Emission Vehicle II status. The Duratec 23 is expected to earn an EPA highway rating in the low 30-mpg range; the Duratec 30 should be rated in the high 20-mpg range.

Premium features standard

Milan will be offered in two array packages, the entry Milan and the Milan Premier. All entry Milan models come well-equipped with a number of standard features, including a premium audio system with an AM/FM single CD/MP3 player, analog clock, overhead console with sunglass holder, covered flip-up storage bin on top of the dash, six-way power driver's seat with manual lumbar, 16-inch wheels, air conditioning, speed control, tilt and telescoping steering wheel with secondary controls, and remote keyless entry. Other options available on the entry Milan include a "Safety and Security Package" that offers side-impact air curtains, side-impact air bags and a perimeter anti-theft system, anti-lock brakes, power moonroof, premium AM/FM CDx6/MP3 player, and an Audiophile AM/FM CDx6/MP3 player with eight speakers.

Milan Premier includes the premium six-disc CD changer with MP3 and six speakers, leather seating surfaces, anti-lock brakes, and 17-inch machined aluminum wheels as standard equipment. The optional "Comfort Package" includes a leather-wrapped steering wheel with secondary audio, speed and climate controls, automatic electronic climate control, auto headlamps, fog lamps, puddle lamps, and an auto dimming interior rearview mirror with compass. Other options available on the Milan Premier include traction assist, heated seats, power moonroof, the Audiophile AM/FM CDx6/MP3 player with eight speakers, and Wales Mahogany interior trim.

Many high-value optional packages will be available on both the entry Milan and Milan Premier.

Both the entry Milan and the Milan Premier offer the 160 horsepower 2.3-liter Duratec 23 PZEV I-4 with five-speed manual or optional five-speed automatic transmission, or the 221 horsepower 3.0-liter Duratec 30 V-6 engine with advanced six-speed automatic transmission.

Milan continues Mercury's product renaissance

"The Milan clearly stands apart from the crowd," says Giombetti. "Mercury customers don't want something they will also see in their neighbor's driveway, but they also don't want a car that's brash or showy. They want premium features, but without the luxury price tag."

The Milan is the fifth of Mercury's promised six new products in four years and sets the stage for the next wave of products, like a new crossover in a couple of years. As Lincoln Mercury's most affordable model, the Milan represents the division's largest growth opportunity as it looks to increase sales from 300,000 vehicles annually today to more than 500,000 per year by the end of the decade.
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