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DEARBORN, Mich., July 22 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- The product onslaught is in high gear as Ford and Lincoln Mercury showrooms are transformed for the "Year of the Car" 2005-model year with six new nameplates, including the legendary new Ford Mustang and the world's first hybrid-electric SUV, the Ford Escape Hybrid.
For the Ford brand, more than 60 percent of the vehicles within a 12-month period are new or all-new. Mercury adds two new vehicles, the Montego sedan and Mariner SUV, and Lincoln upgrades the Navigator with a new look and new 3-valve V-8 and six-speed transmission.

In addition, Advance Trac with Roll Stability Control is being made standard on the world's No.1-selling SUV, Ford Explorer, plus the Lincoln Navigator, Aviator and Mercury Mountaineer.

"We are in the middle of the most aggressive 90 days of new product introductions in Ford history," says Greg Smith, Ford Motor Company executive vice president and President of the Americas.

Among the highlights for the new-model year: -- Ford changes the face of traditional family transportation with the Ford Five Hundred and Ford Freestyle. Five Hundred reinvents the sedan market delivering Command Seating(TM) and the confidence of available all-wheel-drive. Ford Freestyle bridges the gap between SUVs and traditional passenger cars combining SUV attributes with the ride of a car. Both are available this fall. -- Timing couldn't be better for the 2005 Ford Escape Hybrid, which goes on sale this summer. It delivers "No Compromises" with 35-40 mph fuel economy in the city and SUV cargo capability. -- Ford's full-size pickup truck leadership continues with a new V-6 engine in the 2005 Ford F-150 and even more power and capability in the 2005 F-Series Super Duty. Major changes to the Super Duty include class-leading payload ratings, increased tow-ratings, new engines, a new design and a unique trailer brake control system. -- Ford takes a major step toward improving driving confidence of SUV customers by making standard Advance Trac with Roll Stability Control on the Lincoln Navigator, Aviator, Mercury Mountaineer and Ford Explorer. The system works in conjunction with existing interactive vehicle dynamics technologies. It adds the ability to detect that a vehicle is beginning to roll and employs a series of countermeasures with the ABS system and engine controls to help prevent a rollover. -- The Ford GT triumphantly returns. The legendary race car becomes a road-going supercar as it goes on sale this summer. -- An all-new Ford Mustang with improved steering, ride and handling debuts this fall. The Mustang GT model offers a 300-horsepower V-8 engine. The Mustang V-6 delivers 210 horsepower and has a base price less than $20,000. Lincoln Mercury Rising

Lincoln Mercury's product onslaught also is under way. During the next four years, Lincoln Mercury adds 11 new products to the showroom.

Two new nameplates join the lineup this year. The new 2005 Mercury Montego sedan this fall and Mariner SUV this summer are joined by an updated Lincoln Navigator, which includes a new 5.4-liter 3-valve V-8, combined with a new 6-speed automatic transmission.

The Momentum Continues

Ford's explosive product growth and "Year of the Car" won't end with the 2005 models. Ford will follow up the introduction of its new flagship Ford Five Hundred sedan next year with an all-new mid-size sedan -- the 2006 Ford Fusion. The Fusion is one of three all-new cars Ford and Lincoln Mercury will unveil beginning at the 2005 North American International Auto Show in Detroit in January.

Larger than a Ford Focus sedan and smaller than the Ford Five Hundred, the new Fusion will be aimed squarely at the heart of the mid-size car market.

Ford Fusion will be joined by an all-new, upscale, mid-size car from Mercury and the all-new, all-wheel-drive Lincoln Zephyr.

CONTACT: Jon Harmon, +1-313-323-7045, [email protected] , or SaraTatchio, +1-313-594-3744, [email protected] , both of Ford Motor Company

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