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LINCOLN-MERCURY UNVEILS NAUTICA VILLAGER CONCEPT CAR

 DETROIT, Jan. 5 /PRNewswire/ -- What do you get when a leading auto manufacturer and a leading men's sportswear company get together? A minivan that is the best-dressed in its class and handles like a dream -- the Mercury Nautica Villager concept vehicle.
 Based on the highly popular all-new 1993 Mercury Villager minivan, the Nautica Villager concept vehicle takes the combination of fun and luxury a step beyond any car on the road today.
 "Both Nautica and Villager appeal to the same upscale consumer, so combining these two quality products makes a lot of sense," said Lee R. Miskowski, Ford (NYSE: F) vice president and Lincoln-Mercury general manager. "Based on consumer reaction to this concept vehicle, we will look at the possibility of expanding this relationship."
 This all-new concept vehicle will be displayed at auto shows nationwide and incorporate a number of innovative features aimed at capturing the high-tech look of the future. Among these unique features:
 -- The front lights are molded in a new plastic polymeric reflective material similar to a mirrorized lens surface. The lights reflect like chrome when viewed with the lights off but function as traditional headlamps when the lights are turned on.
 -- High-mounted side "smart" mirrors which use optical technology pioneered by Muth Advanced technologies. These mirrors display warning lights such as brakes, turning signals, backing up or emergencies within the field of the mirror itself. When not indicating any of these five functions, they act as traditional mirrors. These high-tech mirrors diminish blind spots and help minimize conflicts during lane changes.
 -- A new front-end design which includes a new grille-opening panel, providing a sleek look to the front end while improving cooling efficiency. New headlamps, park and turn lamps and light bar also have been added.
 A special color scheme was designed for this special Villager as well. On the outside, a sparkling Portofino Blue Mist covers the body and is matched with an Ivory Pearl on the lower cladding. A gradiated primary tri-color band with matching Nautica lettering and logo highlight the sides of the vehicle. The luggage rack is made entirely of chrome. High-performance Michelin tires mounted on 17-inch custom- chromed aluminum wheels combine to enhance performance and style.
 On the inside, an all-leather interior is trimmed in special leather grains to add to the luxury of the interior. The carpeting is a plush- molded ivory with Nautica logos embroidered in the floor mats. Nautica logos also are embroidered in the vehicle's four captain's chairs. The luxury and comfort of passengers is enhanced by the premium sound system with CD, power rear vent windows and a power moonroof.
 Villager is the first minivan ever offered by Lincoln-Mercury. Available in GS and LS models, the vehicle is powered by a 3.0-liter V-6 engine with an overhead camshaft and sequential electronic fuel injection. A high level of standard equipment is offered as well, including anti-lock brakes, rack-and-pinion steering, power brakes and a flexible seating system that provides 14 different seating configurations.
 "Villager combines the styling, prestige, ride and quality of a Mercury with the versatility of a minivan," Miskowski said. "We think Villager's ride and handling is more car-like than any minivan on the road today."
 The Villager has jumped off to a quick start on the sales front. By the end of 1992, just three months after public introduction, more than 14,000 Villagers had been sold. The division has received a total of 40,000 orders for the vehicle.
 "We obviously are very pleased by the positive reaction from our customers and our dealers," Miskowski added. "Villager is attracting new customers to our dealerships and we are confident it will continue to be a sales success."
 Nautica International Inc., located in New York, is a leading manufacturer of quality men's sportswear and outerwear. Other Nautica products include fragrance, dress shirts, robes, luggage and leather goods and youthwear.
 -0- 1/5/93
 /CONTACT: Jim Vella of Lincoln-Mercury Division, 313-446-4399/
 (F)


CO: Lincoln-Mercury Division; Nautica International Inc. ST: Michigan, New York IN: AUT SU: PDT

SB -- DE002 -- 1549 01/05/93 08:33 EST
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Date:Jan 5, 1993
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