The five Lincoln concept models that we told you about on Friday will be joined by the 2003 Mercury Messenger concept at the RM’s Sports & Classics of Monterey auction on August 12th.
The two-seater sports coupe prototype of the soon-to-be discontinued Mercury brand broke cover at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit back in 2003. It was supposed to herald a new and more stylish design language for the company while some had also suggested that it may inspire a production model – unfortunately for Mercury, that never happened.
Influenced by the Cougars of the late sixties with a rakish roofline that recalls Ford’s GT supercar, the rear-wheel drive Messenger Coupe was designed to be powered by the Dearborn automaker’s familiar 4.6 liter V8 engine (the study is not fitted with a powertrain). The folks over at RM Auctions estimate that the Messenger can fetch between US$75,000 and $100,000.
Here’s an excerpt from the Ford’s 2003 NAIAS press release:
“At the North American International Auto Show, Mercury is a brand sending a message that modern design will lead its rejuvenation, beginning with its new Messenger concept coupe.
Mercury is returning to its roots as a design leader introducing the Messenger concept, a distinctive and energetic high-performance two-seat sports coupe.
The Messenger concept car represents the first expression of Mercury’s new design DNA with a clean, technical appearance that begins to establish the look of Mercury products still to come. Mercury will introduce four new products over the next four years including a minivan, a small sport utility and two cars.
“The body surface reflects the car’s power and grace, with flowing body lines that are accented with purposeful air intakes and outlets,” says Gerry McGovern, design director, Lincoln Mercury. “The dynamic fluidity of the Messenger’s lean and taut form is expressed at rest as much as it is in movement.”
2003 Mercury Messenger Concept
Estimate: $75,000-$100,000 US
Rolling interior and exterior display model. No drivetrain. Wheelbase: 111.2″ – Sleek, stillborn sports coupe – A Mercury that might have been – Compact, efficient packagingMercury Messenger Technical Specifications
The Mercury Messenger is a high performance, two-seat sports car powered by a V-8 classically driving the rear wheels.
Front engine, rear wheel drive.
All-aluminum 4.6-liter DOHC V-8
6-speed automatic sequential gearbox
Body and Chassis
Unique monocoque construction using a composite / aluminum hybrid ‘tub’ chassis with super-formed aluminum panels bonded to it. The result is a body with high torsional rigidity providing excellent ride and handling properties. Occupant protection is enhanced and noise/vibration/harshness (NVH) is reduced by this method of construction.
Rear 18 spoke 20 x 10J cast alloy wheels with Goodyear 305/40R20 tires
Front 18 spoke 19 x 9J cast alloy wheels with Goodyear 275/40/R19 tires
High performance Brembo power assisted brakes, anti-lock brake system using Electronic Brake Force Distribution
Front – 355mm vented discs with 4 piston calipersRear – 355mm vented discs with 4 piston calipers
Computer active suspension adjusts ride height and dynamics to suit driving style, speed and road conditions with ‘intelligent’ traction control
Electronically actuated parking brake
Power assisted variable ratio rack and pinion
Length 4533mm / 178.5″
Width 1938mm / 76.3″
Height 1304mm / 51.3″
Wheelbase 2825mm / 111.2″
Front track 1662mm / 65.4″
Rear track 1650mm / 65″
Trunk volume 340 liters
Legroom 1084mm / 42.6″
Headroom 943mm / 38″
Safety and Security
Integral safety cell structure
Personal Safety System Global vehicle theft location system
Self-leveling high-intensity ‘projector’ headlamps
LED technology brake lights with faster response for additional safety Automatically monitored and adjusted tire pressure sensing system
Comfort and Convenience
Independent climate control for driver and passenger with pollen filtration
THX certified digital CD/Radio Hi-fi system.
Automatic volume control linked to vehicle speed Hands free telephone capability Rain sensing windshield wipers
Automatically dimming interior rear view mirror
Powered and heated exterior rear view mirrors
Height and reach adjustable steering column
Low-E glass to reduce UV and heat build up
Stowage space behind seats with integral child seat fittings