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By Amy Wilson
Automotive News / February 12, 2003

The Montego will arrive in showrooms in late 2004. It will be assembled at Ford Motor Co.'s Chicago assembly plant along with the new Ford Five Hundred sedan and Freestyle sport wagon. The Montego will have the same underpinnings as the new Fords, Ford officials said.

Ford is retooling the plant, which makes the Ford Taurus and Mercury Sable. The smaller Sable will remain in the Mercury lineup and will continue to be built at Ford's Atlanta assembly plant.

The new vehicle is slated to be revealed Wednesday at a press conference at the Chicago Auto Show. It is one of four new Mercurys expected during the next three years: the Monterey minivan, due in showrooms later this year; a Ford Escape-based SUV late in 2004; and another sedan, based on the Mazda6, in 2005.

The Montego will feature front or all-wheel drive and a "high-package" design intended to maximize interior space. It will be powered by a 3.0-liter V-6 Duratec engine. Two transmissions, including a continually variable transmission made by a Ford-ZF Friedrichshafen AG joint venture, will be available.

Mercury introduced the Montego in 1967 and produced it until 1976.

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