As early as 1985, the Mercury Sable challenged the future of automobile design. Created by the Ford Motor Company as a rebadge of the Ford Taurus, its futuristic fascia made it win the label “the car that came from the moon.” From its dawn in the 80s', the Taurus-twin had been consistently reinventing its aesthetics until its production was permanently shut down in 2009. Nevertheless, the Sable set a benchmark that Mercury adapted to its lineup, and American automakers continuously use today.
1986-1991: Attractive headlights
As Ford wanted to keep on track with the best-selling mid-size cars, the Sable was developed. It set the trend in designing aerodynamic cars following the Mercury Cougar. The Sable’s flush aerodynamic composite headlights became Ford’s breakthrough sedan with smooth body and attractive lights. Over 300,000 Sable units were sold like hotcakes during its first year; its top-seller equipped with a 140 hp (104 kW) Vulcan V6 with a four-speed automatic transmission. It was also in this generation that two special editions of Sable as the “LS Monochrome Edition” and the “50th anniversary” of Mercury brand debuted.
1992-1995: Striking fascias
A revolutionary facelift made the Sable more saleable during its next generation. Consumers loved the modernized interiors and rear and front fascias of the sedan. An optional passenger-side airbag and antilock brakes were its assets until it became standard Stable equipment in 1993. Also, the Sable wagon was also made available for consumers in need of a larger cargo area. It bragged of a 2-way liftgate, a roof rack, a lockable under-floor compartment, and optional fold-out tables and third seat.
1996-1999: Matching dashboards
This gen proved the kinship of the Ford Taurus and the Mercury Sable by creating identical dashboards. Unfortunately, the oval-based styling of the Sable made it dip a little in terms of sales. Some critics did not take this design as an improvement rather a waste of space. A minor facelift including taillights’ color change somehow resurrected the Sable from the market.
2000-2005: Potent engines
A Sable with a more conventional styling and bigger headroom debuted in this generation. A softer stance of the Sable made it more appealing to its non-sporting consumers. A 3.0 Duratec V6 engine—with 40 more horsepower than its Vulcan counterpart—was used in the higher trim level Sable, making it in line with high-class Jaguar and Lincoln models. In 2005, however, the Sable was replaced with Mercury Montego followed by Milan in 2006.
2008-2009: Sable unstable
After years of hibernation, the production of Sable was revived in 2007 with the 2008 model. The new model was somehow a fusion and a step up of Montego and Milan. It also sported the 3.5 L cyclone engine adapted from the Ford Edge. The rebirth of the Sable up to its last model in 2009, however, was short-lived. Even its twin-Taurus—which followed suit in 2010—was discontinued after its 2010 model. In 2011, the Mercury brand itself had gone extinct. Its twin, however, is launching its 2013 model.