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Clinton to get custom hybrid SUV

Specially outfitted Mercury Mariner Hybrid on its way to former president.



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NEW YORK ( -- Former president Bill Clinton will take delivery of a specially outfitted "Presidential Edition" Mercury Mariner Hybrid SUV later this month.

The vehicle's customized interior includes unique LED lighting and a 110-volt outlet. The Mariner's rear bench seats were replaced by a pair of bucket seats and a center console that houses a fold-out writing desk. There are also writing desks that fold down from the backs of the front seats.

It also has individual DVD players for each back and a small refrigerator, said Kim Irwin, brand manager for Ford's Mercury division. The SUV's front seats were modified to create more rear seat legroom, she said.

Irwin declined to discuss certain alterations that had been made for security reasons. The Mariner will be driven by Secret Service agents.

"The Clinton Climate Initiative is working with some of the world's largest cities to reduce greenhouse gas emissions," Clinton said in an announcement. "I'm happy to have a fuel efficient vehicle to do my part and I'd like to thank the Ford Motor Company for this."

The Mariner Hybrid, a slightly more luxurious version of the small Ford Escape Hybrid, gets an EPA-estimated 32 miles to the gallon in the city and 29 on the highway. (Unlike other cars, hybrid vehicles are often rated higher for city driving than highway.) It runs on a four-cylinder engine combined with an electric motor.

The Mariner Hybrid is the first hybrid vehicle and the first Mercury vehicle outfitted for presidential use, an honor normally associated with Ford's more expensive Lincoln brand and General Motors' Cadillac.

The vehicle will be formally accepted by Clinton during the Clinton Global Initiative conference set for Sept. 20-22 in New York City.

The vehicle was donated by Ford Motor Co. to the Department of Homeland Security.

Details and photos: Standard Mercury Mariner Hybridexternal link

Fortune: Making a difference, Clinton-style


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