• Aug 17, 2005
Lincoln Zephyr, and two more FWD-based cars will be behind it

When I had the Autoblog Garage Ford Freestyle, I commented on the potential of the platform. The D3 platform, which the Freestyle is based on, is earmarked for two sedans from Lincoln. Questions abound about whether these front wheel drive vehicles will appeal to buyers. Lincoln plans on offering V8 power and all-wheel drive to the sedans. Lincoln's new sedans should have no problem if they are priced right with proper tuning, luxurious interior appointments, and stylish exterior. The D3 platform is extremely capable and refined even in Ford guise. A Lincoln should ultimately have more power and more refinement. Audi, Acura, Lexus, Volvo, and VW all manage to sell front wheel drive near-luxury and luxury vehicles, there is no reason why a stylish Lincoln could not compete. A Lincoln would be especially competitive with the capable Volvo-based underpinnings, a V8, and all-wheel drive.

I say this but I desperately yearn for a Lincoln sedan based off the Mustang platform, except with independent rear suspension. Such a car would be heavenly with the 4.6-liter V8. I?m going to stare into space and day dream about that for while. Ah! I?ll be brought back to reality when the new ?Continental? and Town Car replacement show up. They?ll be fine for most consumers, but I still wish for something more.



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  • 14 Comments
      • 9 Years Ago
      The new Mustang is based on a modified version of the C1 platform, known as D2C (or DC2).
      • 9 Years Ago
      The rest of the automotive press seems to think that the mustang is derived from the Lincoln LS platform. As the previous poster pointed out, it was available with an independent rear suspension and a moderately lusty V8. See: http://www.caranddriver.com/article.asp?section_id=3&article_id=8778 http://ford.jbcarpages.com/Mustang/2005/index2.php I think this FWD vs. RWD debate is a red herring. Lincoln has struggled because it has no coherent idea of what it means for a car to be a Lincoln. When you have that kind muddle happening internally, derivative, milquetoast product design results. Over the past 10 years, the market has shown that where discretionary/luxury cars are concerned, **strong brands will always win.** What does it mean to be strong? Have a clear idea of who you are. Take risks. The contrast between Lincoln and Cadillac in this sense is striking.
      • 9 Years Ago
      Look at this grill looks nice. The front wheel thing isnt something i like. Drifting through the city is much harder with frontwheel drive.
      • 9 Years Ago
      I like the platform (P2 in Volvo speak, components are used on S60, V70, XC70, S80 and XC90 as well). I'm sure it'll be a cool car. BUT... I'd love to see a world-beater Lincoln Continental built on the Jaguar XJ platform and made of aluminum. Better yet, do a 4-door full-size convertible on the same component set. The only other truly full-sized convertible on the market is the Bentley Azure, at a significantly higher pricepoint. There is perhaps no better quintessential Lincoln model than a full-sized convertible.
      • 9 Years Ago
      It's "Dyed in the wool", not "Died in the wood".
      • 9 Years Ago
      Lincoln does have a long history of risk taking, from the 30's Zephyr, to the 62 Conti and even the 90's MK VIII. Problem is, they havent managed to keep an evolutionary theme to it all. Lincolns dont seem to need particularly innovative or class-leading driving dynamics, I mean why even try to compete with BMW? But their design has faltered. Its as if their best designers get promoted to other brands, or simply dont get the budget and management to explore themes that arent yet-another-take on the 62 Continental. Id like to see more crossover product, a big convertible and a really post-modern designed big sedan, perhaps even with a notchback. The lines dont all have to be the flat Continental look either, but they do need cohesion and sense of family.
      • 9 Years Ago
      oh, I don't question that they have a great history to fall back on. My statement had more to do with the last 12-15 years than anything else. Can you show me a well-designed, bold, risk-taking lincoln designed since 1992?
      • 9 Years Ago
      Can someone please tell me why Ford can't simply expand on their 2000 Lincoln LS platform, which I hear they're abandoning entirely? Cut it down to make a compact car and stretch it out to replace the Town Car if you have to, but damnit, at least then you'd have three REAR-DRIVE FORDS, right? Ford's turning Lincoln into a second Mercury. One Mercury was already one too many.
      • 9 Years Ago
      Lincoln already has a sedan based off the Mustang platform with independent suspension and a V8, it's called the LS. The LS was using the DEW platform well before Ford adopted it for use with the new generation Mustang. The LS has also had it's fully independent suspension and a 3.9L V8 for some time.
      • 9 Years Ago
      "there is no reason why a stylish Lincoln could not compete: As long as you turn a blind eye to the fact that your typical Lincoln buyer is a died in the wood domestic buyer, no, there is no reason why Lincoln can't succeed with a front driver. What does Caddy offer in a FWD? What happened when they did?
      • 9 Years Ago
      The Oldsmobile Tornado of the late 60s was front wheel drive, and it managed to combine style with novel engineering. It doesnt really matter what wheels are driven as long as you understand the driving experience you are chasing. FWD-biased awd makes sense for the market Lincoln can realistically pursue, one dominated by the brands Randall mentioned. Ford already has a premium rwd brand in Jaguar, and crossover between the two is best avoided. This leaves Lincoln plenty of room to explore "Continental" design and style while providing an A4/Passat/S70 driving character.
      • 9 Years Ago
      People that buy Lincolns don't want front wheel drive. Even GM has figured this out.
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