• Jan 3, 2008
FoMoCo never chromed out the Freestar and sent it to the Town Car division, but a version of Ford's new large wagon crossover called the Flex is reportedly headed to Lincoln. It would seem at first blush to be a better match for Mercury's product mix, but Ford wants Lincoln to become the volume seller under the L-M umbrella. What will power the Lincoln version is not yet known, but a variety of powertrains have been used in variants of the platform. Ford could snatch the 4.4-liter V8 from Volvo, but it's more likely to use some iteration of the new Duratec 3.5 or 3.7. The Lincoln badge is certainly befitting of some extra kick from the engine room for differentiation, and we'd expect a more luxe interior, too.

The Ford Flex will bow first, of course, and be allowed to hold court for about a year. The other version could be held back a full year, allowing Lincoln's seven-passenger alternative to vandom to get a solid footing. We're not sure what to think. A Lincoln version would definitely absorb some production capacity, but will it sell, or will Lincoln have a taste of the R-Class mystique? We think a better way to share the Flex would be to go retro and create a modern-day Volvo 245 GLT. A blacked out egg-crate grille, some different lights, throw in that force-fed V6 and there you go.

[Source: Car and Driver via Winding Road, Photo: Winding Road]


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  • 46 Comments
      • 7 Years Ago
      Wow, thats all i can say...Wow LOL
      Larry
      • 7 Years Ago
      LINCOLN: What a luxury car USED to be!
        • 7 Years Ago
        @Larry
        We get a Lincoln Flex (shudder) and Europeans get a kick arse Focus ST. Yea, that's fair. And why even bother? This Flex thing whether it's a Ford or a Lincoln will flop. I guarantee it. The Flex is so foul you're looking at Freestyle 2.0 here. And I really like(d) the Freestyle! It truly pains me to see a great company like Ford make such glaring, eventually crippling mistakes that anyone with even a trickle of automotive blood in their body could see coming a mile away. Oh well, maybe Ford 2.0 will do better.
        • 7 Years Ago
        @Larry
        Hope everyone gets a chance to say goodbye to Mercury before he leaves the party.
        • 7 Years Ago
        @Larry
        There not just going to slap a Lincoln grille on this on.
        The Lincoln version has a more curved body than the boxy Flex.
        • 7 Years Ago
        @Larry
        It's hilarious how everyone thinks that's the actual vehicle. Great autoblog visuals - love the '88 Continental grille.
      Chris
      • 7 Years Ago
      It really breaks my heart to see my favorite car brand just being ignored and left to just fade away into the sunset.

      This is what I think Ford could do with Mercury... #1 is my favorite

      I have 3 Ideas....

      1. Bring Euro and Aussie Fords over here to America and badge them as Mercury's

      (Although this could get expensive)
      (But I am 99% sure this would make Mercury a success)

      2. Bring back Mercury's tradition meaning... Affordable RWD V-8 Powered Performance cars....

      (Cougar, Marauder, Cyclone) (This may or may not work) (Since gas prices are over $3.00)

      3. Keep all the current Mercury models....

      But to differentiate them from their Ford counterpart give the Mercury a different interior design and features give Mercury different power trains and different window and door designs (make sure no sheet metal is shared)...

      (This is probably the most affordable way to go and would most likely work and bring sales back into the 250,000 a year range which would be very good).

      Or I hate to say this one.

      Ford could just simply let the Iconic Mercury Brand just fade away into the sunset and lose millions of dollars and thousands of loyal customers which I would hate to see happen.

      Its not that I don't love Mercury the way it is now because I do I just wish they had more products and vehicles that were completely different from what Ford has to offer. Because I feel in my heart that if Ford doesn't do something to help Mercury soon it may be too late.

      And if Ford does drop the Mercury Brand I won't be going to a Ford or a Lincoln I will be going to Buick or just maybe Toyota.
        • 7 Years Ago
        @Chris
        Number 1 is the about the only idea that will work I think in the long run.
        Chris
        • 7 Years Ago
        @Chris
        Yeah thats what I think to.
      • 7 Years Ago
      More like Lincoln WTF.

      Lincoln is becoming what Mercury was 20 years ago.

      First the MKFusion, then the MKEdge, then the MKTaurus, and now the MKFlex. They're not bad cars at all (and I particularly like the design of the MKEdge...it looks far, far better than the real Edge), but they shouldn't be Lincolns. They should be Mercuries.
        • 7 Years Ago
        The MKS may not be a rebadged Taurus. It doesn't even look like the Taurus. However, I would put the "MKFlex" in Mercury to look at what it could do. But as for the MKS, it may not be a rebadged Taurus.
      • 7 Years Ago
      It won't look anything like this...
      • 7 Years Ago
      The Leyland Brothers must be doing back flips in their graves.

      But seriously, Ford, you want your luxury brand to have a higher volume of sales than your "near luxury" brand? Does that sound backasswards to anybody else?
        Chris
        • 7 Years Ago
        Yes very!
        • 7 Years Ago
        Sorry, I'm actually a history teacher so I've been a lot more concerned lately with conquistadors and Native peoples. I used to obsessively know that stuff when I was a mere high school lad.

        I do remember however that the father and son team also is responsible for Cadillac. Of course William Crapo "Billy" Durant drove the team away with his management style. I'm sure I've left out some other relevant facts but please don't crucify me for it. ;)

        I always thought it was hiliarious that the two major Detroit luxury brands had the same "parents."
      • 7 Years Ago
      Just as Flex will prove to be Ford's Aztek, a Lincoln version will likely suffer the same fate as the ill-conceived R-Class.

      Understanding this picture is not representative of what the Lincoln version may look like, honestly how much different could it really be outside of different front-end styling and extra chrome?
      • 7 Years Ago
      I agree with the previous post above by robert bell. The "MK-Flex" needs to follow the MKS/Sable/Taurus method of platform sharing by offering completely unique "Lincoln-esque" exterior/interior design and standard premium/luxury features. The MKZ/Milan/Fusion and MKX/Edge methods of platform sharing (same design differentiated by altered front/rear styling treatments only, AKA badge-engineered cloning) need to be abolished from the Lincoln lineup to attempt to prevent Lincoln from eventually evolving into Mercury's current lame, faux premium, badge-engineered Ford clone status.

      I know Ford keeps denying Mercury's eventual demise, but I still wouldn't be surprised to see it happen. Ford has moved Lincoln downmarket into the near luxury segment that should rightfully be Mercury's territory. If Lincoln was properly positioned as a true full luxury division, then Mercury could be used as the brand to sell sleek, upscale, near luxury vehicles BASED on Ford division platforms (vehicles that share platforms, but have their own unique exterior/interior designs and standard upscale features/equipment). Since Ford has moved Lincoln downmarket and plans on merging Ford's U.S. brand identity with its European counterpart, there seems to be no place left for Mercury in Ford's U.S. brand hierarchy. It's a sad, but true state of affairs for Ford's U.S. operations.
      • 7 Years Ago
      They can keep the platform but they have to make more difference in terms of looks n not just slapping a lincoln chrome grille. And another thing they should do with Lincoln is to redesign their interior. They look oh so old. Compare the MKZ and CTS interior. CTS interior screams todays luxury while MKZ is 20 yrs ago luxury
      • 7 Years Ago
      Where are all these so call pictures that everyone has apparently seen?
        • 7 Years Ago
        Yeah, show us on the WWW where we can see this Lincoln Flex...

        Thanks...

        And am I the only one who thinks the Flex is a pretty cool lookin family hauler?
      • 7 Years Ago
      Isn't this old news? If I remember correctly, when Ford first a launched the fordboldmoves.com website in 2006, one of the first features was a piece on the "green light" meeting for the D471 (AKA Fairlane, AKA Flex). Mark Fields can be heard mentioning that there will be a Lincoln variant of the vehicle.

      • 7 Years Ago
      #1, it's not going to look like that chop. The Lincoln version will have its own body work. A 7 passenger Lincoln crossover would be a good thing for the brand. Unfortunately, it'll be expensive, with Ford's pricing strategy of adding $5k to the price to go from the sedan to the wagon version of its platforms. If you think of the Lincoln crossover a wagon MKS (which will go for $37-$46k), this rig could top $50k loaded. Yikes!
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