• Mar 29th 2010 at 1:21PM
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When we take a hard look at the current Lincoln lineup, we see some issues. For starters, the Navigator, MKS, MKT, MKX and MKZ aren't exactly setting the sales charts on fire. Come to think of it, we just listed the entire Lincoln lineup. Okay, so Ford's luxury marquee can easily be likened to a well-heeled slice of Swiss cheese, but we have proof that The Blue Oval is trying to breath new life into the brand. We loved the MKT, the 2011 MKX looks extremely promising and it looks like the four-pointed star is getting into the hybrid business as well.

The Detroit News reports that Lincoln will debut a hybrid MKZ this week at the New York Auto Show. The MKZ will likely share the same powertrain as the Ford Fusion Hybrid; a 2.5-liter Atkinson cycle mill mated to an eCVT transmission, along with an electric motor drawing power from a 275-volt nickel metal hydride battery pack. The MKZ hybrid will be the first battery-assisted model in the Lincoln lineup, giving Ford a luxury hybrid competitor to the Lexus HS 250h.

And if the MKZ does in fact carry the same powertrain as its more pedestrian sibling in the Ford dealership, the Lincoln should have more than competitive fuel economy. The HS 250h is rated at 35 miles per gallon city and 34 miles per gallon highway, while the Fusion Hybrid manages a 41/36 mix. The MKZ is a big bigger, too, and price should be comparable. Also helping the MKZ's case for life is the fact that Lincolns carry higher MSRPs than the typical Ford or Mercury, giving The Blue Oval a theoretically bigger margin with which to make a profit.

The down side to the MKZ hybrid is the fact that Ford is pretty well restricted on how many hybrids it can produce. Unless Ford has struck a deal to increase its hybrid powertrain output, the MKZ will simply shift the allocation of hybrids in the Ford family instead of adding to the overall totals. We're also very interested to see if Ford strives to differentiate the MKZ from its more pedestrian siblings to better-justify the undoubtedly higher price tag that comes with the Lincoln badge. We'll be staked out at the New York auto show for the chance to know for sure.

[Source: The Detroit News via The Truth About Cars]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      Smart move, Ford!

      This seems like a really inexpensive way to get in to the luxury hybrid market.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Not really. The MK-what is anonymous. At least the HS turns heads (you decide whether good or bad).
        • 5 Years Ago
        I was next to one on the road and thought why Ford doesn't have a hybrid version of the MKZ. I guess they read my mind, its a good move
      • 5 Years Ago
      Navigator, MKS, MKT, MKX and MKZ . I know what the Navigator is. Their model naming does not make any sense to me.
        • 5 Years Ago
        As a Ford/Lincoln/Mercury salesman, sometimes, I too, need to recite the roster to get to the right vehicle. Here's how I see it to make it easier for me:

        Navigator: no brainer
        MKX: X for Crossover
        MKT: T for Touring
        MKS: S for Sedan
        MKZ: Z, formerly the Lincoln Zephyr

        The X and Z are probably what Lincoln was going for in recognition. The other two? Well, that's just me. Not sure how they came up with the T and S.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Don't forget the Town Car, which they still sell apparently.
      • 5 Years Ago
      To be fair, most people have equalled the Prius and HS250h's EPA mileage, but the Fusion's has been much tougher to duplicate.

      But this is a good idea: save for the (smaller) HS and the (much more expensive) GS and RX, there are few luxury hybrids. The problem is that Lincoln does not have the demographics to pull this off. Volvo did, but Volvo is about to sent packing to Geely.

      GM missed the same boat with Saab: perfect demographics for a hybrid or EV, and what do they do? Make a hybrid Escalade.
      • 5 Years Ago
      They have nice names in their history like Continental,Zephyr,Versailles etc. Time to resurrect some of the names.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Lincoln should make all his cars rear-wheel drive.

      Except maybe the small crossover but next generation MKZ, MKS definitely need to be rear-wheel drive with all least the 300hp engine from the Mustang with optional ecoboost and they need a coupe too.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Like it or not, the die is cast. Except for a possible speciality model (MKR?), like Audis, Lincolns will be FWD-based.
      • 5 Years Ago
      If Ford is smart(which they really have me believing they are nowadays), they will not charge a premium for this powertrain given that the old base engine is the 3.5 and this is a 4 cyl(despite being a hybrid). I really thin they should make this the entry model and get rid of the 3.5 all together and throw in the new 3.7 with 300hp to make this car class competitive performance wise with other entry level luxury vehicles like the G37, bmw 3 series, Audi A4, etc and to completely seperate it from what the Fusion is available with. make it actually seem worth buying OVER the Fusion again.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Honestly, and I mean this, if they'd put a 6 speed manual with the 3.7L V6 and AWD in the MKZ, I would have bought one already.
      • 5 Years Ago
      On the contrary, the front ends are one of the few things Lincoln has done right recently. It is distinctive, provocative and polarizing. Love it or hate it, it says Lincoln, and Lincolns will no longer have five different grill themes in the same showroom. The naming scheme is harder to justify, as it follows no intuitive pattern. Your #3 is an argument to bring out the Mustang-based MKR. If they do, it would do wonders for their image (at least as much as the 2002 Continental concept would have done, if they had had the sense back then to build it).
      • 5 Years Ago
      They need to change the 'cattle catcher' approach to design...
      • 5 Years Ago
      Lincoln is back on track since the latest design updates.. Since the Mark VIII and LS series went away, things have been pretty bad. I think ecoboost is going to make a big difference as well. We'll have nice looking Lincolns that actually have power again. It's been almost a decade since we could say that.. Things are looking up..

      Sal Collaziano
      • 5 Years Ago
      I think if we are patient Ford will do the right thing with Lincoln. I know they have really been leaving them to rot on the vine but I guess it had to be done to first improve core Ford.

      Lincoln needs to bring back the Mark! The 97/98 Mark VIII LSC was the best car they ever made in my opinion... ;)
      • 5 Years Ago
      I too wish Lincoln AND Cadillac had kept their "old school" model names instead of going with 3-letter names. I guess GM and Ford felt it would put more emphasis on the "Cadillac" and "Lincoln" brands rather than individual models as well as make the cars somehow more appealing to those shopping import luxury brands that often use alpha or alphanumeric model names.

      Perhaps Acura is partially to blame as they also once had word model names like Integra, Legend, and Vigor and went alpha starting in the mid-1990s.
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