• Oct 4th 2010 at 11:29AM
  • 59
2010 Lincoln MKT – Click above for high-res image gallery

Lincoln MKT sales have been less than stellar since the three-row crossover arrived back in 2009, but Ford is getting creative to change that. The Blue Oval is developing a pair of livery-ready MKT models to cover everything from school dances and weddings to executive transport.

The first MKT variant is aimed squarely at the livery market, which until now has happily relied on the aging Lincoln Town Car to ferry executives to and from the airport. The third row will be removed and the second row extended to emulate the Town Car's prodigious rear leg room. The second MKT variant is for the limo market and will be built on a heavy duty chassis that allows for up to 120 inches – 10 feet! – of additional wheel base stretch.

Both vehicles will come standard with Wi-Fi and the Sync infotainment system. They'll also be available with all-wheel drive to help make up for the loss of the Town Car's familiar rear-wheel-drive architecture.

Considering the Town Car will soon be toast, it makes sense for Ford to invest in a new livery vehicle for the 21st century so as not to lose those customers. With the MKT's inviting interior, connectivity options and optional all-wheel drive, we think their choice makes sense to serve best both the livery and limo segments. We can't wait to see what an MKT with a 10-foot stretch looks like, but the livery version will arrive first with production starting in early 2012.

  • Lincoln MKT

[Source: Ford]
Show full PR text
CHICAGO -- Working from a proven platform that offers limousine and livery owners – and their customers – premium comfort and high-tech features in a modern, distinctive design, Lincoln today is introducing two new vehicles based off the Lincoln MKT full-size premium crossover at the LCT Leadership Summit.

"Lincoln has been the leader in livery and limousine solutions for decades, and we are pleased to introduce fresh options to satisfy a whole new generation of customers," said Mark Fields, Ford Motor Company's president of The Americas.
"Whether customers need new technology to stay connected as they navigate through town during their work days or want extra room to transport more guests during nights out on the town, Lincoln has the solution," he said.

Lincoln is offering two new livery vehicles based on the Lincoln MKT full-size premium crossover – a standard livery vehicle with stretched second-row seating and a modified heavy-duty chassis version ideal for limousine modification.

The Lincoln MKT plays to the strengths of this segment, providing spacious interiors, high rooflines, abundant trunk space and easier ingress and egress; allowing for all-wheel drive; and providing the latest in-car Wi-Fi technologies for passengers to remain productive and SYNC technology so drivers can connect with their Bluetooth devices while leaving their eyes on the road and hands on the wheel.

The Lincoln MKT's craftsmanship also is reflected in the livery and limousine versions, too, with precise panel margins and high tactile quality of interior surfaces and trim. High-quality materials and precise execution appear on every surface, including the leather-trimmed seating. The vehicle also delivers luxurious ride quality synonymous with the Lincoln brand.

The livery version is available in both FWD and on-demand AWD configurations, with engine availability to be announced later. The heavy-duty limousine chassis will feature standard all-wheel drive for stretch limousine construction up to an additional 120 inches – or 10 feet – of wheelbase.

To develop the new livery vehicle, engineers worked hand in hand with the Limo Livery Advisory board, which provided key input on vehicle attributes such as performance, comfort and functionality, in addition to the quality, reliability and durability the industry demands.

They also went straight to the people who would be using the vehicles most – owners, drivers and passengers – to get a better understanding of their wants and needs.

"We conducted research to make sure we designed the new Lincoln livery solutions to truly deliver on the needs of operators to improve their business and provide end users modern transportation capable of full connectivity," said Gerry Koss, fleet marketing manager. "These industry stakeholders made it clear that this vehicle was the right direction because of the great body proportions, choice of AWD with the livery version and standard AWD with the limousine version – not to mention Lincoln's reputation for dependability, especially with specialty vehicles."

Luxurious comfort on the go
With even more attention to detail, the Lincoln livery and limousine solutions will put passengers on the move at ease, thanks to the redesigned second row. With third-row seating removed, the second-row reclining seat has been repositioned for additional legroom. Plus, a switch controls the front passenger seat, providing even more legroom if necessary.

"A luxury car owner will not miss a beat sitting in the rear seat in the new Lincoln livery vehicles," said Scott Tobin, Lincoln vehicle line director. "We've enhanced the rear passenger experience so the rider is both extremely comfortable and can be very efficient at the same time."

A USB charging port and 110-volt plug in the second row helps riders stay connected while on the road. There are audio controls within reach from the second row. This will ensure that the vehicles are capable of supporting passengers wishing to remain connected and productive, together with Wi-Fi hot spot capability.

Additional features include:
• Puddle lamps on the rear doors
• Map and newspaper pockets on the back of the front seats
• Vanity mirrors in the headliner with integrated task light
• Continuous rear floor mat for both footwells

The Lincoln MKT-based livery product provides operators cargo capacity of 39.6 cubic feet, a significant improvement versus the traditional sedans used in the industry today.

With capacity to haul golf clubs or several pieces of baggage, the luggage area exceeds that of the current Town Car. An option of both a full and mini spare tire is available to help maximize the space. There's even a driver's storage area that has been incorporated into the luggage area.

High-tech touches
The Lincoln livery vehicle delivers abundant technologies aimed at making life easier for drivers. A state-of-the-art navigation system and Lincoln SYNC provides a smart, safe, simple way to connect drivers with in-car technologies and their digital lives.

"All of these tools will help drivers accomplish just as much in their car as they do now but with less distraction," said Tobin. "They'll never have to take their hands off the steering wheel when putting an address into the navigation system, for example."

The livery vehicle also features:
• BLIS® (Blind Spot Information System) with cross-traffic alert: The system uses two radar sensors located in the rear quarter panels to detect vehicles in the surrounding lanes. If a vehicle is detected in the driver's blind spot zones, the system alerts the driver with a warning light in the sideview mirror.
• Rear view camera: When the vehicle is in rear camera mode, a color image with guidance markers on the rearview mirror will assist the driver in backing up.

Limousine option available
In addition to the new Lincoln livery solution, a specially engineered heavy-duty limousine chassis also is available. By stretching up to 120 inches – or 10 feet – extra length to support the standard all-wheel-drive powertrain, engineers have created a capable limousine chassis that will satisfy both operators and customers in all seasons.

The limousine chassis comes complete with several heavy-duty components, such as upgraded suspension, electric power-assisted steering (EPAS) and transmission. It's offered with on-demand AWD and has everything from unique wheels and tires to unique wheel bearings and an upsized brake system.

The limousine also has the third row removed and comes equipped with a full-size spare tire. Available technology includes a rear view camera system and Lincoln SYNC.

"The limousine complements the livery vehicle so that we have a vehicle ready for every passenger situation," said Koss. "Both vehicles will deliver the features and content this industry requires in addition to the quality, reliability and durability they demand."

Technology under the skin
The new Lincoln livery solutions feature safety technologies from the Lincoln MKT, including Ford's Trinity Front Crash Body Architecture. The energy-absorbing body structure is optimized for strength and stiffness and features octagonal front frame rails, engine cradle/front subframe and "shotgun" front structural members designed to absorb and redirect crash forces away from the passenger compartment.

It also includes Side Protection And Cabin Enhancement Architecture (SPACE®) to optimize side-impact occupant protection. The SPACE system integrates a hydroformed high-strength steel tube in the floor that runs the width of the vehicle from B-pillar to B-pillar and reinforcements along the rocker panels to help protect passengers in side-impact incidents.

The Personal Safety System™ also is available, which combines multiple technologies to tailor the airbag package and seat belt functions to the individual passenger and the accident circumstances. The system can identify variables, such as severity of the crash, weight of the individual passenger and seat belt usage, to adjust airbag deployment force.

Lincoln's new livery vehicles will be manufactured at Oakville Assembly Complex starting in early 2012.

I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.

    • 1 Second Ago
      • 4 Years Ago
      The Aston Martin / Ford design teams needs to go to work on Lincoln.
      Fire the guy that approved this product. BAD..period.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I liked the original concept "Bow Wave" grille and headlight treatment we saw a year or so ago, but they have yet to successfully apply this to a production product. It seems like the faces are too big for the bodies on these cars.

        As for the MKT replacing a Town Car, no matter how good the interior and packaging is, it doesn't have that executive sedan look and it won't sell enough to replace. Ford needs to start looking for something to truly replace the Panther platform--they're going to lose the cop car market and the limo market which they've had all to themselves. If they could find a way to sedanize this platform maybe it would work but nobody wants to arrive at their wedding in a big hearse.
        • 4 Years Ago
        quote from kevin: - "If they could find a way to sedanize this platform maybe it would work" -

        They have. The MKT is built off of the same platform that underpins the Taurus/MKS and the Flex as well. Theoretically, the MKS is supposed to be the successor to the Town Car.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I JUST found out that the lead designer of this 'thing' is the guy on "Catch Me If You Can" ... you know that elusive guy in Tom Hanks/Leo DiCaprio movie?
      Ford wants to kill him and get all their $/benefits back.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Ford- if you're reading, which I know you're probably not, this model has the potential to be successful but I haven't talked to anybody that doesn't hate that front end. Acuras have an ugly grille too but at least its small and easy to replace.
      4 suggestions to make this a winner:
      1. new front end treatment
      2. new rear end treatment - that light bar across the back doesn't work at all
      3. split the rear hatch, Range Rover style
      4. the faux aluminum accents are TOO faux looking and don't wear well. Besides which, that look is over... piano black is in.
      And for what its worth, the ghastly front end doesn't work on the little one either.
        • 4 Years Ago
        LOL! well, yeah, ok... you make a good point... I was thinking more of relatively low cost changes to improve sales until a suitable replacement can be had. I've always wanted to take a car like this (any one of a number of so-close-yet-so-far new cars) and customize it the way I think the factory should have done it. Wish I had the $$$ to do that.
        Take a lesson kids, stay in school so you can later afford to have any car the way you want it.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I think the required changes are:

        1) Change the front.
        2) Change the back.
        3) Change everything in between 1 and 2.
      Jack Murphy
      • 4 Years Ago
      Another Japanese junk heap......Lincoln you need to be outsourced to Juarez Mexico....or sent to Government motors with the cripples from that train wreck of a company
      • 4 Years Ago
      I am tired from these rebadged without idea Fords. And on top of it Lincoln's new front grills are UGLY! Ceasing Town Car will live them without vital Cadillac fighter and far from the German or Japanese luxuries. Ford have relly, really serious work ahead, from creating absolutely new vital design philosophy for Lincoln up to the engineering and building convincing luxuty family of vehicles. If it's not market successful, this time Lincoln will slow painfully follow the faith of Mercury!
      Mike Buckley
      • 3 Years Ago
      My dad's not going to buy this, I'm not going ot buy this either. It looks like a nice vehicle for mom to bring the kids to soccer practice. In not way a "real" luxury vehicle. This is the one the vallets will back in back where no one can see it. I want a rear wheel drive, body on frame town car with an Eccoboost and the 6 speed automatic. That's a game changer, then I can run with the 7 series & S Class. Decent fuel economy, reliable, fair price for what you get. Come on Ford, your engineers are just hanging Lincoln emblems on Fords (badge engineering) and you know it. At least Hyundai has 2 rear wheel drive cars with V8's, Chrysler has the product we want as well. Too bad Lincoln is run by cost accountants, Unless something changes Lincoln will have the fate of the dinosaur, and the Lincoln LS, and a Ford stock price equal to penny candy. P.S. We're all going to be fighting when Grandma dosen't need her LS anymore!
      • 4 Years Ago
      sorry..i like the MKT that belt line throes me back to my Colony Park youth
      • 4 Years Ago
      First sentence of the article should read "Lincoln sales have been less than stellar since the company incorporated its hideous and inconsistent design language along with illogical letter-based model names"
      • 4 Years Ago
      The added height should make it easier to enter/exit, as well as more comfortable, compared to the Town Car, and the extra length might look pretty good on it too. It may pull off more of that bustleback coach look of the show car.
      • 4 Years Ago
      That shark grille has to go.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Why the MKT??? As much as it was smart that Ford gave it different sheet metal than the Flex, it is awfully a strange choice. And this comes from an owner of one. I don't think it can do what the Town Car did. I think there are better alternatives than this crossover. I like mine. I will admit it, but it's too damn weird to chose.
        • 4 Years Ago
        First, I don't think this is a great looking car.

        But second... I would definitely rather ride in one of these than a Towncar when I'm being shuffled to the NYC airports.

        The Towncar bounces all over the highway with it's cushy suspension and usually leaves me slightly car sick right before I get on a plane or when I finally get home. So, this MKT I think would be just fine as a Livery vehicle, I personally don't really car what the car looks like when I'm being driven to an airport, so long as it's comfortable, nice inside, and can get me home even in the snow (since the Towncar is RWD and this is AWD, that's a DEF PLUS). So, a nicely appointed Lincoln that I don't have to own... I think it's a good idea to try and move some of these models that otherwise would likely never be bought.

        I think it's a good move to use up all those spare and stocked parts. Too bad they likely won't change the smile, it's very dinosaur-ish looking.
        • 4 Years Ago
      • 4 Years Ago
      I think it's laughable that anyone could even think the MKT would make a good limo. Essentially what Lincoln is doing is saying "Here you go Cadillac and Chrysler! Take it from here."

      In fact, this may be a good time for Fiat to introduce an "Imperial" line of stretched Chrysler 300 limos. They're poised to take over the police car and taxi market, why not go three for three?
    • Load More Comments