• Mar 29th 2011 at 2:33PM
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2011 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid - Click above for high-res image gallery

Given that the 2011 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid is little more than a gussied-up Ford Fusion Hybrid, it's not surprising that the gas-electric MKZ achieves the same 41 miles per gallon city and 36 mpg highway rating. Admittedly, we were a bit shocked when Lincoln announced that the MKZ Hybrid starts at $35,180 (including destination and delivery) – the same price as a gas-only front-wheel-drive 3.5-liter V6 model. Perhaps that's why buyers are snatching up the MKZ Hybrid at a rate that even Ford didn't expect.

Initially, Ford targeted the hybrid version to account for approximately 15 percent of total MKZ sales. However, the numbers show that the MKZ Hybrid's take rate has averaged between 22 and 23 percent since January of 2011. Ford says that March's numbers look similar. Through the end of February, Lincoln sold a total of 3,343 MKZ sedans, 762 of which were hybrids. With no premium price tag and gas prices soaring, perhaps nobody should be surprised by the MKZ Hybrid's take rate. Perhaps the better question would be, is the hybrid model profitable?

Photos copyright ©2010 Zach Bowman / AOL

[Source: Ford]
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Consumer Demand for the Lincoln MKZ Hybrid Continues to Outstrip Expectations; MKZ range excels for choice and dependability

2011 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid

* Percentage of hybrid models sold within the MKZ range is higher than expected
* Lincoln MKZ Hybrid is the most fuel-efficient luxury sedan in America and is the first model to offer a no-charge hybrid powertrain option
* Lincoln received highest score for durability in the latest J.D. Power and Associates Vehicle Dependability Study of three-year-old vehicles

DEARBORN, Mich., March 28, 2011 – Sales of the Lincoln MKZ Hybrid luxury sedan continue to exceed expectations. Having launched with a sales mix of approximately 15 percent within the MKZ model range, sales have continued to track at more than 20 percent since January 2011.

In addition to sales momentum, the MKZ Hybrid is proving popular for its other strengths, including fuel economy and top-rated dependability. No other four-door luxury sedan – gasoline, diesel or hybrid powertrain – can top the MKZ's certified 41 mpg city and 36 mpg highway EPA rating.

Lincoln Dependability
Recently, Lincoln received the highest score for long-term durability among all vehicle brands in the annual J.D. Power and Associates 2011 Vehicle Dependability Study, the second-highest performing model for long-term durability in the entire study.

The study asked owners about their experience in the past 12 months with their three-year-old vehicles (for the 2011 study, 2008 model-year cars and trucks were surveyed). Survey respondents were asked to indicate any problems they experienced with their vehicle in the previous 12 months, choosing from a list of more than 200 issues in eight diverse categories.

The study also shows a strong link between reliability and purchase. Nearly two-thirds (63 percent) of new-vehicle buyers say reliability/durability is one of the most important factors in choosing a new vehicle. Additionally, the study found that fuel economy is among the top 10 purchase considerations.

Lincoln MKZ Choice
Lincoln was the first luxury automaker to offer a hybrid vehicle with the same base price as its gasoline counterpart. Both gasoline and hybrid versions of the MKZ have the same suggested retail price of $34,605.

That's a value equation for the consumer that San Diego Lincoln dealer Ed Witt calls "huge." He has delivered Lincoln MKZ Hybrids to customers who traded in other luxury brand vehicles as well as other hybrids. Witt's store has delivered MKZ Hybrids to drivers of Toyota's Prius and Lexus luxury vehicles, and has even taken BMWs in on trade for the car. One family, he said, traded in three cars and bought two Lincoln MKZ Hybrids.

To date, Witt has sold the most MKZ Hybrids out of any other Lincoln dealer in the United States since the vehicle's launch in October. "Potential customers are surprised by the Lincoln MKZ Hybrid's quietness, comfort and power. They just love the performance," says Witt.

Outfitted with Ford's award-winning 2.5-liter Atkinson-cycle four-cylinder engine, permanent magnet electric motor and eCVT transmission, Lincoln MKZ Hybrid delivers seamless performance. The gas-electric powertrain is rated at 191 horsepower.

MKZ's interior has been laid out with an array of standard features, including real wood trim taken from sustainable forests, supple leather upholstery, heated and cooled front seats, and the award-winning SYNC voice-activated in-vehicle communications and entertainment system.

Lincoln is also the only luxury car brand to offer a THX® II Certified Audio System, bringing home theater sound quality to the MKX through 14 speakers strategically spread around the acoustically engineered cabin.

"Lincoln's latest models continue to be well received by luxury car customers" said C.J. O'Donnell, Lincoln group marketing manager. "The MKZ Hybrid is just the start of the journey we are taking in redefining the Lincoln brand and its new model range for the future. Lincoln uniquely blends the style today's luxury vehicle customers demand with impressive, clean, economical performance as well as a wide range of intuitive technologies and features."


About Ford Motor Company
Ford Motor Company, a global automotive industry leader based in Dearborn, Mich., manufactures or distributes automobiles across six continents. With about 164,000 employees and about 70 plants worldwide, the company's automotive brands include Ford and Lincoln. The company provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company. For more information regarding Ford's products, please visit www.ford.com.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 4 Years Ago
      The Ford Fusion and Mercury Milan have flex fuel versions. Why not the Lincoln MKZ?
      • 4 Years Ago
      Bring back the Zephyr name.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Very interesting data point with matching suggested retail for hybrid or V6.
      I wonder if there's a difference in discounting between the two drivetrains.

      Was it the Escort that Ford offered at one point for the same price in sedan and wagon versions? Sorry. Unrelated blast from the past.
      • 4 Years Ago
      i remember someone here on autoblog commenting that he wanted to see how well the hybrid would do, given the fact it costs the same as the gas only for the first time in any hybrid situation. well, there you have it!

      i do see a lot of fusion hydrids too... i wonder the rate in which those sells....
        • 4 Years Ago

        proof that ford needs to get the focus out with a hybrid powertrain ASAP and push the electric out too... the prius is way too ugly to justify buying one lol
      • 4 Years Ago
      Same sticker prices, yes but still higher transaction prices as the Hybrid version doesn't have the same incentives (buying or leasing) as the V6 model.

      People are buying despite the HIGHER price.
      • 4 Years Ago
      God, who designs those things? From the front that thing is butt ugly! Sean you are right. I like Fords, but every once in a while they design a car so ugly only it's mother could love it.
        • 4 Years Ago
        My daughter just bought one, so she agrees with you. Maybe it is gorgeous and Sean and I are the only ones offended.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder!
      • 4 Years Ago
      Their sales (both hybrid and regular) would be even better if Lincoln finally got a good design language going. Something bold and exciting. While the Ford division is kicking butt with great designs, even Lincoln concept cars seem to be rather boring or just plain wacky.
        • 4 Years Ago
        If Lincoln simply returned to their roots with retro Continental and Mark designs, they'd sell far better than they're currently doing.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Making the hybrid the same price in their premium vehicle is great idea, since the premium price actually helps pay for the hybrid technology also used in their other vehicles.

      Can't wait to see the mileage of the next gen Fusion/MKZ/Mondeo that will use the lighter more compact lithium batteries.

      • 4 Years Ago
      I don't think people buy hybrids just because of gas price, its mostly the feel on environmentally friendly(specially this segment).

        • 4 Years Ago
        I think you would be surprised at how many 'rich' people pinch pennies when they can.

        Its not so much cheap vs. expensive, as it is value.

        And the value here is that for the same price, same luxury- I can save money on fuel, probably 50%. If they can live with the difference in performance, its a no-brainer.

        $500+/yr fuel savings adds up

        • 4 Years Ago
        I agree totally. It's not so much the price of gas, it's the USE of gas and petroleum. Some people, ie rich people, don't need to pinch pennies, but if they can go 41 miles per gallon, rather than 25 or whatever a full gas car gets, they have "saved" some gas for the planet. Petroleum is a finite resource, and every little bit of savings help. It really has nothing to do with price.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I was lucky enough to rent one of these during the summer of 2009. Not the hybrid mind you, just the regular one. I took it from George Bush Int to New Orleans, and I must say I was very pleased with the car. It was a nice comfortable vehicle and it gave me good MPG during my trip.

      I wasnt so pleased retuning it though, I didnt know renting at the airport was so expensive, 50% taxes... jesus christ man!
      • 4 Years Ago
      Of course it's profitable. A Ford Fusion Hybrid with leather is $32,035 so there's at least $3k of brand profit built-in. If they're making money on the Ford selling a Lincoln version is pure icing.
        • 4 Years Ago
        There's more of a difference between the two than you might think. The Lincoln's leather is substantially nicer, the interior materials are all a cut above the Fusion's, and the Lincoln has gobs more sound deadening/insulation.

        Not saying the Fusion isn't a nice car, but there is a reason for the price difference.

        Not to mention the cost of making separate tooling for the different styling & interior...
      • 4 Years Ago
      I've always been a fan of the MKZ, I am glad to see that Ford has another success story under their belt.

      Now if only they could lower the price on the regular MKZ I'd be happy.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Regardless of incentives, my point was that despite once "luxury" brands like Lincoln, Cadillac, Mercedes-Benz, etc. offering much more affordable models some still complain that they are too expensive. Luxury car ownership used to be somewhat of a "privilege" but it seems today's attitude is that it should almost be a "right." Where is the luxury in that?

        This is what helped hurt/kill the mid-market brands like Oldsmobile, Mercury, Pontiac, Buick, etc. There was sadly no longer a need for those brands (yes, Buick is still around) with Cadillacs, Lincolns, and some "luxury" imports becoming so much more affordable.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Lower the price? Isn't around $31K (with current incentives) for the V6 version inexpensive enough? Lincoln is, or at least was, suppose to be somewhat of a "luxury" brand afterall.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I am talking about MSRP before incentives.

        All incentives do is prove that you can't move the vehicle without them, showing it was priced too high to begin with.

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