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
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.
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.