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Lincoln revival bypasses rear-wheel drive for now

  • Image Credit: Drew Phillips
Ford execs had the axe ready for Lincoln just a few years ago, but the luxury marque is on a hot streak these days. Annual sales are up 7.5 percent through October, and the recently unveiled, refreshed 2017 MKZ previews the company's improved styling. In a great piece about the brand's growth strategy, Automotive News finds the division's bosses want to focus on the core vehicles before taking a big step and building a rear-wheel drive niche model.

"Luxury coupes and sports cars are not the first place we need to go," Global Lincoln Director Matt VanDyke said in the story.

The division's bosses want to use the updated MKZ as an opportunity to distance Lincoln's identity from Ford, and the powertrain will carry the 3.0T badge rather than Ford's EcoBoost name as part of that approach. The model also injects excitement into the range thanks to an all-wheel drive version with a 3.0-liter twin-turbo V6 with 400 horsepower and an optional Driver's Package with a torque-vectoring rear differential.

Lincoln will launch at least three new models by 2020, too. One of those will be the production Continental that will reportedly debut at the Detroit Auto Show. The company will also allegedly revive the Aviator to fit below the Navigator. The third vehicle remains a mystery but likely isn't a compact. Automotive News' story further examines the previously languishing brand's work to climb up the luxury ranks in the US. It's well worth a read.

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