$5 Billion to Revitalize Lincoln: Enter the 400 BHP '16 MKZ

Discussion in 'Auto News' started by YSSMAN, Dec 3, 2012.

  1. YSSMAN

    YSSMAN Premium

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    Ford to Re-Launch Luxury Brand as "Lincoln Motor Company"


    From Autoblog

    From CNN

    So, Ford is looking to almost make Lincoln a separate entity. They're getting their own development team, designers, and sales people. They want to make Lincolns for people who want to buy Lincolns, make it it's own kind of luxury brand, not one that'll go around chasing the Germans or the Japanese.

    That means they're giving the former head of Lexus the keys at Lincoln Motor Company, and without having to worry about Jaguar, Volvo and Aston Martin, Ford is expecting to invest a lot of money into the brand.

    =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=​

    So, what's currently on sale at Lincoln?

    MKZ
    [​IMG]
    Essentially a re-worked Ford Fusion/Mondeo, the MKZ is the first of the "new" Lincolns that will be a part of the Lincoln Motor Company strategy. There aren't many elements that seem to be shared with the Ford, and that's good. It's a shockingly good looking (American!) car, inside and out.

    But when you're shopping for an entry-level car, is this really what you're looking for? In a segment that is dominated by the BMW 3-Series, Cadillac ATS and Mercedes C-Class, it might not be enough.

    MKS
    [​IMG]
    It's the Lincoln version of the Ford Taurus. Despite significant revisions to the 2013 model, there isn't much to differentiate it from it's blue oval cousin. Furthermore, with the existence of the Taurus SHO, is there really that much of a need for a Lincoln version, perhaps other than the fitment of a waterfall grille?

    Granted, the MKS is still considered to be a "good car." It sits in a weird spot in the larger luxury segment. It's more or less going after the Cadillac XTS, and that's really about it. Neither have the bits and pieces to stand as a reasonable option to the 7-series or S-class, maybe to some a decent alternative to the LS over at Lexus. How exactly does a "reinvention" at Lincoln make this into an entirely different car?

    MKX
    [​IMG]
    The MKX hasn't received a refresh since 2011. It is, more or less, a done-up version of the Ford Edge... With a waterfall grille. The only engine option is the rather-good 3.7L V6, no EcoBoost options that are smaller or larger. Even in a surprisingly competitive segment, it's simplicity doesn't really seem like enough to make it a break-out success. At least around here, in it's original "retro" form, they sold much better.

    How is Lincoln Motor Company planning to redo this one? It is a highly competitive segment defined by two vehicles; The BMW X3 and the Lexus RX. Do you make it distinctive like the MKZ, or keep it simple like the current model? This one is an odd one, but not nearly as odd as the MKT...

    MKT
    [​IMG]
    The MKT remains, at least to me, to be one of the strangest vehicles available from the Ford Motor Company. Attempting to bridge a gap between the exit of the Town Car, the need for a small crossover, or whatever other odd reason that Lincoln says that this thing needs to exist. It's more of an Explorer now than a Flex, adding more power to the V6, keep the EcoBoost, having all-wheel-drive.

    But honestly, who buys these? I mean really, who does? Does anyone really think that this is a reasonable replacement to the Town Car? Does the Lincoln Motor Company, a brand that wants to establish itself as something "different" believe that this is different enough to remain "different?" I simply cannot wrap my head around it.

    Navigator
    [​IMG]
    As the only vehicle that has managed to escape the absolutely asinine naming convention at Lincoln, the Navigator is a direct representation of everything that's wrong with Lincoln, right now, today. The fact that this vehicle exists makes me thing that Lincoln isn't looking forward, they're still hoping that successes from yesterday can still happen. Look, you're selling a Ford Expedition, a vehicle that hasn't been relevant since 2007, as a competitor to the Cadillac Escalade... A vehicle that even Cadillac openly admits is too ostentatious, and will be dramatically altering in it's next form, likely making it a lowly crossover cousin to the Buick Enclave (a move in itself that smacks of stupid decision making, rife with redundancy).

    If the people at the Lincoln Motor Company have any sense about themselves, they need to dump the Navigator, ASAP. Make a stand about useless products. Let the MKT shine, if it's supposed to.



    Interesting news, somewhat exciting for people like me who love land barges like what Lincoln used to make. If Ford wants to make Lincoln the iconic, American luxury marque it's supposed to be, they need to get away from being a Buick competitor, and actually step up to Cadillac's plate... One that they've been trying to steal away from BMW and Mercedes since 2000, and at the very least, seem to be coming closer than ever with doing so.

    I'd buy a MKZ. It's the most-exciting thing to come from Lincoln in ages. But one car can't save a brand.
     
  2. NissanSkylineN1

    NissanSkylineN1

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    They all look like whales in the front.
     
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  3. FireEmblem10

    FireEmblem10

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    The waterfall grille is a turnoff to me. All giant oversized grilles are, really...
     
  4. Mac K

    Mac K

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    I think the MKZ looks fantastic in my opinion..
     
  5. Endless-Wilso

    Endless-Wilso

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    The Navigator is still around..
     
  6. GTPorsche

    GTPorsche

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    People actually buy these cars?
     
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  7. Doog

    Doog Premium

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    This renaissance can't come soon enough, lest Lincoln go the same way as Mercury. Hopefully Ford have finally taken note of what they've done wrong; that rebadging Fords and aiming them at foreign luxury marquees (which ironically end up not fitting into any one class of car- see MKX, MKT, and MKS). And for crying out loud, they desperately need to ditch that MK- naming scheme. I try my best to keep on top of automotive news, but even after what, 5 or 6 years of the MK- nomenclature, I still have to process for a few seconds to figure out which is which again. They need to bring back actual names for cars, historical names. I want to drive a car with an impressive name, a Lincoln Continental, not a car called MK-Something. It just doesn't have that ring to it. They need to strive to build a car that's special to begin with- not a Ford filled with fancy gadgetry. I think the Navigator should stay. Out of all the cars that make up the Lincoln lineup, the Navigator is the one model that still echoes that Lincoln tradition of large, soft luxury vehicles; all about excess. Of course, they shouldn't keep selling it as it is; they should completely rework it, feature completely new styling, new engines, if they are so keen on stepping in a new direction.
     
  8. ShobThaBob

    ShobThaBob Premium

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    Of course they do, they just buy the more sensibly priced and equally as nice models found in the Ford lineup.

    I'm sure all this news is just lighting up the hearts of the depressed Lincoln Dealership Owners. Nothing to brighten your day like being told you get to spend loads of money to retool and rename your storefront that's already bringing in so much business.

    Seminew name. Same old crap products. Good strategy guys.
     
  9. Tornado

    Tornado

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    Well, at least it's not as bad as a few years ago, where you could buy the Lincoln or buy the better looking Mercury that is literally identical in almost every way inside except sticker price.



    "Oooh. The stereo controls are slighty different. That'll be several thousand dollars, please."





    I will say that I'm extremely worried that Cadillac will devolve the Escalade into complete irrelevance like they did with the SRX, though.
     
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2012
  10. sumbrownkid

    sumbrownkid

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    They should have done this like, a billion years ago...
     
  11. Beeblebrox237

    Beeblebrox237 Premium

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    I think they should have waited to do this until they actually had a lineup that could compete with the Germans. Renaming the company will do nothing for sales of the same cars.
     
  12. Omnis

    Omnis Staff Emeritus

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    I'd rather buy an Azera or Equus.
     
  13. Keef

    Keef Premium

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    Besides the new MKZ - a stunner I might add - I love the MKT. I think it's a great looking thing. I love the rear haunches, I love the boat tail rear hatch, I love the broad wing-like tail light. I like that it's more a wagon than an SUV. It's not the best, and now it looks dated already next to the more extreme - and stunning, again - MKZ, but I still like it.

    The MKZ is ****ing great btw. I'm imagining an MKZ...the whole thing a bit lower, with a smaller greenhouse pushed rearward, with two doors and a 2+2 grand touring interior. Call it the MK9. I'll buy one.
     
  14. Omnis

    Omnis Staff Emeritus

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    The MKZ looks dumb in person. And the interior is still boring.

    Lincoln should have 2 cars and an SUV. They need to sell a town car until the old people die. Old people LOVE Town Cars.

    It should just be Town Car, then Continential halo car, then a plushed out SUV/limo with tons of space for all passengers.
     
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  15. OHM_fusion

    OHM_fusion

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    It's amazing how ugly these cars are. Not that long ago Lincolns were beautiful, the new ones are like a combination of every bad modern car design trend, no elegance at all.
     
  16. YSSMAN

    YSSMAN Premium

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    It's already underway. The dilution of the SRX was a travesty, I'm not sure why they decided to go about it that way. Remember the 3.0L V6 debacle? Absolutely terrible.

    The Escalade, last I had heard, was due to switch to the Lambda chassis that underpins the Buick Enclave, et. al. Spy photos were suggesting that the Escalade would maintain very truck-like proportions, but it would be significantly smaller, and less outrageous than the current vehicle. Best case scenario, it get's a lot of it's own trim that will be shared with the XTS, and probably a turbocharged variant of the 3.6L V6 that's supposed to be showing up in the new Silverado and the semi-confirmed Buick GN.

    They've got their hands in too many jars at this point. Now we've gotta worry about this as well...

    Rear-wheel-drive Lincolns are coming, depends on success of MKZ

    So, really, they're just reformatting their lineup with the new vehicles Ford is rolling out. An Escape-sized MKX might be reasonable, as would a rear-drive luxury coupe. Get too spread out, though, and you're not going to sell anything worth a damn.
     
  17. Nabz1204

    Nabz1204

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    These cars are super ugly. All of em. They are all slow fat ugly and useless.
     
  18. Keef

    Keef Premium

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    The best bet for a new Escalade is the Acadia chassis. That family of giant crossovers has been doing really and I see them often. The next Escalade must retain at least some towing capacity because I often see them towing small boats and PWCs - rich guys tend to have toys that need towed. The next Slade won't do well with this crowd unless it retains some actual towing capacity and has the power these people will be looking for.

    The next Navigator? As has been said, the entire future of Lincoln depends on the MKZ's success. I think it will be a success, even if only a small one. I think aligning Lincoln more with Lexus instead of BMW is a good strategy because, let's be honest, they have two very different demographics. The MKZ will be taking on the Lexus ES directly with both gas and hybrid models, and given that the Lincoln is both American and gnarlier looking than the Lexus, well, we'll see. There's been talk of a baby Lincoln in the past few years and, lo and behold, Lexus has gone that route. Lincoln also needs a new large, plush, rear- or all-wheel drive La-Z-Boy flagship to elevate Ford's excellent Ecoboost and hybrid tech, a la the well-established LS. Mid-sized rear- and all-wheel drive luxury coupe that could be based off the Mustang...see the IS coupe.

    But I'm not so sure that coupe should be called the MK9. It's too bad Bentley has the name Continental, but then again it'll be a very long time until Lincoln can step up into the CL's market.

    Yes, I realize that's some serious thinking ahead but the long-term plan has to be constantly evolved. As long as they can make their new cars look like the MKZ I think they'll have some winners.
     
  19. ShobThaBob

    ShobThaBob Premium

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    I don't know why everyone is so focused on the looks of these vehicles. Looks aren't going to move any reasonable amount of inventory when you can find mechanically identical models anywhere else in the Ford lineup. Lincoln has no unique vehicles. There are no plans for lincoln to have any unique vehicles. How is that a remotely good strategy for a car maker?
     
  20. Keef

    Keef Premium

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    Why on earth would they build everything custom when they already have excellent, brand-new platforms to work from? It's called cost control. The MKZ is a very basic entry into a mid-range luxury segment, competing directly with the Lexus ES which is, guess what, a Camry.

    Before you go crazy with bespoke platforms you need to establish a profitable foothold. A great way to do that is to offer something that already uses excellent, advanced mechanicals in a package that looks completely different and offers better materials, design, and technology. When you start making money you can go nuts, assuming you need to (the new Mustang chassis will offer a brand-new performance-oriented platform for a midsize rear-drive Lincoln).
     
  21. ShobThaBob

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    I'm not talking about platforms, I'm talking about nearly the exact same car with different sheetmetal. The ES has always been the most egregious yet successful version of this, but look at the rest of the lexus lineup. The IS range has no toyota variant, the RX does not, the SC does not, the LS does not. All of those cars are unique to lexus. Infiniti makes extensive use of the FM platform, modifying it all to hell, but it's served them fairly well so far. The only Infiniti model which is a direct rebadging and light retooling of a Nissan is the FX.
     
  22. Keef

    Keef Premium

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    I am talking about platforms because the new Fusion and MKZ are based on the same one, and even that is considerably different (the C-pillars and rear quarter panels are visible structural elements and are completely different between the two cars). The only things these two cars share without considerable redesign are their drivetrains and suspensions. But according to you, that 20% similarity means they're the exact same car.

    The RX, ES, and Camry all share the same platform and always have. All of them have made aesthetic changes to the basic platform, as the Fusion and MKZ have, and the ES still shares similar underpinnings with the Camry. The RX has different underpinnings to suit its more truck-like stature. All three of them share drivetrains, both gasoline and hybrid as the Fusion and MKZ do.

    The first-generation IS was based on the Toyota Altezza. They weren't sold in the same markets together so the car's were almost identical. The current generation IS is on a platform designed for Lexus, not for Toyota. Toyota still uses it though - on the Mark X in Japan. That and the IS are sold together in Japan, both on the same platform, both sharing the same drivetrains, the two of them being differentiated with styling inside and out. Though this is a downmarket example instead of a typical upmarket move, the principle of platform sharing is still alive and well.

    The SC is no longer in production as it was a failure financially. The car's platform was bespoke though much of the drivetrain and other mechanicals were not. It wasn't able to compete and apparently didn't make a good return on its investment.

    Currently the GS and LS are the only bespoke Lexi. Keep in mind that the first two generations of GS were based off the Japanese-market Toyota Aristo, though the most recent two generations were bespoke. The LS has always been bespoke; it was designed as a top-level luxury sedan from its inception. The Lexus GX and LX SUVs are based on the 4Runner and Land Cruiser as they've always been, whereas the CTh and small sedan that preceded it (whatever that was) is also a platform shared with Toyota. The sedan version of the GTh is offered as a Toyota in Japan almost completely unchanged.

    Lexus is sold in Japan now so some of their platform sharing has moved to a downmarket strategy, but of course that didn't happen until Lexus has established itself as a trusted, inventive, nearly autonomous, and profitably player in the luxury game after two decades of trying to get there. Lincoln and Cadillac, on the other hand, have been there and done that and lost it before Lexus was even around. Ford never put effort into Lincoln like GM did with Cadillac, but now they're stepping up their game, slowly but surely.

    The Altima, Maxima, Murano, new Pathfinder, and JX are all on the same platform, though there are considerable changes between them. Drivetrains are all similar, made to fit. The first-generation QX was a Pathfinder, the second an Armada/Titan, and the current one is a Patrol. The EX, FX, G, and M are all on the 370Z's platform, again all customized to fit with basic drivetrains shared.

    Neither Infiniti nor Nissan have one single bespoke platform amongst them in the US. That was part of Carlos Ghosn's genius strategy to bring Nissan back from the brink and it worked flawlessly. It's called consolidation and damn does it work if you do it right.
     
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2012
  23. ShobThaBob

    ShobThaBob Premium

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    Same drivetrains. Same suspension. Interior measurements all the same within .3 inches. Wheelbase the same with exterior dimensions being .3 inches off. Interior also the same with the Fusion having a slightly nicer (imo) gauge cluster and the Lincoln being offered some wood trim and more upscale seats.

    So yeah. Badge job - different sheetmetal, same dimensions, same drivetrain, same damn car.

    E - For reiteration. Badge jobs aren't always bad, ES well stated. The problem with Lincoln is that every single one of their cars is a badge job with a dash of "Ohhh look at the grille!" and "slightly different interior." They're all simply the 'nicest' option packages for cars which already exist instead of being different cars on the same platform.
    The rest of what you said is irrelevant. I think platform sharing is a necessity and certain companies do it very well. This, however, it not a case of platform sharing and is instead a badge job. Obviously.
     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2012
  24. photonrider

    photonrider Premium

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    I was driving a '95 Lincoln Continental (my second car) until a few months ago (gave it up this summer.) I truly understood why some people in the industry called it 'The Automakers' Car' shortly after I began to drive it around. I couldn't get enough of the car. It was the epitome of thoughtful luxury blended with impeccable performance. One of the most striking things about it (apart from the constantly adjusting pneumatic suspension) were the dials - which were not really dials but a sort of mirrored reflection that seemed to make it float on the dash. Leather seats that moved back to let you in then moved forward again to cuddle you, heated mirrors, programmable suspension . . . I'll always remember that car with a certain amount of awe. One of the best cars I've owned . . . and I've owned a few.

    I'm not really familar with any of the new Lincolns - though if I could afford one again - and I do look sometimes - I wouldn't hesitate to buy one.
    These thread is food for though, tough - and many good opinions.
     
  25. YSSMAN

    YSSMAN Premium

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    If Lincoln took the bait from Lexus, I think they'd knock it out of the park. The CT200h and HS250h really seem like they're floundering in a market that has a ton of potential. You've got the absolutely tepid Aura ILX, the near-death A3 (word is that we might not be getting the "brilliant" MKVI model), and the surprisingly good Buick Verano. Lexus had them all licked when it came to bringing a small car to market. But, hybrid powertrains, lackluster performance, and gob-smacking starting prices... Well, it's no wonder they haven't done all that good at your local Lexus dealer.

    In my mind, I see Lincoln taking the Focus, by all means one of the best (if not, the best) small cars in the C-Segment and stepping forward with reasonable luxury appointments. Give it the 1.6L EcoBoost from the Fiesta ST, the automatic suspension from the MKZ, make a moderate leather standard trim, and keep the options light. It wouldn't take much to make a distinctive luxury compact. Hell, they even did it in concept form a little while back...

    [​IMG]

    Well, don't paint it lima-bean green. But, you get the idea.

    This is the automobile industry that we live in. It's been this way since forever, why get hot and bothered by it now? When the parts are good, and some massaging makes it better, what's the point?

    What you're ignoring here is brand perception. Yes, you can get a Fusion Titanium that'll probably be within striking distance of the MKZ in term of plush appointments, but the Lincoln will go that much further, and it will certainly have a greater exterior presence that the Ford will not. There are people who want that difference, and are willing to pay for it. That's why these luxury brands exist. Hell, that's why Toyota created Lexus, and the same goes for Honda and Nissan with Acura and Infiniti. If there is a market, they'll do it, lightly reskined versions of the Camry, Accord and Maxima included.
     
  26. idreamofzombies

    idreamofzombies

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    Slightly off topic but I drive new Nissans all day, and I've driven both the pathfinder and the new JX and while the top of the line Pathfinder is nice, the JX goes that much further in its appointments.
    Now on topic, I think if Lincoln reiterates itself as more of a Lexus competitor, then they'll be much better off than they are now, for sure.
     
  27. BKGlover

    BKGlover

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    Wait, all these years it WASN'T Lincoln Motor Co.? Wait, why is this an announcement? It's been Ford Motor Company for eons (FoMoCo parts anyone?), but when was the last time someone referred to the individual badge as such? I can't think of one, and this is no different, it will continue to be called Lincoln by anyone passing by.

    As for the lineup, I think Mercury could have been saved by one car, the Cougar. At first it was a Mustang sibling, then became a T-Bird cousin from gen-2 on, tending toward luxury. I see no reason to resurrect the name and put it on a luxury toned Mustang, and NOT a compact Focus sedan hack-job like it was in 2000-2002. Other than that, keep the crossover, keep the MKZ, drop the rest, and build the above.
     
  28. Pupik

    Pupik Staff Emeritus

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    I saw an ad for Lincoln on Monday, but I don't get the point of this quaint re-titling. It's still under the Ford umbrella.

    The MKT is the still ugliest vehicle in current mass-production, without any other qualifications. I thought I read that it was disappearing.

    Although the RX came to the US market first as a '99 model, the 2004-current RX models are based on the Toyota Highlander. They are quite dynamically different, as a Camry and the ES model are different in ride, handling, and refinery.
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2012
  29. ShobThaBob

    ShobThaBob Premium

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    It really isn't. Lincoln has next to no brand perception because there's nothing dynamic about them that sets them apart from anyone else. The only car in recent years which has done that was a badge job car, though everyone is bemoaning the loss of the Panther. Mentioning successful makes when describing Lincoln is a bad way of looking at it. You have the "why" right, but the reality is that everyone is doing it pretty well except for Ford. The difference is, again, that every single car in the Lincoln lineup shares everything except aesthetics with another car in the Ford lineup. Lincoln is in big trouble and I've yet to see anything implying that Ford has a plan to diversify their lineup.

    A grab for relevancy. I'll say it again, badge jobs aren't inherently bad. Plenty of companies do them well. None of those companies have lineups which include only badge-engineered cars. Actually, I say plenty, but I really mean all of them except Ford and Chevrolet. Chevy has been stepping out of it, but I still see a silly amount of redundancy in GMC.
     
  30. DeathSmiles

    DeathSmiles

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    There's a Lincoln coupe coming.