Lincoln, US luxury division of Ford Motor Company, has today introduced its first hybrid model – the 2011 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid.
The premium midsize model was unveiled at the New York International Auto Show and is set to be the most fuel-efficient luxury sedan in America when it goes on sale in Q3 of this year (as a MY11 model).
“Lincoln’s hallmarks are design, technology and comfort. Now, Lincoln also delivers the best fuel efficiency of any luxury sedan in America,” said Mark Fields, Ford’s president of The Americas.
Ford, already America’s largest domestic hybrid seller, thanks mainly to its Ford Fusion Hybrid, said it plans to broaden its electrification plan to other models in the range with five new vehicles planned by 2013.
The new vehicles include the Ford Transit Connect Electric due later this year, the Ford Focus Electric due next year and a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle scheduled for 2012. Another, as yet unnamed next-generation hybrid electric vehicle is expected to follow early in 2013.
In addition to the Ford Fusion Hybrid and new Lincoln MKZ Hybrid, Ford also currently offers hybrid versions of its Ford Escape SUV, Mercury Milan sedan and Mercury Mariner SUV models.
The new five-seat Lincoln MKZ Hybrid is expected to achieve a combined fuel economy figure of 5.7L/100km, easily topping its nearest rival, the four-seat Lexus HS 250h which achieves 6.7L/100km.
“Today’s luxury customers do not want to make sacrifices. Lincoln has found a way to deliver a luxury sedan with the comforts they expect, the technology they want and the environmental responsibility society demands,” said Derrick Kuzak, Ford’s group vice president, Global Product Development.
The 2011 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid is powered by a 2.5-litre Atkinson-cycle four-cylinder (petrol) engine, named one of Ward’s 2010 “10 Best Engines”, combined with Ford’s second-generation hybrid technology. Net combined power output is rated at 143kW.
The medium-sized luxury sedan boasts a long list of standard features including SmartGauge hybrid system monitoring instruments, LincolnSYNC voice activated communications and entertainment system, 10-way power seat with memory, heated and cooled Bridge of Weir leather seats, reversing sensors, keyless entry, a capless fuel filling system, integrated convex mirrors and an acoustic laminated windscreen.
Pricing will be announced closer to the car’s Q3 launch.