Ford CEO Alan Mulally noted that Lincoln picked up market share during the fourth quarter compared with a year earlier and has attracted “new luxury customers” to the brand with a string of tightly styled new entries over the last few years. Lincoln already is refreshing some of those models this year and introducing the brand new MKT, a luxury crossover, in late summer.
“We’ve got an aggressive new-product cadence that demonstrates our commitment to the Lincoln brand,” Mulally said.
Following the MKZ sedan, Lincoln will release a version of the MKS sedan with a 3.5-litre EcoBoost engine, Ford’s first powertrain employing its new technology for stretching economy and cutting emissions.
“This engine will deliver up to 10 percent more fuel economy than competing V8s and more horsepower and torque” than some Japanese luxury competitors, said Mark Fields, Ford’s president of the Americas. MKS’s EcoBoost version will achieve 25 miles a gallon.
Mid-year will see Lincoln begin selling its all-new MKT crossover. It is larger than the two-row Lincoln MKX midsize premium crossover.
"The model stems from the growing desire from consumers to express their individuality," said Jim Farley, Ford’s executive vice president of marketing communications.
The MKT’s design sports a split waterfall grille, a beveled chamfer along the vehicle’s shoulder line, a flowing cantrail that frames the greenhouse and full-width horizontal taillamps that span the subtly curved, weight-saving magnesium liftgate. It adds “visual character,” Ford said, “while protecting generous rear cargo space.”
MKT – “T” is for “touring,” Farley said – will boast category-besting fit and finish; second- and third-row leg room that is projected best in its class; and class-leading fuel economy. The vehicle offers two powertrain options: a 3.7-litre, 24-valve variation of Ford’s award-winning Duratec engine family, which is standard, delivering an expected 200kW and an estimated 24 mpg on the highway, besting both the Acura MDX and Audi Q7 by 4 mpg.
The optional EcoBoost engine is a 3.5-litre, twin-turbocharged V6. It provides the power of a normally aspirated V8 with V6 fuel economy and delivers an estimated 264kW.
MKT also will offer Adaptive Cruise Control, a Blind Spot information system, cross-traffic alert capability, Ford’s new Active Park Assist system, and an advanced infotainment and electronics system based on Ford’s Sync platform. Farley said he expects MKT to “attract many new customers.”
The C concept takes the notion of cockpit electronics to entire new levels, promising a system that forges an intimate “relationship” with the driver to deliver all means of information orally and then to carry out instructions – such as making restaurant reservations or setting up meetings – with oral instructions from the driver as well.