Stepping up our game…

Although Lincoln is heading in the right direction, we feel the need to take another step towards upping our game..

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In order to do that, Lincoln is planning on planting some unique technologies that could and hopefully will be seen in future models. Technology such as a push-button shift control, fully retractable all-glass roofs (instead of sunroofs), and continuously controlled and active suspension. All-wheel drive will also be an option for all models.

 

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The Lincoln MKT

The Lincoln MKT is a polarizing vehicle. With looks that have been described as a mix between a hearse and a beluga whale, you either love or hate the chrome-toothed crossover. Unfortunately for Lincoln, it looks like most people don’t care much for MKT.

To try and reinvigorate the MKT lineup, Lincoln today has announced that the 2012 MKT with Ecoboost will now cost $3000 less than before. At $46,295, the new pricing on the 2012 Lincoln MKT with EcoBoost makes it the same price as the now-discontinued all-wheel drive 3.7-liter V-6 equipped MKT. That’s also only $1985 more than a top of the line Ford Flex Titanium, which sells in much greater numbers than the Lincoln MKT line. Both the Lincoln MKT with Ecoboost and its Ford Flex Titanium twin are equipped with all-wheel drive and the same 355-horsepower 3.5-liter twin-turbo V-6.

So why the $3000 price drop, when there’s no change in content? When asked for comment about the price drop, Lincoln responded in an emailed statement by saying, “The price and equipment of the MKT have been realigned for model year 2012 to remain competitive in this premium segment and [for] attracting the intended target customers, who [will] appreciate elegant styling, the power to decide in favor of powerful and fuel-efficient EcoBoost performance ([which] always comes with all-wheel drive), excellent functionality, and the latest technology.“

What Lincoln is essentially admitting is that the MKT is a slow seller. With polarizing looks, a high price tag and the same content available in its better-looking (and cheaper) Ford Flex sibling, Lincoln dealers can’t pay customers to take the MKT off of their lots. Last month, Lincoln only managed to sell 399 MKTs. In contrast, 2719 Ford Flexes found homes last month. The price adjustment likely brings the MSRP more in-line with what dealers were actually selling EcoBoost MKTs for, so it only makes sense for Lincoln to have lowered the price, possibly due to dealer pressure.

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Inflatable seat belt? What?

Yeah, we just said “inflatable seat belt”

Ford will be making their new inflatable seat belt an option on Lincoln Vehicles starting Summer of 2012.

This contains an airbag that deploys in the event of an accident, and it expands to cover five times more of the occupant’s torse than a traditional seat belt would. Because of this, this seat belt will help reduce the risk of injury to backseat passengers.

This development actually won Ford the gold medal for Applied Technology at the 2011 Edison Awards, and is currently an option only in the 2011 Ford Explorer. So far, data has shown that 40% of Explorer sales are to parents who opt for the rear passenger safety feature.

The best part? Back seat passengers will actually be encouraged to use their seat belts. This inflatable contraption is padded, and feels more comfortable, making passengers more inclined to use it. In America, only 61% of rear passengers use seat belts, compared to the 82% (which should be 100%!) front passengers.

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2011 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid

 The MKZ Hybrid will be Lincoln’s first hybrid when it hits showrooms this fall. It’s essentially a Fusion Hybrid with Lincoln luxury appointments and exterior style. Its parallel hybrid powertrain — a 2.5-liter Atkinson-cycle I-4 hybrid engine that works in concert with an electric motor to produce 191 net horsepower — is unchanged from the Fusion version. Also like the Fusion Hybrid, the MKZ is capable of running under electric power up to 47 mph and has that magical 41 mpg city EPA number to hype.

After scouring the press release, we were able to find one small difference between the two hybrids: SmartGauge with EcoGuide has been updated slightly for the MKZ. Lincoln says SmartGauge has been “taken to the next level of engagement” by giving drivers more feedback on long-term fuel efficiency and performance. Oh, and Lincoln’s version uses white flowers inspired by apple blossoms. Pretty!

Another feature specific to the MKZ Hybrid is its standard Bridge of Weir leather seats. The Scottish luxury leather is unembossed, which Lincoln says allows for a more natural grain to come through, and its chromium-free tanning process reportedly makes it easier to recycle.

 The MKZ Hybrid is also endowed with all the latest in Lincoln standard luxury touches, including Lincoln’s version of Sync, heated and cooled seats with 10-way power passenger seat, real wood trim (that of course comes from eco-friendly managed forests), a reverse sensing system and Lincoln’s Personal Safety System — a suite of seven safety technologies.

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