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Lincoln Zephyr/MKZ

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  • akirbyakirby Posts: 7,740
    The MKS is a full size luxury vehicle regardless of which wheels are driven and it certainly competes against the Lexus GS and Infiniti M and it's outselling both.

    Look at what Lincoln had 5 years ago. The MKS has far more luxury and performance than any recent Lincoln and still it gets no respect whatsoever.

    Exactly what does Ford need to do with the MKS and MKZ to please you guys?
  • gregg_vwgregg_vw Posts: 2,423
    Outselling the GS and M is outselling the GS and M, but they are both about the slowest moving models for Lexus and Infiniti. They have never been volume models. Both are being totally revamped momentarily.

    I like a MKZ-size car. I just don't like the MKZ. It (and you have said it yourself) is too much like the Fusion to be a real Lincoln. With the MKS, it is a matter of personal taste. I find the styling dowdy and the front overhang way too big. The Taurus is prettier. At least with the MKS, Lincoln is proceeding in a better direction than before. Although it should have a longer wheelbase for the size of car it is, remember how ridiculously long the last Continental was while having only a 109" wheelbase?

    Get some styling pizazz going. The new grill is a start, but even the MKT styling fades into the pavement, once you get past the grill. And everyone will. Most people are habituating to large grills these days, because it is the current style, and even subcompacts have them. How about a Lincoln that you look at and say "wow!"

    The field is moving so so fast. Brands like Hyundai and Kia are on the rise big time, and it is because they are exploding with good, new reliable product in practically all classes, save super-luxury. And they are soon going there too. VW?Audi is one to watch again. And I still don't know how GM is doing what they are doing with Chevrolet, Buick, Cadillac and GMC all at once.

    Lincoln is now keeping up so to speak, but that is not enough anymore to get noticed. They need to leapfrog the competition with something like Ford is doing with the 2011 Mustang engines, the Fusion Hybrid, the Raptor and the Festiva.
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 7,740
    And what they've done with Ford tells me that they will pull off a similar "leapfrog" with Lincoln, but we all know it will be 2-3 years before they can afford it.

    All I'm saying is they're taking steps in the right direction and they're better off now than a few years ago and they'll be able to tread water until they get new products.
  • Gregg, I know you don't like the looks of the MKS and on some specific details like length to wheelbase, I agree with you. In spite of that, I think the car looks very striking and based on the uninvited attention mine gets, apparently a lot of people agree. One problem is that few know what the heck it is and when they find out, the response is always the same - "Wow, I didn't know Lincoln made anything like that."

    The Lincoln nameplate just doesn't have any pizzazz. People still think airport transportation. Years of neglect of the nameplate have really hurt. At the time the MKS was hurried to market, I think Ford was looking at 50,000 in annual sales. We are in different times now. None of the MKS direct competitors are turning in those numbers. IIRC, the LS sold more than 50,000 in its first year. Lincoln had a stronger reputation in those days. In spite of an incredibly bland body style, the LS brought buyers in. Early LSs had a few problems, the car withered on the vine, it developed a reputation of unreliability and many of those LS buyers moved on, never to give Lincoln another chance.

    I hope that when and if Lincoln gets a new platform and something really special there will be enough buyers who care. They have a tough row to hoe to overcome their image of airport transportation TCs, unreliable LSs, and Fords with different grilles. In the meantime, the MKS ecoboost is by far the best Lincoln ever built and the most competitive in its rather narrow market.
  • gregg_vwgregg_vw Posts: 2,423
    I agree and disagree with you. While the MKS, compared to everything that came before is undoubtedly the best Lincoln ever, it does not have the same stature in the current field of cars as some Lincolns have had compared to their contemporaries. The brand needs to get past the attitude that it can survive by "treading water" and keeping up and being "competitive." Yes, MKS stands tall with the cars with which it competes. But it is a fierce market out there. MKS does not have the presence or halo of a 1936 Zephyr or 41 Continental or 61 Continental or 69 Mark III or 1984 Mark VII or 1990 Town Car (don't laugh...that body style really stood out from the rest when it was introduced) or 1998 Navigator or the 2002 Continental concept or the MKR concept. Because it is modern and up to date, the MKS is better than all of them. But so is the Taurus.

    Lincoln had an enormous opportunity when the MKS was designed--because it was a clean sheet car done this decade--but they dithered around with derivative styling and initially proposed a car that had no Lincoln presence at all before they pasted on a different grill. It also apparently never occurred to the project team that a relatively cheap wheelbase stretch (from the 500) would have an easy way to distinguish it more. (Mercury and Lincoln used to do that all the time when they started with a Ford chassis.) Yada yada, water under the bridge. Another missed opportunity.
  • No argument from me on anything in your post. I will add two more problems that have hurt the MKS - it was introduced with a weak engine and they had some quality problems on early cars.

    They have now solved weak engine problem (big time!) and quickly corrected the quality issues but the initial impressions of the 2009s hurt the reputation.
  • bigtbigt Posts: 413
    I really like all of the new Lincolns and Mercurys. I owned a Zephr, MKZ, and now own the Milian Hybrid. I really want to go back to the Lincoln but for now enjoy getting my 35-41 mpg along with not splitting emissions into the air while I sit in traffic or at stop lights.
  • Bigt, the company needs more great customers like you! Also, you have one of the best and most competitive Ford products available with your Milan. I suggest you also buy an MKS ecoboost so you can burn up some of that fuel you are now saving! Lincoln needs your support! ;)
  • carjimcarjim Posts: 155
    Some time ago I saw a stretched Mustang (chassis) four-seater concept with a Lincoln waterfall grill. Whatever became of that? It was a knock-out. At any rate, what is Lincoln's next vehicle and when will it show up?
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 7,740
    There were 2 concepts about 3 years ago. Mulally had just joined on and was excited about them until he found out they were all smoke and mirrors and were not production capable for whatever reason. The MKR was one of them.

    Before the economy tanked, the plan was to rebuild Lincoln with a new GRWD platform shared with the Aussies.

    I think the next new Lincoln will be a Euro Kuga based small crossover and/or a small fuel efficient car similar to the MKC concept from last year. Luxury and fuel economy.
  • bigtbigt Posts: 413
    I drove a friends 2008 jag and I must admit it had a nice feel, great power and a good amount of technology. How did that whole thing fail (as the sold it to India).
  • verdugoverdugo Posts: 2,016
    wrong forum. You'll get more answers in a Jaguar forum.
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 7,740
    It didn't "fail" as much as Ford simply chose to get rid of the ancillary brands and focus all of its resources on the Ford brand first, then Lincoln and Mercury last. Same reason they got rid of Aston Martin, Land Rover and potentially Volvo. It also eliminated potential overlap between Lincoln and the other brands which will allow Lincoln to move further upmarket down the road.
  • It may be nice but was overpriced and too expensive to produce. So it never was profitable. I heard Tata is already in trouble with Jag. Unless they have endless resourses Jaguar will not last long. I do not know what Tata can share with JLR other than pay bills. Probability that Germans or French interested in JLR is almost zero.
  • brucelincbrucelinc Posts: 814
    I really thought I wanted an XJ a couple of years ago and test drove a few of them. I didn't want to spend the bucks for a new Vanden Plas so I was looking at year-old or two-year old cars. At that time, they lacked the excellent nav and sync systems that lesser Fords have. They lacked the cooled seats, also. To me, they just seemed fragile, too - maybe the aluminum body gave me that impression. They do have nice interiors and a great ride, though.
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 7,740
    Rumor is Lincoln will bring the MKR (or similar vehicle) to market using the Aussie Falcon platform with a 450 hp V8 and RWD. We might see something at the Detroit Auto Show in a couple of weeks. This should prove that Lincoln is serious about making Lincoln competitive and would lead me to believe they'll make similar advancements to the MKZ (100% unique sheetmetal including roof and doors and more powerful engines/performance).
  • gregg_vwgregg_vw Posts: 2,423
    Best Lincoln rumor I've heard in awhile, Allen. And they must do it. Cadillac is not going front-drive with their new sedans any time soon, and current FWD/AWD Lincolns have a ways to go before people see that confuguration in the same way they do Audis for example. This is great news. A truly unique car for Lincoln.
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 7,740
    This sounds like GRWD-lite. Not a complete globally shared platform but platform sharing on specific vehicles using existing platforms. As long as the platform doesn't dictate styling that deviates too much from the MKR concept I think it will be a huge hit, especially with RWD and 450 hp. That might be a true M5 competitor.
  • brucelincbrucelinc Posts: 814
    Do we know how flexible this Aussie platform is from a size standpoint? It currently appears it would be BMW 5 series sized which with RWD would be a good handler with sporty intentions. I wonder if it can be stretched to be viable as a Lincoln flagship to compete with 7 series, Lexus LS, etc.
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 7,740
    My guess is this would be a one-off with very few platform modifications. I doubt you could justify the cost to stretch the platform for a flagship. I think that will have to wait for the true GRWD platform which I would hope could spawn both a 5 and 7 series sized platform with shared powertrains.
  • I hope it is not a Falcon platform per se. Because if it is it will be similar to G8 which was not a luxury sedan. Since Lincoln commands higher price they must refine platform to be able to compete with Mercedes/Lexus. Or is the goal to compete with BMW/Caddy/Infinity? Or compete with dead marques like Jaguar (just kidding)?

    Regarding the notion that Caddy is not going FWD - what about XTS - it is Caddilac's version of Buick LaCrosse. And all other platforms Caddilac is using are all FWD except of CTS.
  • gregg_vwgregg_vw Posts: 2,423
    Cadillac has more RWD plans in the works. CTS is not going to be the only one. STS was RWD; it just didn't sell. The roadster was also RWD...another poor seller (probably due to the expense), but at least Cadillac tried. The various Escalade models outsell the Navigator by a lot. The new Escalade will remain RWD.

    I don't care if they use the Falcon chassis. Just get a Lincoln out there. With attention to NVH and suspension dynamics, a Lincoln "Falcon" could more than compete.
  • brucelincbrucelinc Posts: 814
    It would plug a big hole in the Lincoln line-up - they currently have no sports sedan, that's for sure. It should add more "buzz" to the brand and also generate some press. Hopefully, also, it would bring customers into the showroom that otherwise wouldn't consider a Lincoln (or Ford). This could be an image booster that is needed so badly.

    Lincoln's last dive into sports sedan waters (LS) didn't turn out too great. Part of the problem was that it was a costly platform and Lincoln let it wither on the vine but a big problem was a dealer body that had really never had anything like it and didn't know what to do with it. Many of those dealers are now gone or merged with Ford stores but that is another story.
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 7,740
    The LS was doomed because it was too expensive, could not use the less expensive high output corporate V8s and it was developed using a faulty business plan with non-obtainable sales volumes. Using the Falcon platform solves those problems. There is no reason to think this will be another G8. If Ford can transform a Five Hundred into the MKS there is no reason to think they can't do the same thing with a Falcon platform. It will not be a rebadge like the G8, that's for sure.
  • gregg_vwgregg_vw Posts: 2,423
    BTW, the G8 was a great car and got good press, some interior configuration oddities aside. But it was a very odd duck in the dying Pontiac fleet, and it had been a long long time since Pontiac really meant excitement. Introduced at the wrong time, and after the failure of the new GTO (so boring looking it coufd have been called Pontiac's LS), it didn't have much of a chance. I think Chevrolet could still use it as a Caprice here, but they don't listen to me. :P
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 7,740
    I remember confusing the GTO with a Sunfire - it was that bad. G8 was better but still nothing to write home about. The interiors were a lot better than other GM cars at the time.
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 7,740
    I expect this is a precursor to what we can expect from the next MKZ. The gallery pics with the Lincoln steering wheel are from the 2011 MKX debuting next week at the Detroit Auto Show. The Ford pictures are from the 2011 Edge. Any doubt Ford and Lincoln are headed in the right direction?

    I expect an iPhone app that will save your personal preferences and load them automatically to the car via Bluetooth. All I can say is WOW and I wish I'd bought Ford stock a year ago.

    http://www.autoblog.com/2010/01/07/myford-touch-proves-that-the-shape-of-things-- to-come-is-awesome/
  • There are rumors about new MKZ and Milan being revealed on NY auto show in April. I do not know how these cars will be updated, but I heard that MKZ will be further differentiated from Fusion and about 3.5 Ecoboost.
  • gregg_vwgregg_vw Posts: 2,423
    edited February 2010
    I really don't know how much more they can do before the new platform for these vehicles arrives in three years. They locked in the same greenhouse and doors on the current cars, so no matter how much they change the front and rear clips, that will still be there. The current MKZ was just revamped, and it does look more different from the Fusion than it did before, but all measurements more or less remain the same, and the profiles are too close for comfort. They could however easily differentiate the drivetrains more. But I doubt there is much of anything they can do to really goose MKZ sales until the next generation car (which will be based on the next gen Mondeo platform).
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