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Lincoln fans might want to give incoming Ford CEO Mark Fields a pat on the back for having a hand in saving the brand from the chopping block last year. He's among the people spearheading the rejuvenation of the division away from its stodgy image to appeal to younger customers.
According to two unnamed sources speaking to Bloomberg, CEO Alan Mulally was ready to kill Lincoln last year. Following the slow production ramp-up of the MKZ combined a with a costly ad campaign, Mulally was frustrated and openly suggested dropping the brand. However, Fields and Jim Farley, Ford's marketing boss, convinced the CEO that the brand was worth saving. They also created a plan to prevent similar problems for new models in the future.
It seems that one part of the strategy may involve waiting until new models are at dealers before starting a big ad campaign for them. Lincoln global director, Matt VanDyke, recently told Autoblog that the division is holding off on a full marketing push behind the new MKC crossover to prevent the supply problems that plagued the MKZ last year. Its big offensive begins in the fall when the CUVs are at all of the dealers and consumers are at home watching more TV. VanDyke also told Bloomberg that Fields, Farley and Joe Hinrichs, Ford president of the Americas, have more direct oversight over new product launches now.
Now With More EcoBoost
There's an EcoBoost 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder in there somewhere, and it's headed straight for Ugly Horse.
For the second time in my life, I'm staring at an engine in the back of a truck with no concept of how to get it safely into the garage by my lonesome. The first time this happened, I dragged home a $300 International 345 V8 in the back of my Scout Terra only to discover that the bounds of my manliness terminated well before my ability to muscle that 800-pound cast iron block out of the pickup bed.
Evo and host Henry Catchpole were thinking of excuses reasons to borrow the bonkers Ford Fiesta R5 rally car for a day or two, when it struck them: the car is street legal. With access to the R5, some of the world's most beautiful driving roads in the English Lake Country nearby, and a handy video crewing hanging around, the plan seemed to write itself.
Based on the resulting video, it was a good plan. Without spoiling the video for you - something we can't really do in text as the best part is listening to the rally car run - Catchpole finds the Fiesta to be sublimely quick and massively satisfying. Even taking the car for a spin on a pseudo rally stage, after leaving the English countryside, does nothing but add to his assessment of the beastly little Ford. Scroll on below to see for yourself, and enjoy the ride.