Auto blogThu, 17 Apr 2014 15:02:00 EST
We've been speculating for years about the future of Lincoln. Some thought that Ford needed to kill the division like it did Mercury, while others saw the sales possibility in a brand with so much history. Ford has finally made a decision, and it wasn't what many people were expecting. Lincoln is launching in China this fall, with the brand rollout starting at the upcoming Beijing Motor Show. A new video hints that we might even get to see the concept for the next-generation MKX.
Lincoln is marketing itself in China as a customer-focused, high-end luxury ownership experience. To prove it, the Lincoln Space in Beijing is meant both as a prototype dealer and a grand show of its plans. The modernist structure looks more like an art museum than a car showroom, and the interior decor is like a high-end hotel lobby. The company says that every dealer is going to have license plate recognition technology that knows when an owner arrives, and there will also be a Personalization Studio where potential buyers can design their car with family. Lincoln is promising to have eight showrooms ready in seven cities by this fall.
Of course, a stylish showroom is nothing without cars to sell. Lincoln is promising five models on sale in China by 2016. The MKZ and MKC launch this fall. A midsize luxury SUV, a fullsize luxury sedan and the Navigator are coming later. All of the models sold there are being imported from North America.
One of the perks of reviewing all manner of cars and trucks is that we're exposed to all the different infotainment systems. Whether Cadillac's CUE, Chrysler's UConnect, BMW's iDrive or MyFord Touch, we sample each and every infotainment system on the market.
Not surprisingly, some are better than others. It seems consumers have come to a similar consensus, with Consumer Reports claiming that Ford and Lincoln, Cadillac and Honda offer the worst user infotainment experiences. Not surprisingly, you won't find much argument among the Autoblog staff.
Take a look below to see just what it is about the latest batch of infotainment systems that grinds CR's gears. After that, scroll down into Comments and let us know if you agree with the mag's views.
Consumer Reports has announced its annual list of worst vehicles, a cringe-inducing contrast to its list of top vehicles. Ignominiously leading the way in 2014 is Chrysler, which has a staggering seven models listed.
Jeep nearly sweeps the small SUV segment by itself, with its Compass, Patriot and 2.4-liter version of the new Cherokee, while the only midsize sedans listed by CR were the Chrysler 200 and Dodge Avenger. The new Dodge Dart and the Dodge Journey round out CR's condemnation of Chrysler.
Ford is taking heat as well, with the Taurus, Edge and their counterparts from Lincoln all listed as the worst vehicles in their respective segments. Toyota doesn't fare much better, with its Lexus IS, Scion iQ and tC also making the list.
If there's one brand that could really use some fresh, all-new product, it's Lincoln. The MKC crossover is on the way and looks promising, but the just-revealed 2015 model year update of its fullsize Navigator would appear to stop somewhere short of being "all-new." This, despite replacing a product that's been on the market since 2007. Oh sure, there's a brash new face, complete with the company's love or hate split-wing grille, and the revised rear-end treatment does look better to our eyes (if overly familiar). But in the era of the bold new all-aluminum Ford F-150, the Navigator is still based on the outgoing model's all-steel bones, so it's more of an extensive mid-cycle refresh than a completely new piece.
Unlike the F-150, there's no aluminum suit on this black-tie bruiser
That's a shame, really, because the class the Navigator is playing in features a host of really modern, stylish, luxurious crossovers and sport utilities like the Cadillac Escalade, Land Rover Range Rover, Mercedes-Benz GL-Class and more. Unlike the F-150, there's no aluminum suit on this black-tie bruiser, but that's not to say it isn't bringing some new tech to the table in 2015. Under the hood, for example, is Ford's well-received 3.5-liter, twin-turbocharged EcoBoost V6, putting out "at least" 370 horsepower and 430 pound-feet of torque. That's a solid engine, and should be a whole lot more spunky and efficient than the archaic 5.4-liter Triton V8 currently being employed in the outgoing model.
Tue, 21 Jan 2014 13:02:00 EST
Lincoln has finally given its SUV a facelift after seven long years.
Seven years is a long time. For the auto industry, though, seven years is an absolute eternity. Most vehicles receive clean-sheet redesigns within the span of seven years, usually getting a facelift of some sort after year three or four. Not Lincoln.
Lincoln has already announced most of the trim level and option pricing for its upcoming 2015 MKC due out this summer, and now it has launched a configurator allowing prospective buyers to get a better idea of how this new model will stack up against other compact luxury crossovers. We already knew that the MKC will have a starting price of $33,995, but now we know that its price includes a destination charge of $895.
Models equipped with the base 2.0-liter EcoBoost engine come standard with the Premiere package - $33,100 for front-wheel drive and $35,595 for all-wheel drive. Both models offer equipment upgrades from the Select and Reserve packages. The $3,230 Select package adds features like leather seats, power passenger seat, folding and heated door mirrors and painted 18-inch wheels, while the pricier $6,935 Reserve package adds in heated and cooled front seats, panoramic roof, hands-free liftgate, two-tone wheels and an embedded modem (providing features such as remote lock and unlock, vehicle finder and pre-conditioning).
Opting for the new 2.3-liter EcoBoost inline-four raises the base price to $39,965, and it comes standard with all-wheel drive and all of the equipment in the Select package; the Reserve package is still optional. All models can be further optioned up with the $2,235 Technology Package (adding adaptive cruise, active park assist and lane keeping system) and the $580 Climate Package (heated rear seats and steering wheel, auto high beams and rain-sensing wipers). Checking all the options, a fully loaded 2015 MKC with the 2.3-liter EcoBoost will have a total MSRP of $47,715.
Mon, 30 Dec 2013 18:31:00 EST
In the case of Henry Leland, naming his new car brand after the first President he cast a vote for in 1864 seemed a jolly good idea, on paper.
You should always be careful about the name you choose to give your new baby. The power of association can work in many ways, not always positive.
Federal safety standards require that every new car needs to have the brake depressed in order to shift it out of Park. But the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has found fault in the transmission range sensor on certain examples of the Lincoln MKZ Hybrid, allowing the car to be shifted out of Park without first depressing the brake. The fear is that with this condition, affected vehicles may be unintentionally pulled out of Park, resulting in a possible rollaway. That safety concern has prompted parent Ford Motor Company to issue a recall.
The issue pertains to 7,153 examples of the MKZ Hybrid built between April 26, 2012 and September 24, 2013, covering the 2013 and 2014 model years. As a result, Ford will notify owners to bring their MKZs into their local Lincoln dealer to have the Powertrain Control Module software updated in order to rectify the problem. See the full recall notice below for details.
Looking to build on the momentum it struggled to establish with the MKZ, Lincoln recently unveiled the production version of its all-new MKC last month at the LA Auto Show. With a proven platform shared with the Ford Escape and striking design, the 2015 Lincoln MKC goes on sale next summer ready to take on the ever-expanding world of luxury compact crossovers. Breaking into this new segment, Lincoln has priced the MKC aggressively as one of the least-expensive offerings in its class, starting at $33,995 (*including destination charges).
At that price, the 2015 MKC costs a little bit more than a fully loaded 2014 Ford Escape Titanium and is just slightly less costly than the Acura RDX and Volvo XC60. More importantly, it's thousands less than Audi Q5, BMW X3 and Mercedes GLK-Class. The MKC will be offered in three trim levels for now - there is still no more information about Lincoln's new Black Label products - ranging from the base Premiere up to the range-topping Reserve.
The Premiere will come standard with features like active grille shutters, push-button start, remote start, dual-zone climate control and heated front seats, while the midgrade Select starts at $37,225 and adds upgraded 18-inch wheels, ambient lighting, daytime running lights and a steering wheel featuring Wollsdorf leather. The top-shelf Reserve trim level starts at $40,930 and brings even more luxury features including the panoramic roof, navigation, cooled front seats and wifi access.
General Motors Vice President of Global Design, Ed Welburn, had some dismissive words for a certain cross-town luxury brand during an interview with Car and Driver. When asked about his thoughts on Lincoln, Welburn deflected, before saying, "I don't consider Lincoln to be a competitor for Cadillac."
"They're not a global luxury brand. I don't consider them a competitor. Are they a competitor for Buick? Quite possibly. But not for Cadillac," GM's head designer explained. Welburn, who's been at the helm of GM Design North America since 2003 and is the first to hold the position of VP of Global Design, has been instrumental in the styling renaissance at GM, so predictably, Car and Driver's interview with him focused on the design aspect of cars.
During the interview, Welburn explicitly denied plans for a reborn Cadillac XLR, even as a new Chevrolet Corvette is hitting the market and strides are being made with Cadillac's V-Series performance arm saying, "We have a lot of cars that we're working on for the Cadillac brand. The XLR is not one of them right now."