Lincoln has rolled out its 2017 update of the MKZ and MKZ Hybrid.
On display at the just-starting LA Auto Show, the sleek midsized luxury car from Ford’s upscale brand ups the ante in most departments as luxury cars go.
The hybrid version has traditionally shared its powertrain with the parent company’s Fusion/C-Max hybrid, and that appears to be going forward for the car due to go on sale summer 2016.
Other powertrains are a 400-horsepower 3.0-liter GTDI V6 and a 2.0-liter GTDI four-cylinder with 245 horses.
The new exterior design changes several aspects, and gone is a split-wing grille, in is a new mesh grille. Inside are swank expanses of fine and fine-appearing materials to create an upscale ambience, says Lincoln.
Unique are things like a push-button gear shift and creative themes applied to the interior space to make this car feel special.
“Our customers are looking for three attributes in a luxury midsize sedan – technologies that ease their everyday experience, a beautiful design that is crafted with attention to detail, and a vehicle with impressive power that makes it a pleasure to drive,” said Kumar Galhotra, president of Lincoln. “The new Lincoln MKZ elevates all of these attributes – and many more – to create a compelling entry in this large and highly competitive portion of the luxury market.”
Looking contemporary and refined with cues echoing some of Europe’s finer cars and borrowed also from the Continental Concept, the MKZ has been Lincoln’s best seller, and this one aims to bring more youthful buyers into the family.
To augment that marketing need, the 40 mpg Lincoln MKZ Hybrid has been the one full hybrid that sells for zero “hybrid premium” over the base gas-only model.
Ford does charge a premium for its other hybrid variants, and while pricing for the 2017 has yet to be announced, Lincoln has for the past few years provided its hybrid along with 14 mpg superior combined fuel economy for no extra outlay.
The front-wheel-drive 2017 hybrid won’t be as much the driver’s car as the potent V6 with all-wheel drive and torque vectoring and available performance driver’s package, but ought to continue as an attractive alternative to the 2.0-liter FWD trim.
A host of advanced safety tech, as is becoming the norm, is offered with the new Lincolns. These include adaptive cruise control that can bring the car to a complete stop without driver intervention. Another is park assist, another is Pre-Collision Assist, and Pedestrian Detection is also offered as cars evolve toward self-driving capabilities.
What the Lincoln has never evolved to however is a plug-in hybrid. Ford’s Fusion and C-Max plug0in Energi siblings are EPA rated for 19 miles electric range, and hybrid mode economy is a tad less than the regular hybrid counterparts. That formula in theory could be applied to the new Lincoln MKZ Hybrid but we’ve seen no indication at this point that’s a direction Ford would head.
Other automakers are however adding PHEV variants to their lineups, including the Germans which Lincoln has echoed in certain ways. Maybe one day?