Lincoln MKZ Hybrid Costs Same as Gas Version

Ford today announced that its new 2011 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid will be priced at $35,180—exactly the same as the standard gasoline version.

The MKZ Hybrid is a luxury variant of the 2011 Ford Fusion Hybrid, which is priced at $28,825. Both vehicles have a 156-horsepower 2.5-liter four-cylinder coupled with an electric motor to produce a total 191 horsepower, and deliver fuel-economy ratings of 41 mpg in the city and 36 on the highway.

This is the second major sign in the past week that hybrids are headed to the heart of the mainstream market. The other news is that Honda, starting next year, will only offer the hybrid version of the Honda Civic in Japan, and will stop selling the gas-powered Civic in the company’s domestic market.

Kiss Hybrid Premium Goodbye

The consistent criticism levied against hybrids is their additional cost compared to similar conventional vehicles. Hybrid critics acknowledge that gas-electric cars save gas, but they say the additional cost—in some cases, thousands of dollars more—means that consumers will not recoup the premium during their ownership period. That argument is erased if the hybrid version is offered at the same price as the conventional gas-powered car—or if the premium is only a couple hundred dollars. The hybrid premium argument is similarly erased if a popular high-volume vehicle is only offered as a hybrid.

James Bell, executive market analyst for Kelley Blue Book, told Detroit News, “It’s very big news and I give Ford thumbs up for making it happen…The price difference is being washed away.”

Perhaps it’s easier for Ford to offer price parity on a low-volume luxury vehicle like the MKZ, than it would be for a big seller. Nonetheless, hybrid sales could skyrocket if other carmakers offer hybrids with little or no price premium—especially if gas prices climb.

Why would a shopper buy the lower-mpg version of a car if the higher-mpg hybrid costs the same?


  • Charles

    < < Why would a shopper buy the lower-mpg version of a car if the higher-mpg hybrid costs the same? >>

    Simple, performance. The MKZ ICE only does 0-60 in about 7.1 seconds, the hybrid will be about 8.4. The ICE only version also has a larger trunk, with folding seats. I would also guess that the ICE only version handles better do to the hybrid using higher MPG tires.

    Me, I would take the performance hit, and buy the hybrid, but I am not the targeted driver.

  • Yegor

    It is a good move from Ford – I appreciate this.
    Now it is set to compete directly against Lexus HS hybrid that costs $34,650.
    Lexus hybrid models make something like 20% of a total model sales when they are $4,000 more expensive. So Ford MKZ Hybrid should make something like 50% of Lincoln MKZ total sales. We will see. Interesting.

  • Anonymous

    interesting shift from hybrid = higher price to same price.

    however, some would argue hybrid would need to be cheaper to be competitive if we equate this to v6 vs v8 options. the hybrid is like a v6 that gives you better economy, while v8 gives you more power. historically people have been willing to pay a premium for a v8.

  • Max Reid

    Awesome Ford – Good job.

    First Ford’s Fusion Hybrid overtook Toyota’s Camry Hybrid, now the Lincoln’s MKZ could overtake Lexus models with its 39 MPG.

    Yes, if the Hybrid version gives 39 MPG compared to non-hybrid versions 21, every one will go for the Hybrid one.

    Time to phase out non-hybrids. I wish they also launch the Hybrid version of MKX which will compete with RX400h.

    Note down, this is also a V4 vehicle, so move away is V6 is also there.

  • Charles

    The ICE only version of the MKZ is a 263 HP V6, there is no V8 option.

    For comparison a high performance 289 cubic inch V8 from a 1967 Mustang was 271 HP and the normal 289 V8 was 200 HP. Not too far from the MKZ ICE and hybrids. In 1967 the cost for the high performance version was $328, which is about $2084 today. So I submit that the hybrid premium for the MKZ is $2084.

  • AP

    Nice marketing technique by Ford, but we need to think about “economic sustainability” as well as “environmental sustainability.”

    Ford is adding the following for free:

    1) Two electric motors,
    2) One very large battery,
    3) Expensive electronics capable of carrying high current.

    While they are including a smaller engine, the cost difference there is minimal. In all, they are probably throwing in $5,000 (their cost) of equipment in for nothing, which is not a prescription for a healthy business. Either that or they are gouging the buyer of the base vehicle to subsidize the hybrid.

    This is the beginning of the warped economics of higher CAFE but low fuel prices. Most people wouldn’t pay the premium for the true cost increase of hybrids, because fuel is cheap. Manufacturers will be forced to eat the costs or gouge non-hybrid buyers.

    Those who didn’t like the automotive bailouts, wait about 5 years and see if it isn’t needed again.

  • usbseawolf2000

    The FWD base model (Rapid Spec 100A) starts at $31,825 if I custom build it on Lincoln site.

    What is the “no hybrid premium” claim based on? Were they equipped comparably? There is no standard equipment info for hybrid version for me to compare.

  • Charles F.

    usbseawolf2000, I do not think you can build a 2011 MKZ yet, only 2010. I still stand by my $2084 guess at the hybrid premium.

  • usbseawolf2000

    Ford can claim that because MKZ is not offered with I4 (non-hybrid). The hybrid version uses I4 and the price is being compared with the V6 non-hybrid.

    Camry hybrid costs LESS than Camry V6 non-hybrid. So why does MKZ hybrid cost the same as MKZ V6?

  • Charles

    According to Toyota’s web site for 2011 models the Comparably Equipped Price for the Camry XLE V6 is $30,005 and for the hybrid it is $30,655 + DPI (I have no idea what DPI is). So according to Toyota the Hybrid costs $650 over the most expensive trim line V6.

  • usbseawolf2000

    Charles, which packages did you pick? Manual or Auto for XLE V6?

    Camry hybrid starts at $27k and V6 Camry starts at $30k.

  • Charles

    I think automatic was the only choice for the V6 XLE. I did pick 2011 for the model year if that matters.

  • Nelson Lu

    usbseawolf2000, the comparison is inappropriate because the base Camry Hybrid and the base Camry V6 don’t necessarily have the same standard equipments. As far as I can tell, the base Hybrid is actually $26,400 right now, while the base V6 (LE) is $24,765, so I don’t see where you are getting the “V6 Camry starts at $30K” thing. (The *XLE* V6 starts at about that price — $29,465, but that’s not where V6 starts.)

    In any case, the appropriate comparison is between apples and apples, not apples and oranges. As far as I can see, the base MKZ Hybrid and the base MKZ V6 will have exactly the same standard equipment. That’s the proper basis to compare. If you are comparing the base Hybrid and the base XLE V6, the XLE has leather, where the Hybrid has cloth standard. The XLE has power passenger seat, and the Hybrid doesn’t have it at all even as an option as far as I can see. The XLE has a better stereo with Bluetooth standard, while the Hybrid has it only as part of an option package. The XLE has HomeLink, while the Hybrid has it as part of an option package. There are also a few minor amenities/appearance things that the XLE has (chrome trim, reading lights, &c.) that the Hybrid doesn’t.

    Again, compare apples with apples.

  • Marc

    Ford will probably not have to offer $3500 cash back to sell this car. And this will increase there Lincoln sales. It makes good sense to me.

  • JJspawn

    Stealing from Peter to pay Paul. First of all this is a luxury line, so of course there is some gouging in the price. The normal (Ford) line usually has at least 4k for the dealer to play with so there should be no surprise if there is a bit more cushion.

    BTW, Has anyone mentioned that Ford is the only Detroit company not to need a bailout? So someone up top must have a clue what they were doing.

  • Anonymous

    great move. No stop building the gasoline only version to show your green committment

  • veek

    Looks like another excellent move from Ford. Hope they do well.

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