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Lincoln’s Revival to Focus Mainly on Core Models at the Moment

Ford’s more luxurious brand has been doing a bit of soul-searching lately. After the split-wing grille design inspired by the company’s earlier models failed to impress, it is now returning to a more classic, conventional design.
Lincoln Continental Concept 13 photos
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This move might place Lincoln’s future models into a design pool filled with the rest of the competition’s offerings, but at least it will make sure it doesn’t give the traditional customers any reason to go looking elsewhere. Before you say anything, consider this: up to a few years ago, the average age of Lincoln’s customers was 67. This year, it dropped to 58. It doesn’t get more conservative than this.

The first car to sport this new grille is going to be the new MKZ, Lincoln’s best-selling model, which is scheduled for a release next summer. This new brand identity focuses around a more rectangular grille with a pattern of the Lincoln star taking the place of the usual mesh.

This is a very important moment in Lincoln’s history, as the brand is about to register its first two consecutive years with growing sales since 1998, back when it was the most important U.S. luxury brand. This year, following a 7.5 percent increase in sales (and a 16 percent growth in 2014), Lincoln is sitting all the way on the eighth position in a luxury segment sales chart.

Besides the MKZ and the Continental, Lincoln is said to be planning the introduction of two new nameplates by 2020. Lincoln President Kumar Galhotra has said that both new models are to be expected closer to the 2020 mark than next year.

No further details on what kind of vehicles these two new models will be, but it’s pretty clear what they won’t be. Matt VanDyke, director of global Lincoln, told Automotive News that we shouldn’t expect anything sporty soon. "We've said we need to cover the core segments first," he said. "Luxury coupes and sports cars are not the first place we need to go."

Until then, the focus is on releasing the MKZ and making sure it stands out as a special vehicle compared to the Ford Range. For instance, the new sedan will be using a 3.0-liter V6 turbocharged engine delivering 400 hp that won’t be offered on any Ford model. Furthermore, direct-injection turbocharged engines won’t keep the EcoBoost moniker on Lincoln models, going for a more brief description: 3.0T, in this case.


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