The automotive world largely yawned when Ford announced the 2011 Lincoln MKZ hybrid. After all, Ford already offered the Fusion and Mercury Milan in hybrid flavor, and the standard MKZ is hardly setting the world on fire with only 11,214 models sold in the first half of 2010. In search of a bigger publicity bump for its luxury hybrid, Ford has pulled a fun little gimmick out of its bag of tricks: the 2011 MKZ will offer a hybrid drivetrain for no price premium over the standard V6 version [press release here]. According to the AP [via Yahoo], this is the first time a manufacturer has offered hybrid and non-hybrid versions of the same car for the same price. And really, the move comes as no huge surprise. With Mercury on its way out, Ford doesn’t have to worry about the$35,180 MKZ Hybrid encroaching on the $32k Milan Hybrid, and if it had charged a hybrid premium, the MKZ hybrid could have cost closer to $40k where it would have faced tougher competition from better-established luxury brands. Besides, Lincoln needs to build some momentum somehow… but is value a good place to start rebuilding a worn-down luxury brand?
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