By on October 6, 2010

OK, so what’s literally wrong with the picture is that TTAC needs a real graphics team. The larger, figurative problem: Ford is replacing its long-soldiering Lincoln Town Car, the granite-standard of livery transportation, with its unloved (5,701 sales year-to-date) MKT crossover. Say what you want about the old Town Car, at least it had a certain quietly anonymous gravitas. The MKT? Let’s just say that a stretched version will serve largely to make the adjective “cetacean” even more applicable to the baleen-snouted crossover. According to the Freep, Ford will offer

a standard livery vehicle with stretched second-row seating and a modified heavy-duty chassis version designed for limousine modification.

The livery version is available in both front-wheel and all-wheel drive. The heavy-duty limousine chassis will feature standard all-wheel drive for stretch limousine construction up to an additional 120 inches – or 10 feet – of wheelbase.

Out with the Panther, in with the Whale?

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21 Comments on “What’s Wrong With This Picture: Meet The New Towncar Edition...”


  • avatar
    Alex L. Dykes

    The low sales are understandable, the MKT looks like the unholy spawn of a baleen whale and a hearse. Which is a pity, because the ecoboost MKT has some serious thrust and quite possible the best interior Ford has ever produced. First impressions count, and with looks like that it’s hard to get buyers to look inside.

  • avatar
    86er

    Thank God we’re back to discussing Panther and its replacements.  That was a scary two weeks.

  • avatar
    Stingray

    Why not import the Falcon platform and stretch it and… nevermind. Or do the same with Mustang’s and and…
     
    And yes, your photoshop Kung Fu needs to improve. Mine is worse.

  • avatar
    Educator(of teachers)Dan

    I was transported from a downtown hotel in Chicago to Midway airport in a Ford Flex.  (This was about a year ago.)  The flex was a black model, tinted windows, white roof, limited trim, black leather interior.  Very somber but rode quite smoothly and moved with what I felt was authority.  Good leg and head room.  It earned my girlfriends endorsement by the fact that she fell asleep with her head on my shoulder almost before we could pull away from the curb**.  The Flex absorbed the expansion joints and potholes of the pavement well.  I liked it far better than the Crown Victoria taxi that had taken us from the airport to the hotel a few days earlier.  I think the MKT would work as a livery vehicle but I also think the Flex is a heck of a lot better looking.

    **This is an essential requirement of any vehicle where she will be a frequent passenger. We borrowed a current generation (used) Malibu from the local dealer while her Vibe was having some work done. Her first comment upon sitting down and buckling in: “I couldn’t fall asleep in here like that Impala they let us borrow last year.” Impala 1; Malibu 0.

    • 0 avatar
      TrailerTrash

      I agree.
      The Flex can and is replacing lots of TowneCars for airport service.
      I am not sure why everybody still bashes this MKT look, but I know it runs well.
      But everybody does agree the Flex is a better design, size wise.

      But Limos need to be big and carry lots of stuff.  There must be a reason Ford is thinking this way.

  • avatar
    VanillaDude

    I saw this inevitability when this vehicle was first launched. As a matter of fact, it should have been named the Town Car to begin with.

    Kvetch all you want about it’s grille, but this vehicle is a dream on the road regarding ride quality, spaciousness and luxury touches – exactly what you would want as a Town Car replacement.

    No. It is not a sedan. But what it does regarding livery is better than what the old Town Car did.

  • avatar
    PaulieWalnut

    I assume when they say ‘stretched second row’ they mean they’ll rip out the useless third row and move the second row back a little.

    In any case, I can’t get my head around how this design made it production. Seroiusly, this thing tested well in the focus group?

  • avatar
    Dr Lemming

    The general idea of using CUVs as livery vehicles isn’t a bad one (if folks can get used to changing long-ingrained habits).  CUVs are roomy, have good visibility and may be a bit easier to park than a Town Car.  However, I wonder about cost of repairs with ecoboost.  It’s hard to beat the Town Car in that department.
     
    At some point Ford should update the MKT’s styling.  The profile isn’t so bad but the front and rear both need major clean up.  Fortunately, the ugliest elements could plausibly be fixed with a fairly simple refresh.

  • avatar
    Domestic Hearse

    I get car sick when I ride in the back seat for too long.

    The MKT livery solves that.
    I get car sick just walking up to that buck-tooth, broke-back sperm whale, thus getting the whole barf thing out of the way early.

  • avatar
    bomberpete

    Domestic Hearse, that’s just mean! Funny, but mean…
     
    Since Town Car is truly going away, MKT is a decent replacement, way better than the MKS. I see these in black all over NYC doing livery duty, and I’ve gotten to like them — especially compared to that Mercedes Hearse-Class, er, I mean R-Class.
     
    I don’t even mind the front and rear styling, Dr. Lemming. Yes, it’s too short & stubby, but if they were to add about 4-6 inches to it, a back seat shaped and sized like the Town Car, get rid of the third seat (maybe a jump seat or two), expand the cargo, and best of all….center-pull doors…and you’ve got yourself what Sheriff Buford T. Justice would call “an attention-getter.”
     
    Ultimately, though, Educator is right. The best D3 for livery work is the Flex. It does a lot of what a Suburban/Escalade or Econoline/Savana does on a more economical chassis, and has much safer handling. I’m sure Mssrs. Mulally and Farley will happily settle for D3 livery sales while pushing retail buyers to Flex, Escape, Explorer and whatever other CUV/SUV ultimately makes sense for Ford.
     
    (of teachers)Dan

  • avatar
    Amendment X

    I remember when cars had names and cell phones had merely letters.
     
    Now we have the Lincoln MKT and the Droid Incredible.
     
    How times have changed.

  • avatar
    Conslaw

    Chrysler called. They want their Pacifica back.

  • avatar
    brush

    Maybe Stingray has heard something, this quote from Alan Mullay

    REAR-WHEEL

     
    drive appears to be back in favour for the Falcon, with Ford Motor Company president and CEO Alan Mulally
    admitting that he would not risk alienating buyers and fans when the next all-new Falcon debuts sometime in the middle of the decade. Furthermore, as part of the company’s One Ford policy, in-house American luxury division Lincoln may leverage Ford Australia’s large-car expertise by using a variation of the next Falcon’s architecture for a future ‘mid-sized’ model to be sold around the world. ”

     

     

    Heres the link to the whole article
    http://www.goautomedia.com/mellor/enews.nsf/edition/CDE155D23E7E22BACA2577B3001CB0F0/$file/GoAutoNews_552.pdf

  • avatar
    Z71_Silvy

    I think it has gotten through Ford’s proverbial thick skull that the D3 platform has been a colossal failure and that they only way they can ever hope to make some money on it is to whore it out to fleets.
     
    THAT is why the Taurus is becoming a fleet queen (rental favorite and soon Crown Vic replacement)
    THAT is why the half-assed Explorer will be seeing a lot of police duty.
    And THAT is why the Flex rebadge will be used as a limo (Town Car is still far superior).

    • 0 avatar
      bomberpete

      “I think it has gotten through Ford’s proverbial thick skull that the D3 platform has been a colossal failure and that they only way they can ever hope to make some money on it is to whore it out to fleets.”
       
      Oh, right, as opposed to all those hot new DTS, Lucernes, STS, SRXs and the like that are flying out of dealerships and we all know are commanding top dollar at retail.
       
      Remember, Z71  — people in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones, even if their skulls happen to be the thickest. Troll.
       

    • 0 avatar
      Amendment X

      Silvy: “Town Car is still far superior”
       
      Did Silvy just compliment a Ford product?
       
      HELL HAS FROZEN OVER!!!

  • avatar
    Nick

    Not since the 91 Caprice have I seen a car whose design is as mystifying as this one.  I am sure that these companies have market research and focus group the hell out of these designs, don’t they?  If so, how does something that looks, as others have poinedt out, like some sort of sci-fi whale manage to make it to market?  This vehicle could do everything right and still fail on looks alone.

  • avatar
    armadamaster

    “I think it has gotten through Ford’s proverbial thick skull that the D3 platform has been a colossal failure and that they only way they can ever hope to make some money on it is to whore it out to fleets.
     
    THAT is why the Taurus is becoming a fleet queen (rental favorite and soon Crown Vic replacement)
    THAT is why the half-assed Explorer will be seeing a lot of police duty.
    And THAT is why the Flex rebadge will be used as a limo (Town Car is still far superior).

    Boom Shaka-laka!

    Quote of the day.

    Ford stupidity of cancelling the Panthers will haunt them for years to come.

    A few parts bin ‘tweaks’ and the Panthers could have soldiered on til CAFE 2016.

    Guess you really can’t fix stupid.


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