By on August 2, 2012

Sorry Panther fans, this is not the Town Car you are looking for.

We are, of course, talking about the MKT Town Car, the apostate unibody crossover Town Car-in-name-only that is as popular with Panther fans as Salman Rushdie is with Iranian mullahs.

The two-box Townie will be available with Ford’s 2.0L 4-cylinder Ecoboost and all-wheel drive. Civilian versions of the MKT will not be getting this motor, so the only way to get this configuration will be if you’re a livery car driver, or willing to buy a used black car.

At $49,845, the EcoBoost model will cost $1,100 less than the 3.7 V6 model. Fuel economy is rated at 20 mpg city/28 highway/23 combined, versus 17/24/29 on the V6. Power is rated at 235 horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque versus 300/275 for the V6.

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62 Comments on “Lincoln Launches Ecoboost Town Car...”


  • avatar
    kvndoom

    What… the… fuuuuuuu… am I looking at…

    Wow… it takes big balls to call that a Town Car.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      Agreed, very big cojones.

    • 0 avatar

      Ford dropped the ball on this one BIG TIME. What Ford really needs is a clone of the bigger, better Cadillac XTS to complement their MKS.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        Emulating the equally ridiculous XTS isn’t going to help matters much.

        Dear Mr. Mulally,

        INNOVATE!

        Sincerely,
        Me.

      • 0 avatar
        DeadWeight

        I received my Consumers Report today.

        They reviewed CUVs, and lambasted the new Ford Edge, dinging it for bad ride quality, excessive road noise, cheap interior trim and plenty of other unvirtuous characteristics.

        But at least it looks better than this whale of a Lincoln.

        Many will chime in with a “[w]ho cares what CR writes!”

        Manufacturers care, because they know how influential it is with many, many people that actually research and buy things.

        That’s why Honda rolls out blazingly fast attempts to fix problem areas as cited by Consumers Reports. No other publication could get Honda to act that quickly.

        I’ve predicted that the Alan Mulally honeymoon will soon be over and his tenure at Ford will end badly (I’m truly in the tiny minority predicting this), with Ford doing the opposite of VW & Toyota, essentially downsizing its vehicles and pricing them at a premium, while VW & Toyota supersize their vehicles and slash their prices.

        The global and U.S. economy will soon prove that Mulally’s strategy of premium pricing will come back to bite Ford in the ass.

      • 0 avatar
        NulloModo

        Deadweight –

        What is CR comparing the interior quality to? Every other review seems to put the Edge near first in class when it comes to interior component quality. It’s miles ahead of the plastic fantastic wonderland of the Honda Pilot (not that the two directly compete since the Pilot is a size up, but Honda doesn’t have a direct Edge competitor).

        I’m not aware of Ford downsizing any vehicles. The upcoming new Fusion and MKZ both have longer wheelbases and wider tracks with more interior room than the previous versions, as does the ’13 Escape compared to the ’12, and the new Explorer compared to the old one.

  • avatar
    psarhjinian

    These really aren’t that ugly (proviso: “in my opinion”) in person. They are a little bit expensive, and they could stand a ride height drop, but they’re as close in look to a full-size wagon as we’re ever likely to get.

    But, umm, a turbo four in a livery car? Really? I’m not bothered in principle, but I’ve seen how many limo drivers drive, and they’re going to be on-boost all the time. Mileage? What mileage?

    • 0 avatar
      DC Bruce

      If they could do something about the baleen whale grill . . .

      I have a feeling that livery fleet owners who fall for the fuel economy claims made for a small displacement turbo engine pushing a fairly heavy vehicle are going to be in for an unpleasant surprise, as you say.

      Ask all of the owners of the first generation RDX how that small displacement turbo worked for them . . . and note how the second generation manages better fuel economy, about the same horsepower from a larger displacement, normally aspirated engine.

      It seems to me that the small displacement turbo engine of fairly high power only delivers claimed fuel economy when it’s power off-boost is sufficient to motivate the vehicle its powering within a normal driving profile . . ., like, for example, my 250 hp Saab turbo with 5-speed automatic, which does quite well so long as you drive it sanely. Interestingly, the Saab engineers programmed the engine to use a lot of boost at low rpm (<2000) rather than allow the tranny to shift to a lower gear and spin up the engine. Driven normally, the engine rpm never exceeds 2000 from 0 to about 65 mph.

      • 0 avatar
        Speed Spaniel

        I owned (notice past tense) an ’08 RDX and actually the turbo 4 made decent power. It was a good engine needing a lighter body, ala TSX. However, it was the lack of refinement in other areas that drove me crazy. Mainly the harsh ride, sub par assembly quality (one example, the rear taillight had come unscrewed and was left dangling out of its socket, reminding me of Daryl Hannah’s fate in Kill Bill.) It probably was the terrible ride combined with the terrible noise and vibration from the engine cooling fan that might have unscrewed the tail light. It was the first Honda/Acura product that I had owned since the late 90s and I was very surprised at how poorly conceived and developed the RDX was and further surprised Honda would release such a vehicle under a premium brand. I learned a lesson about test drives. Anyway, I much prefer the engine, economy, ride, luxury, refinement and utility of my ’11 4Runner Limited – a much better choice for my expectations and needs.

      • 0 avatar
        CJinSD

        Unfortunately the RDX team took their objective of matching the ride and handling of the first generation BMW X1 literally.

  • avatar
    radimus

    I don’t care what they call it, but that grille has got to go.

    • 0 avatar
      Chicago Dude

      The livery versions I have seen in person all have blacked-out grilles and the car ends up looking completely fine.

      It doesn’t stand out in a good way or a bad way, which is probably what a large portion of the clientele want.

  • avatar

    Misleading title makes me angry. Ugly whale-like Lincoln makes my eyes sad. Ecoboost? Meh.

  • avatar
    morbo

    Where I live in Crystal City (DC Metro), there are a LOT of Black cars (livery). God forbid our leadership drive themselves or take Metro. Anyway, in the sea of Panther love, I am seeing a shift. It looks like one of two things are happening as the Black cars are retiring. Some are upgrading to E-Class (or E-Klass, as there are many German-philes here). The other thing I’m seeing are Hyundai Genesis on the lower end. I’m guessing depending on budget or clientelle, the E-Class and Genesis are the biggest direct TC replacements.

    No 300Cs (yet), though as the owner of a non-livery Black 2011, I can say that while an awesome driver’s and front passengers car, it is surprisingly cramped in the rear and won’t make a good livery (without an extended edition). I have seen maybe one or two MKQX9JC-Alpha3′s(or whatever Lincoln calls their Town car replacmeent), a couple FWD Caddy’s, and a good number of Denali’s and Navigators.

    Just my qualitiative observation.

    • 0 avatar
      MeaCulpa

      Actually E-Klasse, and the true Jerry car fan would refer to it as the W212. The E seems like a poor choice imo, the rear seat isn’t that spacious and the same model would be used as a taxi in most of Europe.
      Anyway, you bring up a good point, shouldn’t Chrysler offer an EWB 300? Or would the tooling cost be prohibitive?

    • 0 avatar
      dude500

      Having ridden in a few “black cars”, I can say with some experience that the 300C is one of the best livery cars to be driven around in. The rear seats are excellent (firm but supportive), the suspension doesn’t jar, and the view out is good. The only bad things are a slightly buzzy engine and all the plastic you see in front, but not a big deal. Between the Lincoln Town Car and the 300C, I’m not sure which I’d prefer – the 300C, or the Lincoln with the squishy seats and hushed cabin.

      Toyotas are the worst. I have no idea why anyone pays anything for an Avalon – the rear seats are playskool tough with cushions in just the wrong places, the whole cabin buzzes from the engine, everything in the rear is hard plastic, and the suspension is so bouncy it makes a Mustang a luxury coupe.

      • 0 avatar
        Speed Spaniel

        You’re joking right? My courier service has a fleet of 300Cs and I think these are the worse cars I’ve ever ridden in. They ride like garbage and the plastique interior is simply terrible. It reminded me why I don’t purchase American cars.

      • 0 avatar
        dude500

        @Speed Spaniel

        I have no idea how it feels like to drive a 300C, but I wouldn’t be surprised if what you say is true from a driver’s point of view. But from the rear passenger-side seat, I think its a great car. Rear leg room isn’t really an issue in a livery vehicle either, since the front passenger seat is usually pushed all the way forward.

  • avatar
    Hank

    As an airport livery fleet car, which is what this really is, it makes practical sense. It’ll be superior in people and luggage handling in every way (again, speaking purely practically) Plus, to the majority of the people hiring them, “Town Car” doesn’t mean “big Lincoln boat with a Panther chassis” it means “big black car with a driver.” Having to tell your customers, “No, we don’t have Town Cars anymore, we have…click,” would get old.

    That said, I’d never have done it. But then, I’d have never let the big rwd CV/TC languish so long the chassis became security blanket to its followers either. ;-)

  • avatar
    noxioux

    There is a God in heaven, and I think he must hate Lincoln’s guts.

  • avatar
    david42

    Autoblog says that this one will be fwd, not awd:
    http://www.autoblog.com/2012/08/01/lincoln-mkt-town-car-to-get-2-0-liter-ecoboost/

  • avatar
    fintail jim

    Has anyone ever had a taxi ride in London? What would a modern Checker look like?

    • 0 avatar
      th009

      The London taxis are highly functional as taxis, but definitely not luxurious, and not ideal for long distances, especially with luggage (your suitcase is in the passenger compartment with you).

      As for the E-class being used as taxis in Europe, I think that’s pretty much irrelevant. The rear room (as with the 300) is a bigger issue.

      The Chinese market has lots of cars that would work better for this, with extended-wheelbased versions of the A6 and 5-series, for example.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        I’m truly surprised we don’t see such LWB’s here in the US, if only as livery cars.

        I saw an Lex LS600H? (460 body) hybrid in Toronto last weekend which def had a longer wheelbase than the ones here.

      • 0 avatar
        stuki

        Audis and Bimmers are too fragile and pricey to fix. Have no idea how the MKT is, but the Panther excelled in cheap to fix for a big, honking car.

      • 0 avatar
        MeaCulpa

        I – perhaps among others – brought up the paint of the E as a Taxi. The point was that the car, while a fine family sedan, doesn’t feel all that roomy or luxuriant in the back seat, sort of fine as taxi but not as a luxury backseat ride.
        What would make sense, perhaps more sense than the lesser LWB cars, is if Audi or Mercedes started some kind of fleet sales operation aimed at the luxury livery market. All the driver luxury and large engine that’s available in the consumer version would not be needed in a Livery S or 8, a leather clad S320CDI or A8 V6 TDI, with leather and double glazing would be a pretty good livery vehicle. This will of course never happen even if the cars could be sold with a buy back and scrap policy.

        @stuki
        Despite the fragile nature of the BMWs and Audis you routinely see former 5 series and A6 taxis with well over 5 000 000 miles on the odometer for sale in Europe.

  • avatar
    86er

    “Sorry Panther fans, this is not the Town Car you are looking for.”

    But they do kind of look like droids…

  • avatar
    Mandalorian

    The logical replacement is the one true Lincoln left. RWD, Body on Frame, V8… The Navigator.

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      Two issues.

      First, in the era of consistently high fuel prices, 8 mpg (remember, these are driven one block at a time in cities with lots of idling) gets old very fast.

      Second, a lot of older livery customers don’t appreciate extremely high step-in height and somewhat cramped back seats.

      The MKT is a vastly better livery car than a Nav.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        Agreed which is why an 4/6 cyl ecoboost Panther would have made so much sense, but noooooo.

      • 0 avatar
        stuki

        In fact, many older livery customers prefer/demand pretty much the exact step in height of the old Townie. Which is why the most reasonable unibody replacement is a CUV. For those requiring 2000lbs of armor, I assume an extra 6 inches of step in is worth the added protection, as well as a larger than 2L engine :)

        You’d think Ford or GM could make a case for a thoroughly redesigned BOF to underpin both a new Townie and a less than gargantuan pickup, but it seems small pickups and Panthers are only loved by people who do their driving on the internet.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        My viewpoint was if you have the tooling, factory, experienced workers/dealers, and demand from a customer base… why not do some weird stuff with it? Sure Panther was ancient but it was trusted and certified… livery and the public may have been delighted with the idea of a fuel efficient BOFer.

  • avatar
    Sinistermisterman

    As the song goes…
    U-G-L-Y, you ain’t got no alibi, you UGLY!

  • avatar

    It’s a hearse.

  • avatar
    racer-esq.

    Why does this cost $20K more than a Ford Flex?

    My vote for the best car to be driven in goes to the 2nd generation Scion xB. I know that car receives a lot of hate, but it has a huge back seat, huge headroom, and the high sill line gives it a vault like feeling. It is much better than a Panther, even an LWB panther, better than an Escape and MUCH better than the 2nd generation Prius, because of the horrible rear headroom.

    Plus it is really funny to see a car that is so unpopular on the retail market that even the special editions get made into taxis. There are some special edition xB taxis with body kits that have plaques on them, and the paint shops will mask off the plaques before the re-sprays. Because it would be so terrible if the Scion xB body kit plaque got painted over.

    • 0 avatar
      psarhjinian

      I would have said Ford Transit Connect would make a good city taxi. The Nissan Cube, too, for the same reason.

    • 0 avatar
      Patrickj

      Difference is $15K or less, when you take out the low-spec Flex SE. The Flex may also sell closer to list price than this car.

      http://www.automobilemag.com/am/2013/ford/flex/prices.html

      • 0 avatar
        NulloModo

        It’s actually even less than that. The Flex Limited is the closest to the base MKT, and the difference there is about $6,000. If you take a loaded Flex AWD EcoBoost compared to the MKT AWD EcoBoost w/Elite Package the difference is only about $5,000.

        For the difference you get nicer leather, real wood trim, Lincoln’s new active suspension dampers, a better warranty, and free service for the first 4 years, free loaner cars for the first 7, and free car washes for life. You do, however, give up some headroom in the third row seat.

      • 0 avatar
        Luke42

        @NulloModo: If you happen to care about any of those things, then I bet you’re right… And I suppose that the people who buy the Lincoln Edge must care about those things, but most of us really couldn’t care less about slightly different leather. But, then again, I don’t see the point in buying a new car in the first place — unless it has new technology (such as Voltec) that hasn’t yet made its way to the used market yet.

      • 0 avatar
        NulloModo

        Luke –

        The same argument could be made about pretty much any luxury car. A 3 series or E class won’t make your morning commute any faster, and a Taurus or Avalon will have comfortable seats and a quiet ride like an A8 or LS460. A pair of pants from Walmart for $20 covers my genitals and has room in the pockets the same as a $500 pair from a designer label.

        Some people buy the label or badge, or have enough money where paying a few extra grand for softer leather and a nicer finish on the trim is worth it. I’ve been shopping for a new TV and trying to decide if the $6,000 price tag on a Sharp Elite is worth 3x the price of a nice Samsung. The Elite certainly looks better side by side, but would I ever notice the difference in my living room? Some people can shut down that voice in the back of their head that says “Yes, this is nice, but for a little more you could have had the best” and others can’t. Buy what makes you happy, Ford makes the Edge and MKX and the Flex and MKT for that reason, you can choose if the extra stuff is worth it to you or not.

      • 0 avatar
        Luke42

        @NulloModo: Some of us don’t have that little voice that you mention to begin with. My little voice says “does vehicle get me through my day in an optimal way?” As you might imagine, I’m in an engineering-related profession.

        I agree that some people think that way, you just made it sound like everyone thinks that way. But, looking at the number of transportation appliances on the road (including the ones that I drive), it’s only a small portion of the population that buys luxury cars or cares about what they bring.

        I just wanted to point out that what you’re saying doesn’t apply universally. I’m sure it’s the best approach if someone comes on to the lot and says “show me your luxury cars”, but those people are self-selected as being part of a minority who care about those things.

        I’m not opposed to luxury, and I like being comfortable — but luxury for others to see, or luxury to compare with others, just doesn’t do it for me.

      • 0 avatar
        DeadWeight

        Luke42: “If you happen to care about any of those things, then I bet you’re right… And I suppose that the people who buy the Lincoln Edge must care about those things, but most of us really couldn’t care less about slightly different leather.”

        –And this, my brother, is why Ford is King of badge engineering in today’s automotive world, and also why Lincoln is in such desperate straits.

        Caveat – Just my opinion, NulloModo (you’re always civil, even though 100% reflexively defensive of all criticism of Ford/Lincoln).

  • avatar
    ajla

    I’ll just stick with my 2.2L turbo ’86 Chrysler Executive Limousine , thank you very much.

  • avatar
    bumpy ii

    The big MK whatever would probably sell better if it had the lower proportions of the squished photo.

  • avatar
    nickeled&dimed

    Fuel economy is rated at
    20 mpg city/28 highway/23 combined ecopoost,
    versus 17/24/29 on the V6.

    Is the combined mileage on the V6 supposed to be 19?
    I can’t see how averaging 17 and 24 would ever yield 29. Unless you’re GM and you use funny math for everything.

    • 0 avatar
      APaGttH

      Because 17/24/29 is likely 17 – city / 24 combined / 29 – highway

    • 0 avatar

      And the way livery drivers operate their machinery, I seriously doubt they’ll get those figures. With enough cargo, that little turbo mill will be running at WOT for long periods of time.

    • 0 avatar
      nickeled&dimed

      As I understand it, the EPA ratings are
      MKT (mass market)
      V6 (awd) = 16 city/23 highway/18 comb.
      V6 (fwd) = 17 city/25 highway/20 comb.

      Livery Only
      V6 (awd) = 17 city/24 highway/19 comb.
      EB4 (fwd only) = 20 city/28 highway/23 comb.

      At least, according to fueleconomy.gov. Those are the only 4 MKT models there.

      Just pointing out the typos. And we’re comparing AWD to FWD. And anyone expecting to drive the EPA route in a livery car is doing it wrong.

      ALSO, I would like to know what special sauce they feed the MKT Livery V6 awd to make it more efficient than the standard MKT V6 awd.

      • 0 avatar
        NulloModo

        The AWD livery package has the 305hp 3.7 liter NA V6. When you get AWD on the retail version you automatically get the 365hp 3.5 liter EcoBoost V6.

      • 0 avatar
        ajla

        The way Ford offers its engines is beginning to approach GM levels.

      • 0 avatar
        NulloModo

        Ajla –

        Not really, Ford’s engine lineup is basically-

        4 Cylinders:
        2.5 NA (’12 Fusion, ’12 Escape, base ’13 Escape and base trim ’13 Fusions)
        2.0 NA (Focus, C-Max and Transit Connect)
        1.6 NA (Fiesta)
        1.6 EB (’13 Escape and ’13 Fusion)
        2.0 EB (’13 Escape, Edge, Explorer, ’13 Fusion, ’13 MKZ, Livery MKT, Focus ST, ’13 Taurus)

        V6:
        3.0 NA (’12 Escape and Fusion, soon to be cut from the lineup)
        3.5 NA (Edge, Explorer, Taurus, Flex, ’12 Fusion, ’12 MKZ)
        3.7 NA (MKT, MKX, MKS, ’13 MKZ, Mustang, F-150)
        3.5 EB (MKT, MKS, F-150, Taurus SHO, Flex, Explorer Sport)

        V8:
        5.4 (Expedition, Navigator, E-Series)
        5.8 Supercharged (Shelby GT-500 only)
        5.0 (F-150, Mustang)
        6.2 (F-150, Super Duty)
        6.7 Diesel (Super Duty)

        V10:
        6.8 (certain fleet trim Super Duty only)

        With the 3.0 V6 on the way out all of the remaining V6s are just variations on the Cyclone design. The 2.5 I4 will be gone in a year or two, replaced throughout the lineup with the 1.6 EB. The 2.0 NA I4 will also likely be replaced with the 1.6 EB. The 5.4 V8 should be gone pretty soon, I expected it do be gone from everything but the E-Series by ’13 models, but apparently there are enough parts lying around for it to make it another year in mainstream models. The 5.8 V8 will likely live on in the ’14 Shelby then be replaced by a turbocharged DI version of the 5.0 for the top spec Mustang for the ’15 redesign (which would also end up replacing the 6.2 in the F-150 when it comes time for a redesign there).

        For 2012 you could get the MKT retail AWD with the 3.7 liter NA engine, but the take rate was so low it made sense to drop it. For livery use the extra power isn’t needed so it makes sense to offer the NA engine as a lower cost slightly more efficient option.

      • 0 avatar
        ajla

        @Nullo:

        Even with you selling the things you missed the Edge offering the 3.7L, the E-Series offering the 6.8L V10 and 4.6L V8, the 2.0L Hybrid engine, and the electric propulsion system. But, I also get that it’s late and you weren’t getting graded on your reply.

        -Why does the Edge offer the 3.5L and the 3.7L?

        -Why does the NA 3.5L still exist in general when they have the 2.0T and the 3.7L? The 3.7 doesn’t exactly differentiate the MKS from the Taurus when it’s the engine you get in a $21K base Mustang. (Ford’s strategy with the 3.7L reminds me a lot of how GM offers the 3.6L DI. It’s almost a bizarro engine hierarchy)

        -Why is the 2.0T offered on the MKT-livery, Explorer, and MKZ, but not the Flex or any other Lincolns?

        -Why is the 3.5EB STILL not offered on the MKX?

        -I hope that your future engine predictions are right. Except for that no more 6.2L 1/2-ton part.

      • 0 avatar
        NulloModo

        Ajla –

        You’re right, I completely zoned out on the 4.6 and the 6.8 in the E-Series. The current hybrids use the 2.5L I4, the upcoming 2013 models move to the 2.0. I just consider those the same as the regular I4 NA engine with the addition of some electric stuff, though really there are some differences, but they use the same block and all of that, the hybrid versions are just Atkinson cycle.

        To your other questions:

        The 3.7L is only in the Edge Sport. I don’t know why it needs to exist with a different engine like that, but since the MKX rolls of the same line with the 3.7L standard, the cost to offer it is probably trivial.

        The 3.7L is supposed to be the premium engine offering compared to the 3.5, it helps differentiate (most models of the) Edge from the MKX, Taurus from MKS, Flex from MKT, etc. The 3.5 is still peppier in heavy vehicles than the 2.0 EB is, and it can tow more. If I were to buy an Explorer I’d rather have the 3.5 than the 2.0.

        The only reason I can think of that the 3.5 EB hasn’t made it into the MKX yet is that maybe it’s a plumbing problem to fit it in. The 3.5 EB hasn’t been installed into any CD3 vehicle yet. Or, maybe it’s another way to encourage people to move up to the MKT if they want the extra power.

        The 6.2 is, IMO, the most pointless engine in the F-150 lineup. It doesn’t tow more than, feel faster than, or get better mileage than the 3.5 EB in any circumstance. I could see it living on in extreme special editions like the Raptor, but otherwise the 3.5EB is better than the 6.2 in almost every way, and a DI turbocharged 5.0 would completely smoke it.

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    So it’s got to be clear now.

    Ford is really trying to kill Lincoln

  • avatar

    At least the name didn’t die, like the Continental.

    I’m sure that counts for…something?

  • avatar
    luvmyv8

    This car makes me want to use every expletive known to man. This would be no different then Nissan throwing a GTR emblem on a Sentra and marketing as such….


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