By on October 7, 2014

1024px-2011_Ford_Territory_(SZ)_Titanium_TDCi_wagon_(2011-11-17)_01

Thanks to TTAC‘s sources inside the Blue Oval (the same ones who scuttled rumors of a revived Ford GT), we can exclusively reveal that the long awaited RWD Lincoln is in the works, along with a Ford counterpart. But the newest rear-drive Blue Oval vehicle won’t be a sedan ala the Lincoln Continental or a Ford Falcon revival. It’s going to be a crossover.

On the surface, the idea of two rear-drive crossovers makes zero sense at all. Rear-wheel drive is now primarily used for enhanced driving dynamics, and a crossover isn’t exactly the kind of vehicle that stands to benefit from such a layout. But Ford has tried this before with the Australian market Territory (above) a vehicle that was widely lauded for its performance and practicality.

But a closer look at the dynamics of the auto market place shows that a new full-size sedan is a fool’s errand. The full-size market is shrinking with each year, as large crossovers take an increasing bite out of a once dominant segment. The next generation Ford Taurus is rumored to be dead in the water after it bombed a series of design clinics – instead, a large Ford sedan based on the Fusion’s CD platform will be built for the Chinese market, alongside Project GOBI, a large Lincoln sedan, akin to the MKS, but focused on Chinese tastes and sold world wide.

Aside from the growing crossover market, there’s also the matter of police car sales. Year-to-date, the Explorer Police Interceptor sales are up 52 percent while Taurus Interceptor sales are down 7 percent, with the Explorer outselling the Taurus by a 2:1 margin. By combining the SUV bodystyle and rear-drive dynamics in a Pursuit rated package, Ford could offer a police vehicle that offers law enforcement officials the best of both worlds, while also offers an alternative to the Chevrolet Tahoe that is more fuel efficient and able to use the same mounting points for police hardware as previous Ford vehicles.

A civilian version would be a slightly different beast. Although rear-drive would be a way to differentiate itself from the Edge and MKX, most of the new upcoming RWD CUVs would likely leave the showroom with AWD. We don’t know much about powertrains, styling details or even a moniker for the future Lincoln, but we do know the name for the upcoming Ford version.

Explorer.

Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!

118 Comments on “Exclusive: Lincoln’s Upcoming RWD Crossover...”


  • avatar
    Lie2me

    It’s official, there are no new ideas left in the automotive world

    • 0 avatar

      And you thought Hollywood was the only bankrupt industry with their endless remakes and shitty sequels!

    • 0 avatar
      Zykotec

      Welcome to the world after 1971…

    • 0 avatar
      DeadWeight

      I defy anyone to tell me the vehicle above is not an exact duplicate of a Ford Freestyle with a 2010 Subaru Impreza grill patched on:

      Freestyle: http://www.moibibiki.com/gallery/model-184/ford-freestyle-8.jpg.html

      2010 Impreza grill: http://www.clubwrx.net/forums/everyday-impreza-talk/134345123-aftermarket-grille-2011-wrx.html#post2762279

      • 0 avatar
        bball40dtw

        Subaru got Ford back by stealing the Taurus grille for the Legacy.

        • 0 avatar
          DeadWeight

          Can’t find a new vehicle justifying replacement of my current one.

          Still waiting for a Lincoln version of the Ford Mustang Coyote, with some hopefully upgraded interior bits & pieces, soft, baseball glove deep brown/brick colored leather seats/dash, some exclusive features maybe AWD, bespoke stereo, special solar glass, 2″ of additional rear legroom some magical way) –

          – I’ll even buy a new one if Lincoln Motor Works provides a standard, comprehensive warranty that matches Hyundai!

          But I’m weird like that.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            The frustrating part is that they have the pieces to make what you seek (and what I seek as well).

          • 0 avatar
            tresmonos

            I even want Matthew McConaughey to market said vehicle to me and/or convince my girlfriend to ditch her Lexus.

          • 0 avatar
            tuffjuff

            I often wonder why Ford or GM doesn’t offer the kind of warranty the Koreans do. GM comes halfway, with the mileage on the powertrain warranty.

            My most recent Korean experience – owning a 2010 Kia Forte EX for about a year – was a disaster, and has left me with the impression that you get a 10 year warranty because you sure as hell are going to need it. The 2012 Ford Focus hatchback and 2013 Chevy Equinox that now occupy our garage are much improved. The Focus had no problems whatsoever, and the Equinox has been the victim of a faulty fuel sensor which I actually just got a TSB letter in the mail for over the weekend. Definitely not a big deal, and much better than the half a dozen times my Forte’s ABS and stability/traction control systems failed… they would’ve failed more, but I didn’t have more time to spend going to/from the dealership.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @DeadWeight,
            This could be you dream Ford. It’s using the 5 litre Miami Ford V8.

            It might even be nicer than the Lincoln you want.

            It’s actually using the same platform as the Ford CUV in the photo.

            http://www.caradvice.com.au/289822/ford-fpv-gt-f-351kw-supercharged-v8-sedan-officially-launched/

        • 0 avatar
          DeadWeight

          I think that it’s extremely telling that Mulally didn’t want to save Lincoln, and only agreed to keep it afloat on a shoe string budget as a concession to his successor, Mark Fields, who allegedly demanded saving Lincoln.

          Mulally is many things, but indecisive & under-analytical are not two of those things.

          He clearly, left to his own devices, without pressure from Fields, wanted to kill Lincoln since he recognized that it really couldn’t work as a distinct brand while selling rebadged Fords, and he didn’t see the business case for investing the large sum of cash that would inevitably be necessary to provide it with truly distinct platforms & powertrains.

          History is still being written, but the story of Lincoln & Mulally’s indifference to saving it will make for a fascinating tell all one day.

      • 0 avatar
        RobertRyan

        Used to have a very different Grill. Very popular in Australia, but Ford US, said no more development funds, but lately have been opening the purse.
        Have the six cylinder Falcon engine or the 2.7 diesel. Used to have the turbo version of the Barra, a 12 second 5000lb AWD CUV

      • 0 avatar
        RobertRyan

        In the metal cross between Escape and Explotrer, but Explorer sized

      • 0 avatar
        turboprius

        OSX photography for you.

      • 0 avatar
        dtremit

        The 2004 Territory restyle did indeed copy the Freestyle (which was itself very derivative of the Explorer.) The 2011+ model (pictured above) has a grille fairly similar to the 2008+ Fiesta.

    • 0 avatar
      GranMarkeez

      this should be exclusively Lincoln otherwise they will shoot themselves in the foot. Too much badge engineering going on. To resurrect Lincoln distinct, unique designs are needed.

  • avatar

    Most important question: WILL IT DRIFT?

  • avatar
    danio3834

    Perhaps if such a thing comes to fruition, a sedan could be borne via platform sharing. It’s interesting that the platform sharing for the next generation is liklely to go the other way, with the crossover being the originating design intent.

  • avatar
    Lie2me

    Can someone explain to me why Ford won’t use the RWD Mustang platform for the basis of what possibly could be a great Lincoln sedan/coupe

  • avatar
    That guy

    The advantage of a RWD layout in a CUV would be towing as longitudinal transmissions and AWD systems tend to be more robust. Case in point, a Durango can tow significantly more than an Explorer in all configurations.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      Oddly, my dad (who is pro-Mopar) was not impressed with the Durango. He said “With the V8 the mileage is terrible, and with that 6-cylinder, it can barely pull itself around.”

      I was very surprised to hear this negative opinion from him on a Chrysler product. I wasn’t there for the test drive, but it must have been bad.

  • avatar
    raph

    Derek do your sources have anything to say about a RWD sedan or coupe based off the new Mustang platform? Supposedly this is a poorly kept secret in and around Dearborn.

  • avatar

    My guess is they are trying to emulate the GC sales success.

    • 0 avatar
      Scoutdude

      The GC is not a success from Ford’s standpoint, the current Explorer as always outsold it.

      • 0 avatar

        Wow sales of explorer are way higher than I would have thought. They are no where near as common as Grand Cherokees here in New England but I do see an awful lot of them when I travel down south (I had two as rentals in Florida in fact) .

      • 0 avatar
        Lie2me

        “The GC is not a success from Ford’s standpoint, the current Explorer as always outsold it.”

        Then why not an Explorer based Lincoln and don’t tell me “MKT” because that’s a visual abortion?

        • 0 avatar
          bball40dtw

          Well that’s what it is. It is actually a better vehicle. It has a longer wheelbase, more features, and a better interior. Realistically, the MKT is more Flex than Explorer.

          It is not a pretty car though.

          What this sounds like is that the D-platform is dead. Like PCH noted below, if Ford is canceling the Taurus (or moving it to CD4), they either have to move the Explorer/Flex/MKT to the CD4 platform or something else. For the Explorer and MKT replacement at least, it’s something else.

  • avatar
    Drzhivago138

    That Territory…! It’s like someone grafted the Kinetic Design front clip off an Escape onto a New Edge-styled Explorer or Freestyle.

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    I think that Territory will have to lose all the derp styling before they can sell it here. That is just ugly, and looks cheapo.

    • 0 avatar
      bball40dtw

      Make it look like a RWD version of the current Explorer and give it an aluminum body. Done.

    • 0 avatar

      It rather looks like a caricature of either the Taurus X/Freestyle or the GMC Acadia. I’m sure they’ll dress it with some better sheet-metal. But if this takes off, will it hurt Ford’s corporate fuel economy ratings? Maybe they’ll try a little harder on the hybrid models to make up for it?

      Meanwhile, I wonder how the folks at FCA do it. They sell a disproportionately-large number of V6 and V8-powered RWD vehicles, don’t have any hybrids, and their small, fuel-efficient cars are pretty much sales flops. They probably have some of the the worst fleet consumption ratings in the industry.

      • 0 avatar
        bball40dtw

        Going to RWD shouldn’t hurt too much. It isn’t like the Explorer has much better MPG ratings than the Durango. The Explorer Sport gets 17/22 while the Expedition gets 15/20. The Expedition is bigger and heavier. Add weight savings, the RWD 10-speed transmission, aluminium body, and the 2.7TT to the next generation Explorer and there will be an increase in MPG.

  • avatar
    bball40dtw

    So can they build a truck off of this new platform? Or is it still too close to the size of the F150?

    • 0 avatar
      PrincipalDan

      Hmmmmmmmmmmm good point. Unit body, RWD, small truck…

    • 0 avatar
      Lie2me

      Really good point… any really good answers?

      • 0 avatar
        Drzhivago138

        Unibody was a big no-no back in ’61 when Ford tried it on their F-100s and 250s, but that was when everyone actually used the bed to carry things and massive body flex was the result. Nowadays everyone uses a new pickup for towing and the bed remains empty, so I don’t think it would be as bad a situation.

        • 0 avatar
          Scoutdude

          The unibody 61 Ford was not a unibody in the sense of the way we use that term today. The 61 had an integrated cab and bed but was on a standard ladder frame. The concern was the repair-ability of that configuration more so than flex. As far as being used for towing being gentler on causing the frame to flex that is not the case. Put 750 lbs of tongue weight on a hitch and it will cause a lot more flex than 1500 lbs in the bed. The hitch concentrates the weight over a relatively small area at the very end of the frame. Properly loaded the weight in the bed will be distributed over the length of the frame and put part of the weight on the front axle, instead of the rear axle acting as a fulcrum point for the tongue weight.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      @bball40dtw,
      A truck is already built on this platform.

      They can come standard with a supercharged V8 performance version. This would be a far better option for Ford in the US to sell as the performance truck and not the 98mph speed limited Tremor. An inline 6 or even a turbo charged in line 6 is offered.

      If you want economy they also have the LPG version.

      http://resources.carsguide.com.au/styles/cg_hero_large/s3/dp/images/uploads/FPV_Pursuit_Ute_front-w.jpg

      http://www.webwombat.com.au/motoring/car-photos/ford-fg-falcon-ute-6-big.jpg

      It’s called the Ford Falcon.

      • 0 avatar
        bball40dtw

        Right, they sell a ute that shares a platform with the Territory. There is nothing to suggest that Ford is bringing over the Territory and turning it into a Lincoln and Explorer. As they pair down platforms globally, there is a better chance this is related to the Mustang.

        • 0 avatar
          Pch101

          The Falcon platform that underpins the Territory is being retired in two years.

          That doesn’t leave a lot of remaining candidates in the Ford lineup for a RWD crossover.

          (I see now to whom you were responding. You do know that you’re wasting your time, right?)

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            I know. It gets me every time. I should have just said that the Falcon is dead and there is no way in hell the Explorer and unamed Lincoln crossover are going to be built on an expensive outdated Australian RHD platform that can’t find buyers in it’s domestic and intended market.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            There are 23 million people in Australia. Some of them are smarter than others.

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            “There are 23 million people in Australia. Some of them are smarter than others.”

            COTD! ;-)

        • 0 avatar
          RobertRyan

          Territory based on Falcon. Ford is building , i5 looks like some pretty substandard products to fill the niches

        • 0 avatar
          RobertRyan

          @bball40dtw
          Ford, has been dramatically up scaling numbers in the Australian based design team. So who knows what they are working on. I know vehicles for the Chinese market and the Ford Ranger, but they are working on many more for Ford

    • 0 avatar
      RobertRyan

      It is based on the Ford Falcon platform

  • avatar
    Pch101

    If it’s not using a pickup frame as a starting point, then it’s presumably using the Mustang platform. The Mustang really could use some help with amortizing its costs, so that would make sense.

    • 0 avatar
      bball40dtw

      And a Lincoln sedan isn’t exactly going to add volume like an Explorer. I can only hope that, for selfish reasons, the volume from the Explorer will allow there to be that mythical sedan at some point.

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        At first, I was going to say that I didn’t see the point of changing the Explorer back to RWD.

        But if the Taurus is going to get the ax, then perhaps this tells us more about the desire to consolidate platforms than any particular interest in RWD. With Volvo sold off and the Taurus heading for the used car lot in the sky, there would be less and less need for a FWD larger car platform.

    • 0 avatar
      geeber

      Apparently the dynamic that killed large, non-premium sedans in Europe is well underway in this country, with the added pressures of the switch to crossovers, thanks to lower gasoline prices.

      • 0 avatar
        Lie2me

        Wait a minute, there were large non-premium sedans in Europe?

        • 0 avatar

          GAZ Volga is technically in Europe…

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            That may be the Russian interpretation of premium

            .
            I’ve got to say I know zero about this car, but based on looks alone this “GAZ Volga” is one hot looking vehicle

            http://img24.imageshack.us/img24/8697/volgav124.jpg

        • 0 avatar
          krhodes1

          Sure. Ford and GM both made full-size sedans over there (small by US standards of the time, but big for Europe). They came here as the Merkur Scorpio and Cadillac Catera respectively. But they were just big cheapish cars back home, not luxury cars. Renault, Fiat, and Peugeot had equivalents as well.

          But Europeans never really did cars-by-the-kilogram, so sales dwindled away and they are all dead now. Why buy a non-premium barge when you can have a 3-series for the same money?

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            Also for (more recent) non-premium large sedan: Renault VelSatis.

          • 0 avatar
            krhodes1

            I actually got a ride in one of those. It was divine…

            It is truly sad that the French never managed to make a real premium marque that lasted. They actually do LUXURY waaaaaaay better than the Germans do. Actual LUXURY, as opposed to German High Tech it’s luxury because it is expensive, or American Faux Luxury.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            In Europe, luxury cars tend to be leased as company cars, not purchased.

            In Germany, an executive generally doesn’t get to choose among brands; the employer will have a fleet arrangement that will limit the range of options.

            As a result, the type of cars that are available can actually play a role in job choice. And Ford and GM have no chance at that market, since they probably won’t be on the fleet menu, anyway. Any automaker that tries to move large cars without company car preferences has no chance.

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        I’m not seeing the same factors at work.

        In Europe, the company car tax breaks drive the luxury market. In essence, the execs who are driving the big cars have their driving subsidized. Those who don’t get company car allowance are more inclined to drive smaller cars, in part because anything larger costs too much to buy or operate if it isn’t being subsidized.

        In the US, we have had a downsizing trend due to the leap in oil prices, along with this shift to crossovers. We don’t really have anything that is the equivalent to the company car here.

        • 0 avatar
          Zykotec

          They don’t necessarily drive small cars. There are lots of old high mileage Audi A8’s with FWD and 2.5tdi or 2.8 V6 engines for sale here for instance.
          Could you imagine a mid-60’s loaded Oldsmobile 98 with a straight 6 and three on the three?

        • 0 avatar
          outback_ute

          I do actually. The cars in the segment below grow in size/power/refinement, and people who would have bought higher trim levels jump ship to more prestigious brands. How well are the Taurus and Impala selling?

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    I hope it works out for Ford, as GM tried this with the Cadillac SRX and I don’t think it met expectations. Just be sure to craft a car out of it later after this new model is gangbusters and I’m happy.

    • 0 avatar
      sckid213

      I think the first-gen SRX’s failure relative to the second-gen is too often attributed to RWD vs. FWD. The first gen (though I thought it looked decent) seemed to have been styled too wagon-like, and in those early days of Art & Science, was a clunky design that didn’t look “premium” or “blingy” enough. Granted, the RWD setup probably had something to do with the proportions, but most non-car people I know just say they thought the first-gen was ugly. I don’t think it was the RWD that doomed it but rather they way it looked.

  • avatar
    RHD

    It looks like an Escape with a Fiesta front end.
    If it’s going to be a Lincoln, why does it have a Ford badge on it?
    It looks like they are going after some of the Terrain/Equinox success.
    The only problem is there are already a couple dozen nearly identical cars
    just like it already on the market, and if it’s labeled a Lincoln, the price will have to be higher than most.

  • avatar
    indi500fan

    This has some potential. But give us a driver selectable t-case and shutoff on stability control for winter time hooning.

    • 0 avatar
      Drzhivago138

      Is there any car right now that doesn’t have ESC shutoff?

      • 0 avatar
        Scoutdude

        Most cars nowadays do not have ESC that you can actually shut off completely, at least with a switch. They typically have a switch that will turn off the traction control portion but the stability control stays on though it may take a bit more to get it to intervene. ESC is required by law. That mandate is what put the final nail in the Ranger and Panther platform’s coffins.

  • avatar

    You know who’s made a car out of SUV? Porsche. Cayenne begat Panamera. Results are for everyone to examine.

  • avatar
    dwford

    We have seen the Ford Everest (SUV version of the global Ranger?) prototypes testing in the US, so maybe that is what Ford is bringing us.

  • avatar

    Didn’t the over reliance on SUVs nearly bankrupt the US auto industry. It looks like Lincoln has learned nothing from recent history. How can you even call yourself a legitimate car manufacturer with only two passenger cars in your lineup? Lincoln really needs something to compete with the ATS and Audi A6.

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

      No, making money (off SUVs) didnt bankrupt anyone. A lot of factors played a role in GM and Chrysler’s respective issues (as well as Ford’s). But, if you traded in your Explorer for a Prius, its a very common assumption that really holds no water when tested.

    • 0 avatar
      Panther Platform

      akear: yesterday I was going to look at (and probably buy) a $2000 1999 Lincoln Cartier Town Car, but somebody beat me to it. More anecdotal evidence that Lincoln is doing fine! :)

  • avatar
    johnny_5.0

    When? The wife likes her Explorer, wondering if this switch will coincide with her refresh schedule. Please say MY 2016 but I’m guessing that’s way too early. While I’m wishing, keep the 3.5EB optional with the Navigator’s state of tune, give it some aluminum love, and throw in that new tranny you are working on (just don’t fudge up the programming!).


Back to TopLeave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Recent Comments

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Staff

  • Contributing Writers

  • Bark M., United States
  • Chris Tonn, United States
  • Bozi Tatarevic, United States
  • Vojta Dobes, Czech Republic

Get No-holds-barred, take-no-prisoners Automotive News in your Facebook Feed!

Already Liked