By on July 22, 2010

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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20 Comments on “Ford Gives Lincoln MKZ No-Cost Hybrid Option...”

  • avatar

    This makes me think of the late 70s/early 80s when diesel engines were standard in big GM cars and the gas engine was a no-cost option. Fortunately Ford’s hybrid system has been much more highly rated than GMs diesels were. Now does Ford’s system eat any trunk space? That would help me decide what I want.

  • avatar

    Very clever of them. Bet it jumpstarts MKZ sales.

  • avatar

    To me, it would be bigger news if they offered it at the same price as a 4cyl MKZ (yeah, I know it doesn’t exist). As is, you basically get 4 of the cylinders as standard and you get to choose 2 more cylinders or an electric motor and battery pack as no cost options. It’ll be interesting to see if people choose the higher performance and lower fuel economy or lower performance and higher fuel economy.

  • avatar

    “…but is value a good place to start rebuilding a worn-down luxury brand?”

    No it’s not, but that hasn’t stopped Gov’t Motors from moving bargain basement-grade Cadillac SRXs. So have at it, Ford.

  • avatar

    What this really proves is how severely overpriced the mediocre Fusion Hybrid is. That thing…with ONE option package, costs over $32K.

    Oh well…Lincoln sales are nothing short of abysmal. Ford killed the wrong brand…and severely overpriced Lincoln appliances.

    Mercury outsold Lincoln handily, with a much older lineup.

    And this price won’t help this pig sell at all…a low price can’t cure hideous.

    • 0 avatar

      Overpriced? The Lexus HS (based on the Camry Hybrid) starts at $34K. And Ford’s hybrid platform is just as good (if not better) than Toyota’s (and worlds beyond Chevy’s).

    • 0 avatar

      The Fusion Hybrid actually only crests $32K when you load it up with practically every option available. Base is a little over $28K, mid-range option pack is a little over $30K, fully loaded is somewhat over $32K.

  • avatar

    I would love to drive one.

    I have been wanting to drive the Fusion as it’s been getting such raves, but still haven’t had the chance.
    Not a real lover of hybrids, these seem to be making me at least try one.

    I did drive the new Fiesta yesterday. I had the chance while the MKS was being attended to.
    Totally disappointed.
    The head of the body department and I each had our first drive and agreed poor.
    Solid feel, but the power was awful.
    The little engine strained.
    The wheel vibrated above 55.
    The back seat had enough room for an average Italian…nobody from further north.

    It’s been a long time since I drove the Honda Fit, but I don’t remember this struggle.
    I hate the look, but at least it was happier.

  • avatar

    “But is value a good place to start rebuilding a worn-down luxury brand?”

    As if Lincoln have any choice. I mean they can go with the “premium pricing” strategy, but people are hardly buying Lincolns as they’re currently priced. It would be a suicide. The value strategy’s also pretty much forced by the current stable of Lincoln products anyway, nothing more than specced up Fords. Now if they were offering something special, not shared by any Fords, every bit the equal of world’s best luxury vehicles out there…

  • avatar

    Honda is making the Civic Hybrid the only Civic in Japan. I expect hybrids to become much more prevalent in the future as tech matures and prices drop. The Japanese manufacturers are definitely seeing this as essential in their business, and hybrids are very popular in Japan. If they decided to make it standard on cars outside of just Japan I expect people will just never notice. Seriously, if the Camry was available only as a hybrid, who would notice? Not Camry drivers, that much I can say.

    The combination of not-cheap gas and a (long overdue and half-done) bump in CAFE standards may help bring hybrids into the mainstream in the US. Now, if gas prices go back down to $1 a gallon, then we might see some really obscene SUVs…

  • avatar

    This news has actually increased my interest considerably.

    As a luxury hybrid purchase intender, an MKZ with no-cost hybrid option looks fairly appealing against a more expensive, smaller, and less fuel-efficient Lexus HS250h.

  • avatar
    Brian E

    is value a good place to start rebuilding a worn-down luxury brand?

    No. You have to lead with product.

  • avatar

    Interesting…I like the Lincoln…this MIGHT help, but overall the MKZ is one of their elss competitive products right now, and gets tortured consistantly by other Ford products in the same price range (Taurus, bigger Lincolns etc.)

    I’m suprised to hear Lincoln is selling so poorly, as I quite like all of their products. I’m currently trying to convince a Chevy owner to go for a 2011 Lincoln MKX.

  • avatar

    A one year old MKZ hybrid will sell for $25K…Then it’s a better deal than Prius.

  • avatar

    It’s an awesome idea. I have often wondered why Lexus didn’t go this route… An ES with a Camry Hybrid drivetrain would have been so much easier and more appealing than that wretched HS250h.

    A Hybrid ES with the 2.5 liter engine – dare I say it would be the return of the ES250?!!

  • avatar
    John Horner

    Hybrid technology is likely to become as commonplace as automatic transmissions, anti-lock brakes and air conditioning have become. All of those started out as expensive options, then became standard on luxury cars and eventually became standard on almost everything.

  • avatar

    The better idea would be to eliminate the V6 MKZ altogether. Making it a hybrid-only model would give the MKZ somewhat of an identity. As of now the vehicle has no reason for being, having the more attractive MKS and Taurus SHO sharing the same lot.

  • avatar

    Unless I am seriously mistaken, this will be the first four-banger Lincoln in a long time, possibly ever. Somehow I don’t see them making a big deal about this stat (Unlike the noise they made about the stick shift in the LS being the first since 1956).

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