By on August 8, 2011

About a minute into this clip, the auto industry’s most ubiquitous reporter John McElroy reveals that he’s seen three future Lincoln concepts and insists that they

definitely signal that a big change is coming.

What he doesn’t say: what they look like or what the “big change” is… which is enough to make any inveterate skeptic wonder whether McElroy is shooting straight or if saying what he did was a condition of being shown the “future products.” What McElroy does reveal is that Lincoln now has

its own unique design studio located within Ford’s product development center in Dearborn Michigan, with its own unique design team. That has not been done in modern times.

Unfortunately, as Cadillac’s recent history proves, new design is just part of the successful luxury brand equation. Unique platforms are another. Strong marketing is another. Lincoln may be taking the first steps in the right direction, but it’s got a long, long way to go…

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81 Comments on “Wild-Ass Rumor Of The Day: Lincoln Is Going To Be Just Fine...”


  • avatar
    karn_evil

    Good, now maybe they can get around to building the MKR, preferably with some ecoboost love.

  • avatar
    joeveto3

    I want Lincoln to be fine. The first concept is ok, much better than anything current, but the ride height looks a little high. It needs to be lower, a bit meaner.

    The second concept reminds me of the last T-Bird. Not exactly inspired.

    The third…WTF?

    The SUV looks ok, very much like what they’ve already introduced.

    The fifth, I’m not sure what’s going on there. There is a lot of extraneous stuff, and I’m not sure what it’s doing.

    I’ve said it before. Lincoln needs LINCOLNS. Most of us (over 30) know what that means. Someone else on this board pointed out the quickly expiring Panther platform could make for a perfect Lincoln (just like it used to). How they can’t scoop that up and make a LINCOLN out of it, is beyond me.

    Seems like a quick solution that could actually work and turn a profit.

  • avatar

    “Unfortunately, as Cadillac’s recent history proves, new design is just part of the successful luxury brand equation.”

    Yeah, and not going cheap and squeaky on the interior is another one, perhaps the biggest one from a product perspective. I trust Ford to handle that a little better than GM has recently.

    • 0 avatar
      Silvy_nonsense

      I like the looks of Cadillac’s current exterior designs, but hate how they’ve simplistically tried to integrate those exterior design cues into the interiors. It reminds me of the Taurus with the oval rear window! oval radio! ovals everywhere! That approach is unsophisticated and thoughtless.

      Lincoln’s current interiors are so far from world class that they’ve got nowhere to go but up. I’d like to see Lincoln and Cadillac both get their act together and put out some beautifully designed, high quality interiors.

      Side note: Lincoln needs to lose those dopey silver painted switches/buttons with white lettering. Taking black Ford plastic interior pieces and painting them silver does not magically move them up market. (If that actually worked, wouldn’t Audis just have silver painted versions of VW interior switches because silver is so classy?) On a practical level, white on silver is hard to read. The silver needs to go.

  • avatar
    jplew138

    “Wild-Ass Rumor” is right. I’d like to see Lincoln be fine too, but with all of the rebadged Fords in the lineup, that’s going to be hard to do, to say the least. Problem is, Lincoln has a bit farther to go than Cadillac did, although that isn’t saying much…kinda like saying a turtle’s faster than a slug. And if the new “flagship” Caddy is another front-drive piece of drivel, Cadillac will have blown it too.

    • 0 avatar
      mike978

      Cadillac will not have blown it if the XTS is mediocre. The ATS is more important along with the planned upsizing of the CTS to be a true 5 series sized car. Those two will provide the volume and sales. They can then work on getting a better flagship.

      • 0 avatar
        jplew138

        Well, the CTS is pretty much 5-series sized right now anyway, seeing as its wheelbase is only three inches shorter and overall length is only two inches shorter. As far as the ATS goes, well, I’m not holding out much hope, and from what I’ve heard, neither does Dan Akerson. “We don’t expect it to set the world on fire” is hardly a ringing endorsement from your CEO.

    • 0 avatar
      charly

      They have different starting points. Cadillac is the luxury brand of a mainstream car maker that isn’t know for quality. Lincoln is the luxury brand of a car maker that has a better rap with quality. This means that swapping badges between Chevrolet and Cadillac is not gone work while it may with Ford and Lincoln

      • 0 avatar
        hubcap

        Define quality.

        Do you mean quality interior materials which are durable and long lasting while also being pleasant to the touch and eye?

        Do you mean reliability/dependability (you could call that mechanical quality)?

        Neither Ford nor GM has been known for quality though I’d say both companies are turning that around (though Ford is having issues with their powershift DCT and their Getrag manual boxes in the Mustang).

      • 0 avatar
        TrailerTrash

        Quality????

        Look, enough of the quality already when it comes to comparing Ford to these imported luxury cars.
        I have plenty of friends who, unlike myself with my an MKS, suffer horribly from repair cost with their Euro trash lux crap.
        I drove my friend’s 65K 3 hardtop convertible and was floored by the creeking that comes from the top. Now these were Los Angles roads! Imagine these on a good ol busted up mid-west road!!!!

        The cost to repair brakes alone is enough to keep me away from these so called well engineered money pits.
        Run flat tires anybody!!!!?????

    • 0 avatar
      hubcap

      “…I’m not holding out much hope, and from what I’ve heard, neither does Dan Akerson. “We don’t expect it to set the world on fire” is hardly a ringing endorsement from your CEO.”

      Why do you care about what Dan Akerson says? How much manufacturing experience does he have and better yet how much vehicle manufacturing experience?

      I’d take anything he says with a huge grain of salt. Personally I’d believe what the lead engineers of designers say over Mr. Akerson.

      {unless you’re just looking for ways to ding a car you haven’t seen yet}

  • avatar
    Bryce

    Stop putting veneitian blinds on the front design a proper grille or just scrap the brand these are shit And can the big gooberish wheels these are the ugliest cars out there Luxury ? Bullshit

  • avatar
    Educator(of teachers)Dan

    Well according to my latest copy of Car and Driver (don’t hate, it only costs me $12 a year) Lincoln just hired the designer who lead Cadillac’s styling renaissance. The still at the top of the article looks like a Lincoln designed by the guy who designed the CTS. (I know these sketches were likely drawn LONG before that, but still…)

    • 0 avatar
      Dragophire

      Dude you paid 12bucks for CandD..I got four years for 12bucks…You should call their retention dept.lol

    • 0 avatar
      Zackman

      Hey! as John Wayne once said in She Wore A Yellow Ribbon: “Don’t apologize – it’s a sign of weakness”!

      Enjoy C&D for what it is. The only place I look at car mags anymore is at Kroger’s. I don’t even touch a magazine in a doctor’s office anymore!

  • avatar
    Z71_Silvy

    Too little, too late. Ford is so incompetent, they do not have the ability to turn Lincoln into anything other than a trim level on a mediocre Ford.

    Shut it down and use the money saved to make the Ford brand something worth looking at.

    • 0 avatar

      Silvy, ever hear the phrases “one trick pony” and “one note Johnny”? Did you come home from junior high one day to discover your mom in flagrante delicto with a local Ford dealer? Instead of the boogeyman, did your parents keep you in line with stories about wicked old Henry Ford, raper of the planet and despoiler of pretty young stenographers named Evangeline Dahlinger?

      The truth is that for all the descriptions of GM as bureaucratic and Ford being political, car companies in Detroit and around the world are probably more alike than different.

      • 0 avatar
        Z71_Silvy

        Well…if by one trick pony, you mean a person that always speaks the truth….then yes, I am a one trick pony.

        Such a shame people have such an aversion to hearing a truth. And the was they retaliate is even worse. If you don’t like the truth, don’t read it.

      • 0 avatar
        Syke

        Silvy, let me drop you a little hint. The odds that a currently-in-business automobile manufacturer is 100% wrong, all the time, 24/7/365, in their decision making process is so small to be infinitesmal. Even the most incompetent manufacturer (Saab? Tata? Mahindra? SEAT?) makes decisions that work out correctly in the course of day-to-day business.

        You have no credibility here, believing that Ford is 100% wrong all the time. Ain’t possible. The mere realization that they’re making a profit while not taking the GM/Chrysler bankruptcy money shows that they’re not wrong ALL THE TIME.

        Even British Leyland made good decisions, and had some decent (for the time) cars in the midst of that disaster.

    • 0 avatar
      John Horner

      Self righteous one trick pony then :).

    • 0 avatar
      Paul Richards

      Just once I wanna come over to this site and not see a post from Z71_Sivy when we’re discussing Lincoln because he’s just useless and his words are baseless. I’m so damn tired of him I can’t tell you.

  • avatar

    I could be wrong, but I believe that the last time Ford decided to give Lincoln a dedicated styling team to revive the brand it resulted in the 1961 Continental.

    It seems to me that redefining a classic automotive brand’s identity is exactly the kind of thing most designers dream of doing.

    I’ve said it before. Lock the new Lincoln styling team in a studio that has the following cars for inspiration:

    Prewar:
    Lincoln Zephyr
    Lincoln Continental

    Postwar:
    ’56 Continental Mark II
    1961 Lincoln Continental
    Continental Mark IV

    Also, Ford should make nice examples of those cars available for the design team to drive. The Lincoln brand is not just about style. Let the designers get to know just how luxurious they feel when you’re driving or riding in one.

    • 0 avatar
      jplew138

      +1000 Ronnie

      The 1961 Continental is one of the iconic cars of our time, and damn cool looking even today. And did you know that when it debuted, it cost more than a Rolls? $12,000 was a chunk of change for a car in 1961.

      Now if you could only convince Cadillac to do the same thing with its design team, say, lock them in a studio with a 1957-58 Eldorado Brougham, a 1967 Eldorado, and a 1969 Fleetwood, we may actually have an American luxury car industry again.

      • 0 avatar
        Bryce

        Lincoln conjures up pictures of dead kenedys or fat stupid 2 door barges of the 70s other than that Lincoln means nothing just a tarted up Ford certainly not a luxury car of quality

      • 0 avatar
        geeber

        The 1961 Continental did not cost $12,000. Its price was roughly comparable to that of a 1961 Cadillac Fleetwood Sixty Special, which was well below Rolls-Royce territory.

        The 1956 Continental Mark I cost about $10,000, and it was withdrawn within two years of its debut, as it failed to sell, and lost money.

      • 0 avatar
        Syke

        So, of course, that image is absolutely impossible to change? Obviously you’re betting that it can’t be changed.

      • 0 avatar
        aristurtle

        It’s not impossible to change but it might be impossible to change while spending less money than they get out of it.

      • 0 avatar
        jplew138

        @geeber: You’re right, the price wasn’t $12,000. It was $10,000, which was the same as a Rolls-Royce. That was still a pretty penny for a car in the early 1960’s, though. And they were worth every penny, as shown by the number of them still on the road today.

      • 0 avatar
        jplew138

        @geeber: Ok, I finally got the CORRECT list price for the ’61 Continental – $7,000 well equipped. I misread my info…brain cramp, you know ;)

    • 0 avatar
      SilverHawk

      Certainly, this would be the a great course of action, and something similar may happen eventually. For now, Ford is in a serious fight with the Lincoln dealers over the expense of dealership upgrades that it is requiring for them to retain their franchise. The dealers have seen the immediate future, and many do not find it worthy of an investment in the area of 1 million dollars. To simplify, the plan calls for the restyle of all existing models, and the additions of a compact size car & CUV. The real renaissance of the Lincoln brand would begin with the next generation, and would require billions in investment. With current managements focus on the “One Ford” policy, those investments may be hard to find. Many dealers simply see a continuation of the current trends, with the occasional hit model, and a greater emphasis on customer satisfaction. Maintaining a viable franchise will take precedent over creating a classic brand, so there may not be too much on offer for the classic luxury shopper.

      • 0 avatar
        NulloModo

        Dealers are being asked to make a leap of faith, but there are plenty of signs of progress in the right direction. Each recent Lincoln refresh has been a major improvement, and the trend is certainly towards more differentiation from the ‘One Ford’ platforms.

        The emphasis on customer satisfaction is very important. While enthusiasts tend to prioritize things like which wheels drive the car and performance stats, those aren’t of high, or even any, importance to a lot of luxury car buyers. While many of people here put the dealership experience on the same level as a root canal, for a lot of buyers, it matters a lot. Improving showroom quality, instituting policies to make all Lincoln customers feel special and pampered, and offering a long list of perks will do a lot to sway luxury customers, many of which are swayed more by image and the level of ass kissing they receive than the actual car they’re paying for. At the same time though, the cars are getting better, and many already represent excellent value for the money. Lincoln may not have the brand cache to build a ‘cost is no concern’ model yet, but as long as each model is better than the last it won’t take too long before the model’s aren’t just the among the best values for the money, but among the best cars in the segments.

      • 0 avatar
        Zackman

        Nullo, now if you can hire non-smoking salesmen and teach them how to dress and act, then you’ll have something!

        There is nothing that turns me and many others off when entering a dealership lot than to see the sleazy-looking salespeople (women, too) outside huffing and puffing on their cigarettes with awful clothing choices and no ties.

        Salespeople, especially in the car industry, should look professional, as so much money is at stake. Often times, the young staff at Best Buy looks more professional!

    • 0 avatar

      I agree with Ronnie and jplew138.

      The retro designs of the Camaro, Mustang, and Charger have all been successful. It is time Buick, Lincoln, and Cadillac did the same thing. The Buick GS is a joke and an insult to the once respected “Grand Sport” badging. The MKS has a beautiful interior but its bloated cow design just reminds you it is a Ford Taurus. Cadillac is at least trying to match the Germans by introducing the ATS, making the CTS bigger, and redesigning the STS. I own a 1998 Continental but when I went to buy a new luxury car, it was easy to dismiss ALL the domestics. My decision is probably reflective of many who were once loyal customers who have run out of patience and discretionary income.

      • 0 avatar
        geozinger

        @westscott: I’m so over the retro designs on cars. To my eye, there are few that can really do it well, the VW Beetle and Ford Mustang being two examples.

        With the Mustang, where do you go evolutionally? Will the next Mustang evoke the Mustang II? Or do they skip the Mustang II and go right to a revival of the Fox body Mustang? We’ve seen that VW will try and pimp the 21st Century version of the Super Beetle. But after this, then what? The new New Rabbit? In many ways, this plays somewhat into the discussion with renaming cars, too.

        When I buy a new car, I want a new car. I don’t mind if it has some styling cues recalling older models, but few new re-creations really do it well.

        As for the Buick GS’s, they put that name on all kinds of cars, from the Riviera to the Apollo. What does it matter if it shows up on the (new) Regal? It’s analogous to the SS badge on Chevys, and designates a high performance Buick, just like the original GS badges did.

        I’d have more of philosophical difference if this version of the GS were a milquetoast hot rod, but this new one seems to be pretty good from all accounts so far.

      • 0 avatar
        jplew138

        @geozinger: Actually, I wasn’t suggesting retro design at all. What I was saying was that both Cadillac and Lincoln go back, look at these designs, and remember what elevated them to the top of the luxury heap in the first place.

        Here’s what the Eldorado Brougham brought to the table…and remember, this was 1957 and 1958:

        1) Unique center-opening doors that locked automatically when the car was put in gear

        2) There were air conditioning and all the usual power options, including a six-way power driver’s seat with a “favorite position” memory that moved automatically to facilitate entry and exit.

        3) A dashboard control raised and lowered the trunk lid electrically.

        4) There were an automatic headlight dimmer and polarized sun visors that became darker when tilted.

        5) The Eldorado Brougham was the world’s first production car to have an air suspension system for a smoother ride and superior handling. The system used four rubber air spring domes that replaced conventional springs at each wheel. The air chambers were fed by a motor and regulated by levelers to maintain constant body height, regardless of load condition.

        6) The Eldorado Brougham’s hefty V-8 started automatically with the ignition on and the transmission lever in Park or Neutral.

        7) The list of owners read like a “Who’s who” President Dwight D. Eisenhower, Bob Hope, Frank Sinatra, Marlon Brando, Dean Martin, Judy Garland, Sammy Davis Jr.,The Shah of Iran, King of Saudia Arabia and on and on.

        That ain’t retro…that’s technological leadership. Remember, this was in 1957, when air conditioning was a really big deal to have in a car. And most of the things that this car had as standard equipment either aren’t available on cars today, or have only become available recently.

        And, wonder of wonders, Cadillac actually LOST $10,000 on each one of the 704 Broughams that were built. And $13,074, which is what the cars cost, was the equivalent of a nice three- or four-bedroom house.

        THAT’S what I was talking about…not retro, but leadership.

      • 0 avatar
        geozinger

        @jplew: Apparently I didn’t pick that up from your post, I guess I need to get glasses ;^)

        Your ideas about design incorporating forward-looking features is more futuristic than the strictly retro designs I was referencing, i.e. the Beetle and Mustang.

        We’re at a point now where if you really want an old car, you can get one (with enough $$’s). But like I said before, I want a new car.

        PS. I wanted to note, I’ve been in the presence of the Brougham, at the Gilmore Museum. For a car that was built before I was born, I was thoroughly impressed with it.

        But I still want a new car…

      • 0 avatar
        jplew138

        @geozinger: I understand totally where you’re coming from. The problem is, some of the new cars that are coming out are so f’n ugly that it almost forces people to look backwards to find cars that actually look good. I won’t name any names, but one’s initials are Mazda 3.

    • 0 avatar
      geeber

      The 1961 Continental was the result of Robert McNamara seeing a styling prototype that was originally intended to be a 1961 Thunderbird. McMamara ordered the stylists to turn it into a four-door sedan, which they did, and the resulting design was accepted as the 1961 Lincoln Continental.

      The planned 1961 Lincoln, which would have been an evolution of the awful 1958-60 cars, was junked. There may have been a team of stylists dedicated solely to the Lincoln brand in the late 1950s, but they didn’t produce the design that become the 1961 Lincoln.

      Given that McNamara was originally intent on phasing out Lincoln entirely in the wake of the 1958 debacle, it seems doubtful that Ford was sinking much money into dedicated stylists for the brand.

  • avatar
    jpolicke

    While they’re at it, isn’t it way past time to dump the keypad combination lock on the door? This was a gee-whiz feature when it was introduced back in the disco era, now even a Hyundai accent has a remote keyfob to say nothing of hands-free RFID. Hard to convince people you have a state-of-the-art product with 30+ year old tech on the door. Is the engine computer powered by a Commodore 64?

    • 0 avatar
      Educator(of teachers)Dan

      Here’s the genius of the key pad. It’s a less than $100 option on most Fords (don’t know about the Lincoln price). You can get in the car on a cold morning, start it, lock the doors and walk away. Car is secure and when you want to get in to drive away, just key in your code. I know most people are so lazy they want to be able to start their cars from the breakfast table while eating their sugar frosted coco bombs but to me, the key pad is great (proven) technology. In fact the key pad is the only “luxury” option I wish for on my bare bones F150 Heritage.

      • 0 avatar
        jpolicke

        All remote starts work this way. You start the car with the doors locked, unlock doors & insert key to drive away.

        What I’ve seen with the keypad is the numbers that get used tend to look worn, tipping off the world at least to what the numbers are, leaving them to work out the sequence.

        And watch what you say about sugar frosted coco bombs. They’re GRRREATTT!

      • 0 avatar
        rocketrodeo

        I’m an outdoorsy guy. When I go canoeing, or bicycling, or hiking, or camping, I really appreciate the ability to LEAVE THE KEYS IN THE TRUCK. Including the fob. And it’s a super easy way to hand off keys to another driver.

        Ford gets a lot of positive feedback on this feature, and it’s not going to go away anytime soon.

      • 0 avatar
        Zarba

        Dan, Dan, Dan…EVERYONE knows it “Chocolate Frosted Sugar Bombs”.

        Calvin would not be pleased.

    • 0 avatar
      NulloModo

      All Lincolns have remote keyfobs. Remote start is available as an accessory on the entire lineup, and is standard on the MKX. RFID auto-unlocking via sensor when you walk up to the car is standard on the MKX, MKS, and MKT.

      The keypad on the door is a feature that present FoMoCo owners mostly love. It allows you to get into the car if you don’t happen to have the key or the fob in your pocket (which I’ve found handy – I walk into the house, realize I’ve left something in the car, and I run out to grab it only to realize I left the keys on the counter inside). It allows quick and easy access into the car if you accidentally lock the keys inside. It’s also a great feature if you’re going into the gym, to the beach, to the pool, a waterpark, or somewhere else where you don’t want to actually leave the keys in your pocket – lock them inside the car purposefully, and then just unlock via the keypad when you get back, and voila.

      My grandmother had an 80s or possibly very early 90s Nissan Maxima that had the keypad, and she loved the feature, and could never understand why they did away with it.

    • 0 avatar
      faygo

      tho I haven’t checked, I suspect the keypad is included in a pretty minor package or standard in most Lincoln trim levels. just because there’s a keypad, doesn’t mean there isn’t also keyless start available (there is).

      while it’s not for everyone, those who use it (and have used it, a lot of car buyers are still pretty loyal) find it to be quite useful. best example of it being indispensable would be while going for a swim or run or other outdoor activity where you don’t want to bring along the keyfob.

    • 0 avatar
      Scoutdude

      When remote entry became popular Ford did discontinue it in may of their cars for 1 year and 1 year only. The customer outcry from faithful owner/users made them put it back, and expand the vehicles it’s offered on.

      Once you have it you want it, it really is that useful.

      In addition to the other reasons mentioned it’s great if you have kids. Both my kids have known the codes since they were little so they never have to bother mom or I when they inevitably leave something in the car.

    • 0 avatar
      SP

      The keypad is awesome. I use it every day. Literally.

  • avatar
    NormSV650

    They are going to need more one or two cars to be competitive here. Rebadgeing Taurus’ isn’t going to cut it.

    • 0 avatar
      NulloModo

      The recent trend in the Lincoln models has been moving away from rebadges and more towards unique models on shared platforms, more akin to what Audi is to VW than what Cadillac was to Chevy during the height of the malaise era.

      The MKS shares a platform and wheelbase with the Taurus, but all of the exterior dimensions and panels are different, as are the interior panels, materials, and majority of the switchgear. The MKT is also as different from a Flex as a Q7 is from a Touareg.

      As it is, the most recently refreshed models are better than their sales numbers would indicate. The recent MKZ review here notes what I’ve been saying since for a couple years – the refreshed MKZ has nicer interior materials than the bread and butter ES, and represents a bigger bang for the buck than the ES for everything but snob appeal. The recent MKX refresh has been popular, and I’ve traded several customers out of the current Lexus RXs into new MKXs and they’ve been thrilled by what the MKX offers. The MKS, especially the EcoBoost model, is one of the best values in the fullsize luxury segment, and that’s true in terms of interior quality, fit and finish, technology, and performance.

      The Lincoln brand has been continually improving for the last few years, and while it still flies under the radar of most enthusiasts, the cars themselves are solid. There is still a lot of work to be done in terms of image and marketing, and having a RWD halo car could probably help, but things are on the right track.

      • 0 avatar
        outback_ute

        I agree, Audi is a clear demonstration that it can work.

      • 0 avatar

        If Lincoln can’t increase their interior quality to that of a Jaguar XJ/XF then they might as well go the direction of Mercury.

        There are so many things about the Ecoboost MKS that strike me as overpriced and ridiculous – especially when compared to the new Chrysler 300/c/SRT8. It’s like, how does Lincoln justify a $55,000 price tag?

        Is it the paint? Is it the grill?

        The interior feels cheaper than a lower priced Infiniti.

      • 0 avatar
        jplew138

        @bigtruckseries

        Kudos for pointing out that the MKS is ridiculously overpriced in comparison to its intended competition. And the interior is rather chintzy in comparison to the new 300, which actually looks like a real car interior instead of Fisher-Price building blocks.

      • 0 avatar
        NulloModo

        The new 300C is a nice car, and a great value as well, but it’s a mainstream brand, not a luxury car. The Hyundai Genesis is also a great value, but again, Hyundai isn’t a luxury brand. There is always going to be a certain amount of paying for the name when comparing luxury vehicles to mainstream line vehicles.

        There’s nothing ‘Fisher-Price’ about the MKS interior. Almost every surface is covered in high quality real leather (some high wear areas have simulated leather) and all of the wood trim is real. There is some plastic on the seat controls and center stack, but that’s true of almost any vehicle. Sit in a MKS next to a Mercedes E Class and you’ll see the Lincoln actually has nicer interior materials than a car costing much more.

        The MKS sits between the Mercedes E and S classes, BMW 5 and 7, Lexus GS and LS, etc, in size, and offers more equipment for less money than any of those based on the smaller car.

      • 0 avatar

        “The MKS sits between the Mercedes E and S class”

        HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH

        You’re funny Nullmodo

        If MKS gets to be called a “luxury car” then the new 300 and Genesis get to be called luxury cars too.

        In between the E and S sits the 2012 CLS. The MKS ain’t no CLS:

      • 0 avatar
        whynot

        bigtruckseries, read what he wrote. He said “The MKS sits between the Mercedes E and S classes, BMW 5 and 7, Lexus GS and LS, etc, IN SIZE,” which is true. The CLS only sits between the E and S series in price, it is smaller than the E series (in terms of interior room) and has virtually the same interior.

        That said I am not sure what your point is, many lay people already consider the 300 and Genesis to be luxury cars…

      • 0 avatar
        gottacook

        NulloModo writes “The new 300C is a nice car, and a great value as well, but it’s a mainstream brand, not a luxury car.” What do you want Chrysler to do, resurrect the Imperial name once again? The top-of-the-line Chrysler and the Imperial were variations on an identical theme, from the time they started sharing bodies (the 1969 model year) until the Imperial name died the first time and the New Yorker simply picked up its front and rear styling cues (the 1976 model year). The two revivals of the Imperial name since then were rather half-hearted efforts and were based closely on existing Chrysler products, although the first of these (the coupe of 1981) did have its own body shell with supposedly thicker sheetmetal.

        Reviving the Imperial name now would be silly, in my opinion. But the Chrysler name itself might soon regain some of the cachet it used to have in the 1960s and early ’70s when all Chryslers were large cars (before the advent of the Cordoba, Le Baron, etc.), given that the PT Cruiser is out of production and the 200 is (hopefully) just a placeholder.

      • 0 avatar
        George B

        Nullo, maybe Audi is a good aspirational goal for Lincoln, but right now Lincoln can’t even meet the low bar of beak era Acura when it comes to valet stand envy. First, Audi specifically worked on drivetrain placement to move the front wheels forward to hide the FWD platform. Second, Audi hit styling home runs with the high volume A4 and the A5. A friend of mine saw Jack’s Audi A5 in traffic and spontaneously commented on the beautiful green Audi she saw on High St. She’s not a car person, but she new that 1) the car next to her was an Audi and 2) she wanted it. I can’t imagine anyone having such a strong positive reaction to a Lincoln.

        The only Lincoln I’ve seen that I wanted was a customized lowered 1961 Continental. Low, long, and wide with factory suicide doors and aftermarket wheels sized to fit the proportions of the car. The problem is there is no current Ford platform that shares those proportions.

      • 0 avatar
        hubcap

        @Nullo

        What you say might be true but I see nothing in the Lincoln line up to get excited about. I realize I’m only one person and my anecdotal experiences don’t account for much concerning the big picture but to me Lincoln isn’t even on the map.

        The funny thing is that most people I talk too don’t even consider Lincoln. All age ranges. Male and female alike.
        a
        It must just be me but I think their current strategy of re-badging and re-grilling Fords has hurt Lincoln more than its helped (from a brand differentiation standpoint).

  • avatar
    PaulVincent

    Ever go hunting (or hiking, fishing) and lose your keys? Well, with the Ford keypad, you can leave your keys in the car and not lose them afield. So, instead of being in a terrible fix – perhaps far from civilization- you can instead eliminate the lost key afield problem via the Ford keypad.

  • avatar
    getacargetacheck

    I keep hearing that Lincoln needs to be like Cadillac — have a unique platform, etc. Is Cadillac even profitable? Whatever formula is chosen for Lincoln it must be profitable.

  • avatar
    Zackman

    Didn’t Chrysler come out with their own dedicated design studio in Pacifica, CA? What was the ONE vehicle they came up with? The Pacifica!

    How’d that work out?

    • 0 avatar
      whynot

      The Pacifica’s issues were more due to quality and reliability concerns and an incredibly blotched launch that tainted the image of the car(Plus Daimler’s typical fear of Chrysler hurting MB thus not putting in the effort to ensure it was a success), not really design issues.

      • 0 avatar
        Zackman

        I agree. I always imagined the Pacifica would be a great vehicle to travel in. I’ll never find out.

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        The Pacifica’s issues were more due to quality and reliability concerns…not really design issues.

        Quality and reliability problems are often rooted in design issues. Even if a company does a good job of assembling bad cars together, the cars are still going to be bad.

      • 0 avatar

        I drove one. It was alright…not a marvel of modern engineering but not a turd either. Steering rack went on a permanent vacation before 50,000 miles, there were other troubles too. It was replaced with a Mercedes C-Class.

    • 0 avatar
      geozinger

      The Pacifica studio did a lot more than the crossover with the same name.

      From Autoweek: “The Chrysler Pacifica studio opened in 1983 and spawned the Dodge Challenger concept in 2006. It also was responsible for the concepts that led to production versions of the Dodge Intrepid, Plymouth Prowler and Jeep Compass, as well as a number of influential concepts that were not produced, including the Chrysler Millennium and Chrysler Atlantic.”

      Me, as a student of transportation design, I would have loved to work there. Hell, I would have loved to work as a janitor at the place…

      It was sold off to Mercedes Benz in 2007 (I think).

  • avatar
    John Horner

    I will believe that Lincoln is on the mend when they give their cars real names with some resonance. Start with the Lincoln Continental.

    As far as “unique platforms”. Forget it. Ford has plenty of good platforms in the global engineering piggy bank. Use them.

    Also, Cadillac blew it when the listened to the “car guys” and moved back to rear wheel drive. Fifteen years ago Cadillac had the best large front wheel drive platforms in the world. Typical Cadillac buyers LIKE front wheel drive. Now we have Cadillac architected for fanboys, but with bean counter friendly interiors. Rather than being unique, they are just more also rans. The vast majority of luxury brand buyers are not “car guys”. Listening to the advice of most auto writers will lead a mainstream brand to ruin every time.

  • avatar
    Steven02

    Is it me, or did someone make a Lincoln out of a Camaro in that picture?

  • avatar
    slance66

    First picture is great (agree ride height seems high), looks lke a version of a 68 Cougar to me (not a Camaro).

    I hope they can rekindle the brand. I hope they do this intellegently. Badge engineering has failed. But going all RWD is a mistake given future CAFE standards. BMW is moving to FWD cars for a reason. That said, a RWD mid-size performance sedan (with AWD option) would be the centerpiece of a strategy. Something Fusion sized, but more agressively styled, RWD and featuring the Ecoboost V-6 from the F150. G37 should be the target. A V-8 version akin to the CTS-V would be pointless.

    A Continental would be a great addition, the Taurus platform can easily support one if the details were unique and done right.

    I suspect we’ll see a Lincoln based on the Focus platform as well.

  • avatar
    Maxb49

    I would like to purchase a beautiful new Lincoln. Not a Taurus. If Ford/Lincoln want to attract customers like me who buy luxury cars, Alan Mulally has to get it through his head that we don’t want pay $$$ for a Ford Taurus with a Lincoln emblem. Cost cutting doesn’t apply to building successful luxury cars. That’s why they are called luxury cars.

    At the very least, let’s see the MKS renamed Continental, redesign the body panels to not resemble a jelly bean, and drop in the 5.0 V8. If Ford can’t do this, they need to get out of the luxury car business, because it ain’t that hard.

  • avatar
    Mr. Spacely

    For a while now it’s seemed like the two easiest moves Lincoln could make to help the brand are:

    1. New grill. Hell, take the most recent Mercury grill. It’s far better looking than the current whale smile.

    2. Ditch the “MK–” in favor of actual names that people don’t trip over, confuse, and ultimately ignore.

    Do these two things, and then maybe think about a RWD coupe or sedan.

  • avatar
    TrailerTrash

    Ed…

    love your work and think you need a rest.
    You’re cranking out to much stuff these days! Find a beach and chill out for awhile. Let somebody take some of the load off.

    I did think your remark “new design is just part of the successful luxury brand equation. Unique platforms are another” is a bit hard on Ford.

    I mean, really…what car manufacturer does not spread the same platform through out the line up?
    Hell, IF you do NOT, you’re dead these days…or will be very soon.
    The real truth is that this is going to be the ONLY way to survive and just watch how sneakily and brilliantly the future shows this!

    Pretty soon you are going to see plants set up to make subtle changes to platforms, yet see really wonderfully individual looking models come rolling off the end of the lines.

    To many notes in Jazz killed it for me…and to many parts in the storeroom will kill the manufacturer.

    New slogan in manufacturing and design…keep it simple, stupid.

  • avatar
    Maxb49

    I did think your remark “new design is just part of the successful luxury brand equation. Unique platforms are another” is a bit hard on Ford.

    I mean, really…what car manufacturer does not spread the same platform through out the line up?

    I wouldn’t do all that schilling for Ford unless they cut you a nice fat check. Seriously, why are you apologizing for their failure to build a true luxury car, or criticizing people who point out that Lincoln’s cars aren’t up to true luxury standards? What manufacturer does not spread the same platform throughout the lineup?

    The first category of makers is made up of companies that sell low end, average cars and build luxury cars as a separate brand. They do not use the same SINGLE platform from their low end cars to build their high end models. These include Toyota/Lexus, GM/Cadillac, and Nissan/Infiniti.

    The second category consists of luxury car makers which make primarily luxury cars, or luxury cars whose companies make lower end cars, which do not “spread the same platform throughout the lineup”. These manufacturers include BMW, Cadillac, Mercedes Benz, Jaguar, Land Rover, Ferrari, Lamborghini, Audi, Bentley, and Lexus.

    Us luxury car buyers don’t want the Lincoln Taurus, Lincoln Taurus Crossover, Lincoln Taurus wagon, or any godd***ed model of Taurus. Being an apologist for Ford isn’t going to go over well with us. We have $$$, and we’re going to spend that $$$ on beautiful wheeled yachts. We ain’t paying for warmed over family sedans. Got it?

    • 0 avatar
      faygo

      @Maxb49 :

      I think the original point which was trying to be made was that unique platforms are not a requirement for a successful luxury brand. you read to much into the “same platform” comment which TrailerTrash made.

      Audi’s most popular models (A4/A6) have always been directly built on commong platforms shared with VW (and Skoda) models. The A8 is shared with Bentley and the Phaeton. The Q7 = Touareg = Cayenne. A1/A2 (is there still an A2 ? I lose track)/A3 are directly VWs. VAG builds a sh!tton of things off the Golf platform and it’s one of the reasons they are profitable.

      Toyota doesn’t have a reason (in the US, the still sell Toyota-branded big RWD cars in the JDM) to sell anything based on their RWD platforms. Lexus’ most popular models (ES, RX) are different flavors of Camry. The GX is a tarted up Land Cruiser.

      Other than the largest something-L-whatever, Acuras have always been nicer versions of Hondas, in some cases (TSX) those which aren’t sold here in the US for whatever reason.

      Nissan does a good job of differentiating Infiniti with only RWD products and effectively builds their full range on a common platform, albeit in slightly different sizes.

      Cadillac has what seems to be an appropriate mix of shared and unique vehicles – time will tell whether they are able to gain market share with the ATS and especially whether the FWD-based XTS is able to cast an appropriate halo over the brand. some would argue that being tied to FWD design proportions will mean it will never be able to completely look the part.

      BMW and Mercedes have been able to thrive with only RWD-based upmarket products – however, both are moving down-market and will have FWD-based offerings soon. the next gen of larger Minis will surely share a platform with the bottom of the BMW range. Smart and an A-class will probably do the same.

      having a platform which may be limited to your luxury brand through simple economics (there isn’t a lot of market for a VW-branded supercar based on the Gallardo/R8 platform, same as no reason to build RWD Camrys) makes sense, depending on circumstances it may or may not be possible for everyone.

      Platform sharing is a fact of life and there’s nothing inherently wrong with it, if executed well. as in any situation, execution is what matters, not just paying lip service to whatever the latest “best strategy” is. Lincoln has quite a ways to go to be competitive, but the right moves seem to being made – time will tell how it turns out.

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