What's Wrong With This Picture: Lord Love A Lincoln Edition

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer
what s wrong with this picture lord love a lincoln edition

What can you even say about Lincoln at this point? The brand talks up its new design studio, and then releases a “spot the changes” facelift. Critics bash the brand’s waterfall grille as “cetacean,” so for the facelift Lincoln goes and makes it look even more like baleen. Lincolns have little identity beyond Fords loaded up with there-for-the-sake-of-it technology, so they give the MKS and MKT (Ecoboost only) “Continuously Controlled Damping”… to polish their carefully-honed performance image? Because consumers were clamoring for a Lincoln, but didn’t buy because “Sport Mode” wasn’t available on its giant crossover? I know these are only holdover models, and that Lincoln will eventually come out with something all-new. I know that picking on these sales weaklings is too easy. I know that there are probably even a few folks out there that find the MKS and MKT to be the subtle-but-cosseting waft-mobiles that they’ve been waiting for… but I just can’t help myself. Especially when Lincoln’s press release on the MKS proclaims that

Refinements Signal Direction for Brand Today, Tomorrow.

Note to Lincoln: the future is not in refinements. If this brand is going to survive, it needs a clean sheet of paper.

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  • Faygo Faygo on Nov 18, 2011

    one thing to consider when criticizing the speed (or lack thereof) over which the Lincoln line-up has been revised is timing and spending. as much as everyone wants to talk about how much quicker the industry is now than in the past, it's still a non-trivial effort to do the amount of engineering involved in these updates. and when you count back from now to when the decisions to go forward were made, you end up in mid-2009, with Ford not yet out of the woods economically, without any indication of the coming success of the plans executed post-crash. at that point, trying to spend big on very small volume luxury models would have gotten the product planners laughed out of their first discussion with management. refreshed Edge/MKX (which have done well AFAIK), Fiesta, Focus, new, more efficient truck powertrains, hell even Raptor and Mustang money would have been (and was) better spent. meanwhile, the Fusion/Mondeo/MKZ program has been a huge undertaking and will bear very attractive fruit in a few weeks at the Detroit show. additionally, at that point, Ford was getting started paying down it's debt while GM and (to a much lesser extent) Chrysler were able to spend freely, having limited debt post-bankruptcy. their borrowing costs were higher, but their debt service was much, much, much lower. the cadence for updating the D-cars (including Taurus) with updated MyFordTouch and normal mid-cycle freshening actions is to be expected. the suspension changes put forward the emphasis on unique Lincoln handling and technology DNA. that sort of thing isn't sexy and unfortunately doesn't sell (many) cars, but it makes those which do sell that much more recommendable to others or favorably reviewable. within the limited scope available, the very subtle start of a new styling direction is understandable. it's not earth-shattering, but it's a start. Lexus nor Audi have been hurt by not offering volume (or any in Audi's case) models with RWD in their recent success. BMW will prove that no one cares what sort of engine is under the hood when people start paying $50k+ for a 528i with a turbo 4 (base 528i is $48k before basically any options) or $45k for a Z4. RWD nor V8s nor particular pieces of technology make a premium brand. something people want and want to be seen in do. it remains to be seen whether that's where Lincoln can end up, when.

  • Zykotec Zykotec on Nov 21, 2011

    I think the main thing Cadillac and Lincoln have to understand if they are going to be known as 'luxury' cars again, is that people buying luxury cars aren't looking for a 'deal' or a 'bargain'. Rich people who wants a cheaper car doesn't buy a luxury car. You don't see Porsche bragging about the 911 turbo being cheaper than a similar Ferrari, or Bentley saying their new model is cheaper than a similar S-class. Luxury car buyers buy prestige and a unique experience. They don't buy Armani because it's cheaper than Dolce&Gabbana... If they (American 'luxury' brands) would just charge more for their cars (that's actually all they have to do), and let people know that their cars are more expensive, people would look at their buyers and think: 'wow, he doesn't care what the car costs, he must have way to much money'. And that is the feeling luxury car buyers want. They want to be looked up to by the 'common' people. They want to feel rich, and you don't get that with people knowing you made a bargain. Certainly not when 'common people' can afford the same car you drive...

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  • Prabirmehta Great review! Brought back memories of my 2005 Z4 - loved it! I recently drove the 2023 Z4 and it felt similar in many ways to my 2005 (despite the much nicer and updated interior). Now your review has me rethinking whether to buy another one? :)
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