By on September 8, 2017

2017 Lincoln Continental

It’s getting to the point that if you’re not a premium automaker promising some sort of brand-wide electric propulsion revolution, you’re not a premium automaker. Volvo has announced it’s going all-electrified (not necessarily electric) in short order. Maserati and Aston Martin are headed in a similar direction.

Is Lincoln the next luxury brand to ditch gas-only powertrains?

Not quite, but Ford’s luxury arm is planning on endowing every model in its lineup with an available hybrid powertrain, according to three sources who spoke to Reuters. It’s a plan very similar to the one Jaguar Land Rover announced just yesterday. While the completion date for Lincoln’s lineup electrification is 2022, the brand might not stop at just hybrids and plug-ins.

According to the sources, Lincoln’s product strategy predates the arrival of Ford Motor Company CEO Jim Hackett, who could spill details during an October 3rd investor update.

We already knew some of the $4.5 billion Ford set aside for electrified powertrains would find its way into the Lincoln brand. A hybrid version of the redesigned-for-2018 Navigator should appear for 2019. The small MKC crossover will see a plug-in hybrid variant the same year, as will the looming Aviator large crossover (which replaces the MKT).

Still, Lincoln wants to go further. A redesigned MKX and Continental will bow in 2022 with plug-in variants, the sources claim, completing a hybrid lineup that began with the 2011 MKZ midsize sedan. Still unknown is whether the brand will offer one or more fully electric vehicles. That’s the question executives in Dearborn are mulling, the sources say.

Bringing a battery electric model to market isn’t a cheap proposition, but it could pay off — in China, not here. That country is a proven growth engine for American luxury brands, and regulations aimed at spurring EV sales means brands like Lincoln and Cadillac could find themselves shut out of a growing segment if they don’t get their act together. It isn’t known what bodystyles Ford is considering.

Lincoln sold 32,558 vehicles in China in 2016, triple the previous year’s tally, and this year’s monthly sales are roughly double that of 2016. In August, Lincoln sales rose 105 percent, year-over-year.

Ford isn’t in the habit of speaking about future products, meaning any confirmation of the band’s direction will likely come from Hackett.

[Image: Ford Motor Company]

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18 Comments on “Lincoln to Become the Next ‘Electrified’ Premium Brand: Report...”


  • avatar
    ash78

    Fill Or Recharge Daily

  • avatar
    probert

    I think the quotes should be around “premium”.

  • avatar
    Nick_515

    Incredibly exciting.

  • avatar
    FormerFF

    Ford already has a plug in hybrid drivetrain, I’ve been driving one for the last three years. For in town driving, it’s vastly superior to any internal combustion only car. It works very well on the highway as well.

    • 0 avatar
      bunkie

      I recently rented a Fusion hybrid which was an interesting experience as I drive an AWD 3.7 MKZ. I found the Fusion to be very impressive over the four days and 300 miles I dove it. I got an honest 43mpg in mixed driving in the Sea-Tac area and with the initial torque of the electric motor, it never felt anything but willing. Aside from the small exhaust noise that arrived with the IC engine starting up, there was no visceral way to tell whether or not it was running. I really enjoyed using the dash display to play the “how much can I get out of regen and the electric motor” game. It was very satisfying.

      I’m not yet ready to give up the big V6 yet (I enjoy it too much, it’s a great motor in the MKZ), but I found that I could probably live fairly happily with the hybrid drivetrain especially when it comes time to fill up. The only negative is the loss of trunk space, the Fusion gives up about 25-30% thereof compared to my MKZ.

      I’m all for additional electrified powertrains in Lincolns.

  • avatar
    newenthusiast

    I think the idea of a hybrid or EV premium/luxury vehicle is a good match. On electrical power, it should be a smooth, silent operation.

    A quiet cabin and isolation from road imperfections and engine sounds are what separate upscale and luxury vehicles from the rest. They can all still offer their performance and GT trims with crazy HP for those that can afford such a mix of power and luxury, but I think most people who buy in this class prefer the former idea rather than latter when they think of ‘premium’ vehicles.

  • avatar
    EBFlex

    What a joke. Any money spent on Lincoln that doesn’t involve shutting it down is wasted. It’s a brand of rebadges. Ford are too expensive. Expensive Fords called Lincolns are so stupid.

  • avatar
    hirostates12

    All part of Fords ongoing efforts to keep Lincoln resale as close to “nil” as possible.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    This is foolish for a number of reasons but chiefly Ford is the stronger brand even in China. What happened to One Ford?

    • 0 avatar
      anomaly149

      1. The observation that premium brands have like 10% of the market share but over 30% of the market profits happened. (a line like that has been in every shareholder meeting they’ve had that’s mentioned Lincoln since like 2013)
      2. Lincoln has FAR higher brand approval in China than Ford. It’s one of the market brand-approval leaders as a matter of fact. Something to do with the market only knowing it from its heyday in the movies (50s, 60s Lincolns back when it freakin meant something) rather than the 80s/90s reality we remember.
      3. China likes EVs. A lot. You build EVs for China, or you don’t sell in China. EDIT: it’s like building Focus Electrics so you can sell GT350s in Cali.

  • avatar
    redapple

    NO.
    Just no.
    What is wrong with the IC engine?
    ….my cold dead hands.

    • 0 avatar
      brn

      Love ICE myself. My Ford 3.5L is still a great motor. I prefer it to it’s ecoboost competitor (2.0L ecoboost). Power is better and MPG is comparable.

      Stil, yes, just yes. Keep moving the tech forward.

  • avatar
    HotPotato

    Buuuut…it needs to be a bigger, better hybrid powertrain. To date, Lincoln just pops in the same 2-liter Fusion hybrid powertrain, in a heavier car with higher performance expectations, and then brags that there’s no price premium over the V6. If there’s no performance loss vs the V6, that’s an argument…but there is, so it’s not. I suppose they could half-ass it by using the Fusion Hybrid Police Package powertrain, which is apparently reprogrammed to draw much harder on the battery under maximum acceleration.


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