By on November 29, 2017

2019 Lincoln Nautilus, Image: Ford Motor Company

The tens of readers who follow my bleatings here on TTAC (Hi, Dad!) may recall my fondness for the Lincoln brand. Having spent my own hard-earned Canadian dollars on two of them, plus encouraging other family members to do the same, I would be lying if I said I’m not rooting for the brand to once again plant its feet firmly in the minds of its target demographic.

For me, the disarmament campaign started when Lincoln began abandoning real names in favor of an alphanumeric (minus the numeric) naming scheme. Turns out, after reading a revealing Automotive News interview with Lincoln’s marketing chief, I’m not the only one who disliked it.

According to the report, Robert Parker, marketing honcho at Lincoln Motor Company, received validation for the decision to introduce the Nautilus nameplate well before its appearance at this year’s L.A. Auto Show.

In a fine bit of storytelling, Parker relates the tale of being on an airport shuttle ferrying passengers from a terminal to a parking lot. Seated near him was a husband and wife couple who were trying to tell the shuttle driver what kind of car they owned. You can probably guess where this tale is headed.

When asked what kind of car they owned, the couple got into a bit of a row. Why? They apparently owned a Lincoln, but couldn’t agree on what it was called. One insisted it was an MKC while the other was steadfast in their belief it was an MKZ. For Parker, this cemented the decision to abandon the MKWhatever nomenclature.

“It just really punctuated the challenge for me,” Parker said. “It was like, OK, it’s not just an internal discussion. This is real. People that don’t work and do this every day have a hard time with numbers and letters. We sometimes, as marketers, get a little too far over our skis.”

And there it is, folks. An admission from the top that the Lincoln three-letter system didn’t work. As a fan of the brand, I am very gratified to finally write those words.

The whole MK branding started in 2006 as an attempt to reference the brand’s past successes. Its first two letters were intended to be pronounced “Mark,” followed by the third consonant. This is why I always referred to ex-CEO Mark Fields as MKF.

Closing out the interview, Parker had one more gem to reveal, referencing Ford’s penchant for naming all cars with “F” monikers (Focus, Five Hundred, Fiesta, Fusion) while bestowing sport-utes with “E” labels (Explorer, Edge, Escape, Expedition, Excursion), and how that trend will not extend to Lincoln.

“That person’s retired,” Parker said, referring to a former executive. “We all loved him, but he was kind of stuck on E’s and F’s.”

I truly don’t think that exec was Alan Mulally, given that he wasted no time biffing the moronic and meaningless Five Hundred nameplate in favor of the Taurus badge. Throwing away all that name recognition, he argued, made no sense. He was correct.

Nor do I think that Mark Fields was the offender, because the time frames don’t quite align. No, I think the blame for all those E’s and F’s rests squarely at the feet of J Mays, designer extraordinaire who replaced Jack Telnack in ’97 and retired at the end of 2013.

Responsible for the ’05 Mustang, the GT, and the weirdo retro Thunderbird, Mays always seemed to be well liked in the industry and was certainly a skilled designer. He did, however, once command the designers at all of Ford’s marques to create car keys that reflected the “emotional qualities” of each brand. Fixating on alliteration wouldn’t be a bridge too far, methinks.

Anyways, I’m just glad Lincoln’s ditched the MK nonsense. Any wagers on what they’ll call the rest of their lineup? I’m jockeying for a return to Zephyr for the MKZ, Aviator for the MKC, and Quasimodo for the MKT.

[Image: Ford Motor Company]

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88 Comments on “MKNothing: Why Lincoln Ditched the Alphabet Soup...”


  • avatar
    EX35

    Who cares about names. They need a premium RWD chassis stat.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      You mean, like Cadillac?

      Not so sure about that one…

    • 0 avatar
      jh26036

      What, you’re going to run out and buy one right?

      • 0 avatar
        JohnTaurus

        Exactly. If somehow Lincoln made the exact car every armchair critic on here is looking for, they still wouldn’t consider it.

        Who wants a Lincoln sports sedan? They already asked that question with the LS. Answer? Very few. If anything, Lincoln customers want lots of power, but not a bone-jaring ride. They couldn’t care less if it was front or rear wheel drive.

        • 0 avatar
          MLS

          Wasn’t the LS initially a sales success that Ford allowed to rot on the vine?

          • 0 avatar
            JohnTaurus

            It was moderately successful initially, but once the newness wore off, there wasn’t much to keep it afloat. I don’t think the sales justified the effort.

        • 0 avatar
          Caboose

          @JohnTaurus, exactly. I don’t want a sports sedan. Forward thrust for passing power and a side of marshmallow in my suspension, if you please. So, an Expedition-chassis BOF, rear-driving Town Car (Golly, it would be huge!) with the 2nd-Gen 3.5 EchoBoost would fill the bill.

          • 0 avatar
            JohnTaurus

            That sounds nice, but I bet the frame is ill-equipped for car duty lol. But, there is potential for a RWD car above the Conti, IMO anyway.

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus

      Which matters to very few car buyers.

      Cadillac has RWD platforms that they can’t hardly give away, and their most consistently popular sedan is FWD. It also happens to embody the more traditional Cadillac qualities of a roomy, luxurious and well appointed car that isn’t trying to be a BMW.

      • 0 avatar
        krhodes1

        The trouble is, the people who want traditional Cadillacs and Lincolns are literally dying off.

        I have to assume that there is enough margin in these hopped up Fords for the exercise to be worthwhile, but they probably are never going to really compete with the Germans no matter what they do (and does that even matter?). You don’t need to sell 500K of a platform-shared vehicle to make a profit these days.

        Though IMHO, Cadillac’s problem is that their effort was a bit [email protected] – the ATS drives great but is a size too small and doesn’t sweat the little details enough (see instrument panel as a prime example), and the CTS has the same detail issues.

      • 0 avatar
        bd2

        Problem with Cadillac’s RWD platforms has been with its packaging.

        The 1G/2G CTS did pretty well for Cadillac when it was Infiniti G/Q50 sized.

        The fatal flaw for the ATS is that it is just too cramped and people who buy American sedans expect roomy interiors (at least competitive), but the interior space of the ATS is more akin to the CLA than the C Class.

    • 0 avatar
      bunkie

      Having gone from a series of RWD Cadillacs to an AWD MKZ, I have to disagree. I have no love for the FWD MKZ, it suffers from Ford’s seeming inability to design out torque steer. The AWD drivetrain fixes that and more. There is a bit of understeer at the limit, but much less than one would expect from a Lincoln. I seriously doubt that the average BMW buyer (the ones who don’t lust after M series) would be able to tell the difference. It surprised my 3-series-owning sister (the same sister who intentionally wheelied my FJ1200 when I let her ride it) with its basic goodness.

      No one is telling Audi that they need RWD vehicles, I don’t see why that should be true for Lincoln (or even Cadillac). It’s a tired argument.

      • 0 avatar
        Featherston

        In related news, your sister is awesome. :-)

        – – –

        Interesting to hear your opinion on the FWD vs AWD MKZ’s. Apart from Fusion hybrid cabs, my only experience with FoMoCo’s recentish sedans is a FWD Taurus rental about two years ago. I didn’t think the steering was too bad, but I’m not a particularly harsh critic. (Having grown up in a lower-HP era, I loved the NA 3.5 V6.)

        The fact that Ford made/makes AWD mandatory for the higher-power trims (SHO, MKS Ecoboost, Fusion Sport, and so forth) seems to underscore that someone at Ford agrees with you.

        I’d be very curious to drive the outgoing Regal back to back to back in non-HiPer Strut, FWD HiPer Strut, and AWD HiPerStrut guises.

      • 0 avatar
        JohnTaurus

        Well, the 3.0L T/T has the torque-vectoring rear differential from the Focus RS that should take care of that for you.

    • 0 avatar

      Preach. I’d be in one right now. Instead, I drive a Chrysler 300C.

  • avatar
    Adam Tonge

    “I’m jockeying for a return to Zephyr for the MKZ, Aviator for the MKC, and Quasimodo for the MKT.”

    Why you gotta hurt me Matt?

  • avatar
    ajla

    Post WW2, alphanumerics are a very European (mostly German) way to do things in the premium car class.

    So when Japanese and American car companies don’t use actual names they are basically bending knee to the perceived superiority of ze Germans and who really wants a Cadillac or Lincoln that wishes it was from Bavaria?

    • 0 avatar
      jalop1991

      “Post WW2, alphanumerics are a very European (mostly German) way to do things in the premium car class. ”

      I run out of breath saying “Mercedes-Benz 190E 2.3-16”.

      • 0 avatar
        bunkie

        The problem is that, originally, German naming was descriptive. Your example illustrates that perfectly. When BMW decided that the displacement portion of the number was going to be inflated relative to the actual displacement, all bets were off.

  • avatar
    EBFlex

    “MKNothing: Why Lincoln Ditched the Alphabet Soup”

    They didn’t. The MKEscape with the ugly new grille continues to be called the MKC.

    That being said, name changes are far cheaper than what it would take to make the Ford rebadges actually desirable.

  • avatar
    ClutchCarGo

    If Parker’s story is true (it sounds a little too cute to me), it speaks volumes about the bubble that these execs live in. It shouldn’t take a random bus ride for these guys to get a sense of what the buying public is thinking about their products.

    • 0 avatar

      Do we think such executives park their own cars and ride in the public shuttle, rather than valeting their car at the airport, or being picked up in a black car?

      I dunnooo.

    • 0 avatar
      bunkie

      I own an MK, am a car guy and I have to stop sometimes and think about which of the other Lincolns use which trailing letter. My wife gave up a long time ago. I have no trouble believing this story.

      • 0 avatar
        ClutchCarGo

        I don’t doubt that a couple of owners were unsure of the trailing letter on their model. I can’t keep the names straight either. I question the story that Parker only tumbled to the issue by overhearing the couple who were confused.

  • avatar
    mmreeses

    A dollar short and a decade late. I only care about Lincoln enough to type out a comment that says I don’t care about Lincoln :)

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    Next up: Massive. Sales. Success. I predict a 45% increase.

    That, of course, assumes that all buyers of midsize luxury CUVs are TTAC readers…

  • avatar
    Panther Platform

    Lincoln: get rid of the alphabet soup and do another personal luxury coupe with a V-8 and a nice soft ride. Yes I’m over 60 years old…

  • avatar
    krhodes1

    I have no issue with alphanumeric names as long as they make some sense. BMWs system is pretty simple and logical, and the name tells you roughly where the vehicle stands in the lineup. And they have been using this system for the best part of 50 years. Lincoln’s system was just a hot mess. MK-this, MK-that, MK-the other made no sense at all – too similar, too hard to keep straight. I’m into cars and I couldn’t keep them straight! Lincoln has some wonderful names in their heritage that they can use.

    • 0 avatar
      JMII

      Bingo. As mentioned above this was all about copying the Germans – hey they use 3 numbers so we will just use 3 letters. Lexus added to the mess by using random letters plus numbers so this just reinforced what the marketing fools where thinking. Prime example: I worked at company where our CEO started naming our new products with numbers claiming “it worked for Lexus”. But our customers hated it, as it removed all the romance associated with the product. This was a cruise line, does a ship named R2 get you excited? Sorry but unless its the QE2 that ain’t working.

      As noted below Acura made this same mistake. Infiniti used a letter plus a number that had some logic to it… until everything became a “Q” something and engine displacement went out the window. Q60 means nothing, where as G37 meant something – it was the “G” model, 3.7l engine. Thus the new Q60 should have been called a G20t or G30t. However this would seem like a downgrade, so I joking refer to my wife’s Q60 as her G39.

      • 0 avatar
        Featherston

        Although they obviously were aping the Germans, Lexus’ system actually was pretty logical for most of its history, probably more logical than BMW’s.
        – The first letter was a descriptor of some sort (“luxury” in the case of the LS, for example).
        – The second letter was the vehicle type: S for sedans, C for coupes, X for SUVs/CUVs
        – The number was engine displacement.

        The system is in disarray now, of course, but up until relatively recently, it made sense.

        • 0 avatar
          PrincipalDan

          I thought the first letter stood for “Lexus”

          Lexus Sedan LS

          Lexus Coupe LC

          • 0 avatar
            Featherston

            Most sources indicate “Luxury.” Remember that the LS and ES (E for “executive”) debuted at the same time.

            The descriptor letters can be contrived, and they’ve gotten loopy with the numbers, but the second letters generally have held true with a few exceptions (notably the one-off LFA).
            – HS, IS, GS, ES, and LS all are/were four-door sedans. (IS C was a two-door convertible version of the IS sedan.)
            – SC, RC, and LC all are/were coupes. (SC 430 had convertible hard top.)
            – NX, RX, GX, and LX all are CUVs or SUVs
            – The CT 200h is the only five-door non-CUV they’ve done, so they haven’t had the opportunity to keep or break precedent.

          • 0 avatar
            Drzhivago138

            Apparently, there is/was an actual nomenclature for Lexus, although some of them have a bit of an “Engrish” flavor.

            LS=Luxury Sedan
            ES=Executive Sedan
            GS=Grand Sedan
            IS=Intelligent Sport
            HS=Harmonious Sedan
            CT=Creative Touring

            SC=Sport Coupe
            RC=Radical Coupe
            LC=Luxury Coupe

            LX=Luxury Crossover
            GX=Grand Crossover
            RX=Radiant Crossover
            NX=Nimble Crossover

      • 0 avatar
        KalapanaBlack7G

        Oof. de Nysschen has ruined branding and perception at both Infiniti and Cadillac with this name switching nonsense. The last thing either one needed 3-5 years ago was a renaming program. The product has been spotty at both over the last however many years, neither brand itself had much positivity with consumers, and the hierarchy at Infiniti made sense, while the public had just gotten used to the 3 letter designations at Cadillac. So, of course, a marketing boob decides to ditch it all and confuse everyone several times over with his contrived nonsense. Not even Infiniti owners can reliably tell you what they drive now, and Cadillac sells unrelated CTS/CT6 and XTS/XT5 combinations, all at different price points. Did someone just make a bet he couldn’t ruin 2 different brands through utterly irresponsible marketing, and lose the bet?

      • 0 avatar
        KalapanaBlack7G

        Also, Renaissance Cruises is a milestone in marketing fail.

    • 0 avatar
      brn

      “BMWs system is pretty simple and logical”

      Only because you’ve taken the time to study and understand it. Lincoln is pretty simple. The first two letters are always the same. The third is unique to the vehicle and somewhat descriptive.

      BMW? They just use more numbers. The third digit remains the same, only on cars, except the M’s. Already, it’s more confusing. On sedans only, the first digit represents the size, well not when comparing the 3xx with the 4xx. That’s coupe vs sedan. At least with the M sedans, different than the aforementioned sedans, it’s always an M followed by a single digit. No, that’s not true either thanks to the M550 and M760.

      OK, if we limit ourselves to the non-M coupes and sedans (don’t even bring up the X and B models), the second digit represents the…um, not really anything anymore. Bigger is better, I guess. Also, wtf is the ‘i’? Well, if it follows a sedan designation, it’s quite a bit different than if the model begins with it.

      BMW model numbers are indefensible. They are neither simple nor logical.

      • 0 avatar
        krhodes1

        It’s a simple hierarchy. 1-2-3-4-5-6-7 (and X1-2-3-4-5-6-7 now as well) up the line. Then relative power. As I have noted MANY times, those last two numbers have only coincidentally coincided with displacement since about 1980. The “i” (or in the case of my car “!”) stood for fuel injection back in the day (cars with no i were carb’d), now signifies gasoline as opposed to a “d” which is diesel.

        Not sure it takes a rocket scientist to understand this. Seems very intuitive to me. Not knowing anything about Lincolns, tell me where an MKZ stands in the lineup compared to an MKC? Can you even make an educated guess about it? No way to even tell that one is a sedan and one is a crossover. Without knowing a thing about BMW you can make an guess that a 330i is probably bigger and faster than a 120d and faster than a 320i. A very minimal amount of knowledge will tell you that anything starting with an “X” is a crossover. And if you have half a brain you could probably guess that – X = cross and all. But of course, by definition half the population is below average.

        • 0 avatar
          brn

          “It’s a simple hierarchy. 1-2-3-4-5-6-7”

          Incorrect already. Some of those are sedans. Some are coupes. Even then, it only applies to ###, which not all cars (ignoring crossovers for now) do (M, i, B). Things go downhill quickly, which is why the internet is littered with attempts to explain the system of exceptions. This one:
          https://www.cartelligent.com/blog/understanding-bmw-naming-conventions
          is pretty good, but still needs SIX entire categories to only explain most of it. It still doesn’t explain how the “6-series” has both a Gran Coupe and a Gran Turismo, which shouldn’t be possible.

          Again, neither simple nor logical. Certainly not when compared to Lincoln, which could be explained in six lines, not six entire categories.

          • 0 avatar
            krhodes1

            Why can’t you have different body styles in the same model? Historically a Malibu came in something like six different forms 2dr, 4dr, 5dr, etc. What matters is you know that a Malibu is different from an Impala, and aren’t likely to confuse the two. A 6 is more upmarket than a 5, and down from a 7. The exact form factor is largely irrelevant.

            It’s really not particularly complicated, and easier to learn than strict model names, never mind alphabet soup.

            But I get it, you don’t like anything about BMW. To each his own.

          • 0 avatar
            brn

            “Why can’t you have different body styles in the same model?”
            You can. It’s just that the naming convention declares the 6-series as coupe and the Gran Turismo as a sedan. They contradict their own nomenclature.

            “But I get it, you don’t like anything about BMW.”

            Yes, it must be because i’m a hater.

            While I wouldn’t want to own one out of warranty, I think BMW does some pretty neat stuff. I just think it’s absurd to attack the Lincoln naming convention while defending BMW’s.

  • avatar
    sirwired

    If only Infiniti and Acura would get that particular memo also.

    I guess alphanumerics names don’t have to worry about localization, but there needs to be some rhyme or reason to them, not just a random spew of confusingly-similar letters.

  • avatar
    carguy

    I am unsure if the new nose is an improvement but I wish they had spent that money on the interior and on a more refined transmission.

  • avatar
    silentsod

    I am glad Lincoln is restoring names. As dumb as it makes me sound I couldn’t tell you which model was what except for Continental and Navigator; I don’t really follow Lincoln but am generally interested in cars.

  • avatar
    Lichtronamo

    I believe it was during the Jaq Nasser era at Ford that the “F” for Ford cars, “E” for SUVs, and “M” for Mercury vehicles was conceived. Nasser was personally responsible for picking the names – deciding at the very last moment that the first generation Focus would be named as such and not Fusion, which was obviously recycled for the Contour replacement.

    At the same time Ford and Mercury were going with the same letter names, Lincoln went retro with Zephyr later renamed to MKZ. Interesting that now the story is that the alphanumerics were supposed to be Mark Z, Mark S, Mark X, etc. I’d also read before that the intent was that the names were Em-Kay-Zee, and not a nod to the names of the past.

    And funny that everyone points to the Germans to how to use alphanumerics now that even M-B and BMW’s schemes have little rationale beyond the initial series indicator, but no connection to displacement.

    Ferrari’s use of numerical designations are the most interesting, IMO.

    • 0 avatar
      KalapanaBlack7G

      IIRC, the MKX concept was called Aviator, then the production version debuted the new naming scheme shortly after, and Lincoln specifically made a big to-do about it being pronounced “Mark.” Then, very quickly, and before the production version went on sale, they did an about-face and spent twice as much interview/press release time educating us that it was “Em Kay” instead. I even think I read a later piece that it was indeed J Mays (he’s so insufferably trendy his initial doesn’t even require a period) personally intervened at the eleventh hour to change this pronunciation. It was the Ford board that made him a vice president… Good job, guys.

  • avatar
    phxmotor

    Civic & Accord.
    Enuff said. Until Ford and even GM can come up with
    similarly appropriate names their status as car makers
    will always be second rate. Regardless of their products
    quality.
    NAMING shouldn’t be all that hard.
    If all else fails why not go back to the Model A Model T Model XYZ.
    Who gives a rats ass already as long as the name can hold itself
    up to a Civic or Accord “feeling” on the part of the consumer.
    Too many cooks. That’s the problem. Look at GMs ridiculous ad campaigns compared to the lowley Subaru campaigns.
    It’s embarrassing how far GM has slipped.
    Oh. We are talking about Ford… thats right… Sorry.

    • 0 avatar
      Featherston

      I actually think one ingredient in Hyundai’s ascent is that they’ve stuck with the Accent, Elantra, and Sonata triumvirate since 1995. In that timeframe alone, Chevy has had three names for its compact.

  • avatar
    KOKing

    As much as Lincoln and Cadillac have mangled the alphanumeric naming mess, I don’t think it’s that particular aspect that’s 100% to blame. Let’s look at Buick’s current lineup. The 3 CUVs are all En-something but which is what? We all know one is Chinese and one is an Opel. The Cascada kinda has an identity of its own but who knows offhand between Regal, Lucerne, LaCrosse, Verano and Century which is in what segment, or even being sold today? I don’t think it’s brand apathy, either. Fewer folks are likely to have the same problem with, say, Oldsmobile’s 90s lineup and where the Achieva sat relative to the 98 Regency.

    • 0 avatar
      scott25

      I couldn’t tell you the difference between an 88, 98, Delta whatever or something Supreme, Oldsmobile is probably the worst example I can think of for a logical naming scheme, they had way too many names for basically the same car throughout the 70s-90s.

      • 0 avatar
        ptschett

        I could… 88’s a full-size car, 98’s a bigger and more luxurious full-size car, Delta’s probably an 88, Supreme is usually a Cutlass intermediate (first a trim level, later a Cutlass Supreme on the large side of intermediate.)

  • avatar
    deanst

    If youre going to do a post on the arguing couple – which I mentioned earlier today in the comments – I expect to share the byline!

  • avatar
    brn

    Why Lincoln Ditched the Alphabet Soup: A double standard.

    When imports use alphanumerical model, most people are OK with it. If Lincoln does it, the world is ending.

    People want to believe that the likes of BMW make sense and Lincoln doesn’t. Rather than repeat it all in this post, please see my post above where I attempt to decode them both.

  • avatar
    scott25

    The real message is this, if the cars themselves were memorable/great/good value, people wouldn’t care less what the name is. None of the MK Lincolns have ever had any of these attributes. Just make the vehicles better. But it’s not worth it since Lincoln is more tied than any other manufacturer to a specific, dying and shrinking subset of people.

    When you mention “Lincoln”, 90% of North Americans will think of the Town Car.

  • avatar
    newenthusiast

    I actually had been thinking about looking at Lincoln or Genesis for my next vehicle. According to what I have read here (from posts and from commenters), they seem to emphasize the things I like in a vehicle (ride quality, space, comfortable seating, and with the Genesis – conservative styling) and less or none of what I dislike (pretensions of sportiness in things other than sports cars, stiff rides, complicated electronic controls for everything, no buttons, too small for the price).

    Now, with this new face, I like the Lincoln even more.

    I read above, and JohnTaurus has it right. I’m not even 40, but in the luxury category (actually, in every category other then ‘sports car’) I want good materials, thoughtful detailed ergonomic placement of everything, long term reliability/durability, and comfort. RWD vs FWD vs AWD is immaterial. I don’t care how it does on a track, and I don’t care about touch screens or infotainment software (I DO care about sound quality and ease of adaptation of any tech, though…and usability while driving) I care about how quiet it is inside and how effortlessly it cruises and passes at highway speed. I care about rear passenger leg room, and cargo space. And if it’s some sort of SUV/CUV, I care about how car like it can be while still being able to have towing capacity up to around 7000lbs.

    These are not things that only 80 year old people want. Lincoln may not sell a TON of vehicle, but I think they and Genesis (maybe Lexus?) are the only one who aren’t trying to out German the Germans. And I say that as someone who daily drives an Audi. But if my Audi rode softer and eliminated engine noise from the cabin (which they sell as a feature…yeah, even with a V8, no thanks), I’d probably plan on keeping it forever.

    As it stands, the idea of the Nautilus appeals to me greatly.

    As for names? The Cosmopolitan for a smaller model (likely a CUV?) And, although used once as a concept name, the large sedan or large crossover (Flex-sized?) halo vehicle could be called the Futura.

    Another concept, the Sentinel, was ugly as sin…but the name….so damn cool.

    And yes, I think the Mark Series should return as the flagship, the one vehicle where they could try to do the luxury/sport blend. Platform share with the Mustang as in the past. Keep that one RWD with an AWD option. It would probably HAVE to be 4 doors, though. I think 2 door luxury coupes not tagged as “M”, AMG, or “RS” from Germany are hard sell unless they are also bat-**** crazy performance models..and I’m not sure that fits what the Mark Series was.

    • 0 avatar
      jthorner

      “And yes, I think the Mark Series should return as the flagship, the one vehicle where they could try to do the luxury/sport blend. Platform share with the Mustang as in the past.”

      The Mark III through Mark VII series from the 1960s through the 1990s shared a platform with the Ford Thunderbird, not the Mustang.

      • 0 avatar
        newenthusiast

        I was under the impression that both the Thunderbird and Mark Series (and the Mercury Cougar) were on the Fox platform from 1983 until the early 90’s, when only the Mustang was left on that platform.

        Looking at Ford underpinnings now, a longer version of the S550 Mustang platform is the only one that I think would make sense for a sport/luxury coupe for Lincoln.

  • avatar
    cliff731

    The faster Lincoln can abandon their paradoxical and utterly confusing “Alphabet Soup” names the better… and return to some real names affixed upon their cars and vehicles!!!

  • avatar
    Davekaybsc

    This is a smart move. Lincoln has a lot of things going for it, and while I think the Continental isn’t quite there yet, it’s world’s better than the MKS. I think whatever the next gen…Zephyr? Turns out to be could be very competitive.

    I have absolutely zero interest in the ATS’ at the limit handling on the Nurburgring. I have a lot of interest in the fact that it’s too small, the IP looks like it was taken out of a ’91 Pontiac, CUE is garbage, and they are horribly unreliable shop queens.

    The current MKZ especially in Black Label guise is much nicer inside than the Acura RLX, Lexus IS/ES, ATS, and probably about even with the Q50. It doesn’t match the new A4 or C-class, but I wouldn’t expect it to. It’s not worse than the prior gen A4 that was on sale when the MKZ launched, or the prior gen C-class.

    Things that were problematic when the car launched (radio antenna, Fusion steering wheel, Ford parts bin control stalks, Ford parts bin key fob, etc) have all been dealt with. Some design cues are probably still a little closer to the Fusion than they should be, but having driven both, it doesn’t feel at all like a Fusion inside.

  • avatar
    jthorner

    It took too long, but finally! If you look at some of my TTAC comments from nearly a decade ago you will see me ranting about how stupid it was to give up names with heritage and emotion for a pseudo-European MK-blah code. The whole “Fords start with F…” nonsense was of that same era. Nasser was probably the worst CEO in modern Ford history, so let’s blame him for it :).

  • avatar
    tankinbeans

    I like the reintroduction of names with Lincoln, but the current scheme ceased to be a problem for me when I read a comment on this very site.

    MARK Zephyr (for the Fusion)
    MARK Truck (for the Flex Taurus based crossover)
    MARK Sedan (for the Taurus)
    MARK X (for the Edge based crossover)
    MARK LightTruck (for the short-lived Lincoln branded F-150)

    Then when the MKC joined the stable it wasn’t too hard to put that in its place.

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