Joint Ford-Rivian Electric Vehicle Will Wear a Lincoln Badge; MKZ Bites the Dust This Year

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
joint ford rivian electric vehicle will wear a lincoln badge mkz bites the dust this

It seems $500 million buys you a new Lincoln model, at the very least.

Ford Motor Company’s half-billion-dollar investment in electric vehicle startup Rivian will indeed spawn a new Lincoln model, the automaker announced Wednesday. At the same time, Lincoln confirmed that the midsize MKZ sedan won’t live to see the end of the year.

That Ford and Rivian plan to jointly develop a new vehicle on the latter company’s “skateboard” EV platform is not news; the Blue Oval made that clear from the outset. What remained a mystery was the vehicle’s bodystyle and badge.

“Working with Rivian marks a pivotal point for Lincoln as we move toward a future that includes fully electric vehicles,” Lincoln President Joy Falotico said in a statement. “This vehicle will take Quiet Flight to a new place – zero emissions, effortless performance and connected and intuitive technology. It’s going to be stunning.”

The news confirms last November’s Reuters report that claimed a Lincoln vehicle would emerge from the partnership. Sources with knowledge of the program said the platform underpinning Rivian’s R1T pickup and R1S SUV would form the basis of a Lincoln SUV due out in mid-2022. Given the size of the R1S (seen below), the model — reportedly codenamed U787 ⁠— is assumed to be a midsize, three-row vehicle.

When it arrives, the jointly developed model will join two plug-in hybrids in Lincoln’s lineup: the Aviator and Corsair Grand Touring. The automaker didn’t mention an on-sale or production date, nor a production locale, though Rivian owns an assembly plant in Normal, Illinois that could potentially handle the build.

In the background of all this, Ford r eportedly plans to build two midsize (Edge/Nautilus-sized) EV crossovers at its Flat Rock, Michigan assembly plant for the 2023 model year, each bearing a different badge. The production codes for those vehicles do not match the Rivian model.

Exciting stuff for tech geeks and greenies, but for traditional Lincoln lovers, it’s a sad day. In the same announcement, the marque took the opportunity to proclaim the demise of the MKZ sedan.

“As Lincoln adds a new luxury electric vehicle to its lineup, production of the MKZ sedan will end this year in order for the Hermosillo Assembly Plant in Mexico to prepare for production of new Ford vehicles,” the automaker stated.

Sharing the same platform as the equally doomed Ford Fusion, the MKZ was not expected to live beyond 2021. It seems its death will occur just a bit sooner than initially thought.

[Images: Lincoln Motor Company, Rivian]

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  • Akear Akear on Jan 30, 2020

    I keep hearing about this so-called Lincoln renaissance, but I still see they are being outsold by Cadillac by more than a 2 to 1 margin. In short sales are lousy. Obviously, the public prefers Cadillac mediocrity.

    • See 1 previous
    • ToolGuy ToolGuy on Feb 01, 2020

      @SaulTigh "I’d be curious how the number of Lincoln dealers compares to Cadillac dealers." - Lincoln has around 1,100 dealers in the U.S. - Cadillac has a little over 900 (about half of these sold fewer than 50 vehicles in 2017)

  • Tankinbeans Tankinbeans on Jan 30, 2020

    I can't look at a Rivian without seeing a Ba-Bomb from Super Mario Brothers. That's not necessarily a bad thing, but any Recommendations Rivian I got would need to be named a Mario Bros appropriate name, like Goomba.

  • Nrd515 I bought an '88 S10 Blazer with the 4.3. We had it 4 years and put just about 48K on it with a bunch of trips to Nebraska and S. Dakota to see relatives. It had a couple of minor issues when new, a piece of trim fell off the first day, and it had a seriously big oil leak soon after we got it. The amazinly tiny starter failed at about 40K, it was fixed under some sort of secret warranty and we got a new Silverado as a loaner. Other than that, and a couple of tires that blew when I ran over some junk on the road, it was a rock. I hated the dash instrumentation, and being built like a gorilla, it was about an inch and a half too narrow for my giant shoulders, but it drove fine, and was my second most trouble free vehicle ever, only beaten by my '82 K5 Blazer, which had zero issues for nearly 50K miles. We sold the S10 to a friend, who had it over 20 years and over 400,000 miles on the original short block! It had a couple of transmissions, a couple of valve jobs, a rear end rebuild at 300K, was stolen and vandalized twice, cut open like a tin can when a diabetic truck driver passed out(We were all impressed at the lack of rust inside the rear quarters at almost 10 years old, and it just went on and on. Ziebart did a good job on that Blazer. All three of his sons learned to drive in it, and it was only sent to the boneyard when the area above the windshield had rusted to the point it was like taking a shower when it rained. He now has a Jeep that he's put a ton of money into. He says he misses the S10's reliablity a lot these days, the Jeep is in the shop a lot.
  • Jeff S Most densely populated areas have emission testing and removing catalytic converters and altering pollution devices will cause your vehicle to fail emission testing which could effect renewing license plates. In less populated areas where emission testing is not done there would probably not be any legal consequences and the converter could either be removed or gutted both without having to buy specific parts for bypassing emissions. Tampering with emission systems would make it harder to resell a vehicle but if you plan on keeping the vehicle and literally running it till the wheels fall off there is not much that can be done if there is no emission testing. I did have a cat removed on a car long before mandatory emission testing and it did get better mpgs and it ran better. Also had a cat gutted on my S-10 which was close to 20 years old which increased performance and efficiency but that was in a state that did not require emission testing just that reformulated gas be sold during the Summer months. I would probably not do it again because after market converters are not that expensive on older S-10s compared to many of the newer vehicles. On newer vehicles it can effect other systems that are related to the operating and the running of the vehicle. A little harder to defeat pollution devices on newer vehicles with all the systems run by microprocessors but if someone wants to do it they can. This law could be addressing the modified diesels that are made into coal rollers just as much as the gasoline powered vehicles with cats. You probably will still be able to buy equipment that would modify the performance of a vehicles as long as the emission equipment is not altered.
  • ToolGuy I wonder if Vin Diesel requires DEF.(Does he have issues with Sulfur in concentrations above 15ppm?)
  • ToolGuy Presented for discussion:
  • Kevin Ford can do what it's always done. Offer buyouts to retirement age employees, and transfers to operating facilities to those who aren't retirement age. Plus, the transition to electric isn't going to be a finger snap one time event. It's going to occur over a few model years. What's a more interesting question is: Where will today's youth find jobs in the auto industry given the lower employment levels?