By on January 29, 2020

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 reportedly 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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19 Comments on “Joint Ford-Rivian Electric Vehicle Will Wear a Lincoln Badge; MKZ Bites the Dust This Year...”

  • avatar

    the Amish were ahead of their time. get a horse!

  • avatar

    With all these various flavors of crossovers/SUVs that Ford will be cranking out, at what point are they competing with themselves?

    • 0 avatar

      ” at what point are they competing with themselves?”

      Great question in view of the fact that the USMCA was signed into law today for the US and Mexico, and thus how much of Ford’s production and/or parts supply train will be coming from Mexico.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    Probably get a deal on the MKZ. Glad I got my neighbor’s low mileage 2012 Lacrosse for a low price. We might not see any sedans in the near future.

    • 0 avatar

      Koreans still favor sedans. As long as you’re willing to drive a H/K/G, you should have a few options. They’ve proven willing to send low-volume sedans to the US.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    Probably get a deal on the MKZ. Glad I got my neighbor’s low mileage 2012 Lacrosse for a low price. We might not see any sedans in the near future.

  • avatar
    cimarron typeR

    I’ve always liked the MKZ exterior. They would make for a smooth highway cruiser-I’ve never driven one but the Fusion is already fairly quiet, I’m sure this is even more so. They’re a bargain in the CPO market right now.

    • 0 avatar

      I drove a 2012 Fusion and a 2012 MKZ back to back. Night and day. The MKZ was much smoother (drivetrain and even the power seats), quieter, and just felt better.
      I’ve also driven the current gen Fusion, which brought the Fusion up to a new level. I would hope the current gen MKZ did the same.

  • avatar

    I had a ’17 MKZ with the 3.0L TT and quite liked it. Unfortunately I learned that I can’t really adapt to an automatic transmission so it’s now been replaced. It was a quiet car that exuded presence in black but when you summoned the 400HP on tap it was quite a beast.

  • avatar

    Corporate-speak decode of the day:

    “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.”

    Translation – our current products:
    – Are dirty
    – Have strained performance
    – Are disconnected, with non-intuitive technology
    – Aren’t stunning

    Don’t look at me – *he* said it. (“New place” means someplace you aren’t right now.)

    • 0 avatar

      Ooops – *she* (Joy not Jay).

      [Second test I’ve failed recently. When you change the fuel pump on a modern vehicle, the car is going to grade you later (via the EVAP system) on the seal you’ve achieved between the fuel pump and the fuel tank. It’s a pass/fail test. Back into the trunk we go!]

  • avatar

    For some reason good cars do not last long in Ford Motor Company. I never thought they would be able to screw up car like Fusion but they did.

  • avatar

    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.

    • 0 avatar

      I’d be curious how the number of Lincoln dealers compares to Cadillac dealers. My pretty prosperous neck of the woods went without a Lincoln dealer for 10 years after the previous one went belly up in the great recession. It took the surviving Ford dealership that long to build a new building and pick up the brand. So far they seem pretty successful with it. Seeing quite a few of the various SUV models on the road around here.

      I still feel kinda burned by Lincoln. Loved my ’08 MKZ until the Cyclone water pump of doom struck. My wife liked the car too, and we still talk about how if that hadn’t happen we’d still be driving it. Handsome, reasonably powerful, and a very lovely shade of metallic red.

      • 0 avatar

        “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)

  • avatar

    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.

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