A new look Lincoln MKZ debuted at the LA Auto Show, sporting a new design and unique powertrain, but don’t expect Lincoln to stray away from the popular segments.
In a report by Automotive News, the premium American brand is not thinking of adding a coupe or rear-wheel drive vehicle to its lineup anytime soon. Instead, the brand will focus on improving its presence in the mainstream market.
“We’ve said we need to cover the core segments first,” said Matt VanDyke, director of global Lincoln, in the report. “Luxury coupes and sports cars are not the first place we need to go.”
The MKZ will be the first vehicle to launch with this new focus, sporting the brands new rectangular grille, rather than the polarizing split-wing grille found on Lincolns today. The sedan will also be offered with a 3.0-liter twin-turbo engine that makes 400-hp. That engine is unique to the Lincoln lineup, helping to distinguish the brand from more mass-market Ford vehicles.
Following the launch of the MKZ, the brand will introduce a production version of the Continental, which will replace the current MKS sedan. The Continental features a focus on luxury appointments and technology. Expect the same twin-turbo 3-liter engine to power the bigger Continental.
According to the report, Lincoln is on the verge of a two-year streak of sales increases. U.S. sales are up 7.5 percent this year, although 2014 was more prosperous with the brand’s sales increasing by 14 percent. However, the average age of a Lincoln buyer has dropped from 67 a few years ago to 58 today, closer to the luxury market’s average of 54.
The brand is expected to introduce two new nameplates by 2020, but isn’t sharing what segment they may be entering. Analysts expect a new three-row crossover to fit between the MKT and Navigator, likely called the Aviator. Furthermore, the American premium brand doesn’t have anything to compete with entry-level luxury vehicles from Mercedes and Audi.
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