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 |  Mar 31 2010, 10:30 AM

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Earlier today Lincoln announced plans to introduce a hybrid version of its MKZ luxury sedan, which has now just been officially unveiled at the New York Auto Show. Based on the same platform as the Ford Fusion and Mercury Milan, the MKZ Hybrid also uses the same hybrid drivetrain to achieve an impressive 41/36 mpg (city/highway)

Ford’s plan with the car is that the hybrid buzz will get buyers into Lincoln showrooms and hopefully even draw over buyers from Lexus showrooms and away from the HS250h – the car’s main competitor. Plus, as the MKZ Hybrid uses the same hybrid setup found in the Ford Fusion Hybrid, the higher asking price and profit margin on Lincoln products will put more money in Ford’s coffers.

The 2011 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid comes with plenty of standard technology and safety systems, such as a reverse sensing system, heated and cooled front seats, Ford’s MyKey system and SYNC. Plus it gets a version of the SmartGauge with EcoGuide on the dash. Lincoln is hoping all this will help it compete with the Lexus HS. It might not have the craftsmanship, but the larger and more functional MKZ Hybrid is also more fuel efficient.

Pricing will be released later this year when the car officially goes on sale.

GALLERY: Lincoln MKZ Hybrid World Premiere in New York

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Official release after the jump:

Continue Reading…

 |  Mar 31 2010, 12:55 AM

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While Ford has poured a lot of money into the Lincoln brand over the past few years, with new products and designs, the Blue Oval hasn’t seen much return on its investment. Now, however, it may just have a plan that could work: It’s called the Lincoln MKZ Hybrid and it just so happens to be the most fuel efficient luxury car in America.

Ford is not only hoping the hybrid buzz will get buyers into Lincoln showrooms, but its hoping that right now it can conquest sales from Lexus. Plus, as the MKZ Hybrid uses the same hybrid setup found in the Ford Fusion Hybrid, the higher asking price and profit margin on Lincoln products will put more money in Ford’s coffers.

As mentioned, this is the very setup found in the Fusion, which shares its platform with the MKZ and Mercury Milan. So it’s not exactly new, but that doesn’t mean it’s not impressive. Remember, the engine won awards in the Fusion and is still one of the most fuel efficient vehicles on the road with a 41/36 mpg (city/highway) rating. That being said, it out-greens the Lexus HS250h (its closest competitor) by a considerable margin.

The 2011 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid will also come with plenty of standard technology and safety systems, such as a reverse sensing system, heated and cooled front seats, Ford’s MyKey system and SYNC. Plus it gets a version of the SmartGauge with EcoGuide on the dash. Lincoln is hoping all this will help it compete with the Lexus HS, however, we doubtful the Lincoln can compare to the Lexus’ luxury and build quality not to mention the fact that the Lexus also offers some truly impressive (if expensive) technology features. What the MKZ offers, however, is better fuel economy and more usable space.

The real competitor for the MKZ Hybrid may just remain its two siblings, which have always drawn customers down market with similar product offerings at a lower price point.

One of the biggest factors will be the car’s price, which Ford says will be released later this year when the MKZ Hybrid officially goes on sale.

Lincoln will officially debut the car later today at the New York Auto Show and AutoGuide will be on hand to bring you more info and plenty of live photos.

For up-to-date New York Auto Show coverage, see the link below:

2010 New York Auto Show Coverage

GALLERY: 2011 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid

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Official release after the jump:

Continue Reading…

 |  Mar 29 2010, 8:34 PM

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Lincoln will debut a hybrid version of its MKZ luxury sedan at the New York Auto Show later this week, according to a report by The Detroit News. No details on the hybrid Lincoln are available, but it’s expected to share the same hybrid format used in the Ford Fusion Hybrid and Mercury Milan Hybrid, where it gets 41/36 mpg (city/highway) and can operate on electric power at speeds up to 47 mph.

The MKZ Hybrid will be the first hybrid in the Lincoln lineup and Ford hopes it will be an attractive offer to those in search of a luxury hybrid. Currently, affordable luxury hybrids are rate, with the only other competitor being the Lexus HS250h, which only gets 35/34 mpg (city/highway).

Unfortunately for Ford, the company only has a limited number of hybrid drivetrains that it can produce.  That means every Lincoln MKZ Hybrid built is a Ford Fusion Hybrid that isn’t built. Fortunately for Ford, until it can produce more hybrid drivetrains, the higher dollar value of the Lincoln should equate to higher profits.

The real question will be if hybrid Lincolns, like the rest of the Lincoln lineup, sell at all.

We’ll be sure to bring you more details with full 2010 New York Auto Show coverage starting March 31st.

Click the link below on or after March 31st for live updates.

2010 New York Auto Show Coverage

[Source: The Detroit News]