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 |  Oct 06 2010, 2:41 PM

For the best part of, well, a long time really, the most popular vehicle in North America for limo service has been Lincoln‘s Panther platform Town Car. But now, with the demise of both it and the evergreen Ford Crown Victoria/Mercury Grand Marquis, Lincoln’s sizeable number of livery fleet customers need an alternative. The brand believes that a specialized version of the slow selling MKT crossover should fit the bill.

To make the MKT more adaptable for livery use, it will feature revised seating with the third row removed and the second row adjusted to emulate the livery Town Car’s rear legroom, plus standard WiFi and info entertainment system. A second variant will be built off a heavy-duty chassis, capable of being lengthened up to an additional 120-inches and aimed straight at stretched limousine operators.

Both livery MKT models will offer all-wheel drive and should be available beginning sometime in 2012. Whether they’ll have durability to match the Town Car remains to be seen, but at least Ford isn’t choosing to abandon this very profitable market segment.