Lincoln MKT Town Car Set To Take Up The Livery Car Mantle From The Panther Platform

The Lincoln Town Car is legendary for its ubiquity as a “black car”, a private limo for the well-to-do in New York City and other swanky locales. But with the Panther Platform vehicles (like the Town Car, Ford Crown Victoria and Mercury Grand Marquis) set to be killed off very shortly, Lincoln has been scrambling for an alternative.

The new MKT Town Car is a very different machine than the Town Car its replacing. The big sedan was a rear-drive, body-on-frame vehicle that was beloved for its robust nature, cheap repair costs and the ability to go for untold miles without needing anything more than routine maintenance. On the other hand, the MKT is based on a front-drive chassis (though all-wheel-drive is available) and uses a modern V6 engine.

Operators will likely be skeptical that the MKT can handle the rigors of endless commuter duty through the pot-hole ridden pavement of Manhattan, so Lincoln has beefed up the chassis, brakes and other components to handle this task – and to provide a re-enforcements should clients wish to stretch the MKT by 10 feet, a capability built in to the Town Car from the factory. Wi-fi capability, a SYNC system and special rear seat pockets are maps and newspapers are further concessions made for the livery car market.

The rear seats have been moved back by 1.5 inches to allow for more leg room with reclining rear seats and controls for the front passenger chair, should back seat riders desire more leg room. With 39.6 cubic feet of cargo space, the MKT also boasts more room for material objects than the Town Car, even if the old-money cachet of the outgoing vehicle isn’t quite the same.

Hit the jump for the official press release

Gallery: Lincoln MKT Town Car

Read more
Chicago 2011: Acura TL Gets Its Beak Nipped And Tucked

Acura is cognizant of the fact that their current design language isn’t going over well with consumers, and is at least doing something about it. Truth be told, the Acura TL is a good car. Equipped with SH-AWD it’s even better, and with the 6-speed manual transmission, it’s fantastic. Unfortunately it looks like a child’s attempt at an oragami hippo, which has prevented a lot of people from giving it a fair shake.

Read more
Chicago 2011: Volkswagen GLI Is The Jetta We've Been Waiting For

Amid all the disappointment surrounding the 2011 Volkswagen Jetta, and the step back it has taken in quality and driving dynamics, Volkswagen wants to show enthusiasts that it hasn’t forgotten them, and is augmenting both the GTI hatchback and the rest of the Jetta lineup with the GLI, a 4-door Jetta that retains features like a punchy turbocharged engine and an independent rear suspension.

Read more
Chicago 2011: Buick Regal EAssist Debuts

While GM’s announcement of a new car based on the Camaro platform being shown at the Chicago Auto Show stole the spotlight in the automotive press, the Buick Regal eAssist represents a product far more relevant to the average consumer, even if it’s less glamorous.

With an eAssist hybrid system from the Buick Lacrosse, the Regal delivers excellent mileage for a mid-size sedan, returning 26 mpg in the city and 37 mpg on the highway. A 15 horsepower electric motor helps to assist during acceleration and also allows for regenerative braking, and a start/stop system.

On the aesthetic front, lightweight 17″ wheels, a 7-inch screen for keeping track of fuel economy and other data, as well as an eco model for the air conditioning all make an appearance only on the eAssist. While the Lacrosse eAssist will be positioned as an entry level trim within the range, the Regal variant will simply complement the other versions, including the Regal Turbo and Regal GS.

Gallery: Buick Regal eAssist

Read more
Hyundai Elantra Coupe Coming This Spring, New Azera, To Arrive In 2012

Hyundai dealers were reportedly shown a coupe version of the Elantra compact, set to debut in spring, as well as a new Azera full-size sedan that will go on sale in the fall.

Read more
Chevrolet Impala Gets All-New V6, In Production Until 2014

With the Chevrolet Impala forced to endure an unbearably long production cycle (8 years by the time its replacement arrives in 2015), Chevrolet’s full-size sedan will need something to ensure it stays relevant in the marketplace, and General Motors is confident that an updated engine will do the trick.

Read more
Volvo S60 Sales Up 17,267 Percent

Volvo‘s new S60 is an absolutely wonderful car, and our review (coming soon) will reflect that. We’re not the only ones either, as praise for the car has been unanimous. While there’s often a disconnect between what auto journalists like and what consumers actually buy.

Read more
2012 Infiniti M35h Will Get 32 MPG Highway, 360 Horsepower

The 2012 Infiniti M35h Hybrid, the brand’s first hybrid vehicle, has been rated at 27 mpg in the city and 29 mpg highway, while returning 350 horsepower from its V6 engine.

Read more
BMW M5 Concept To Debut At Shanghai Auto Show

The long awaited next generation BMW M5 will get its first showing in (lightly disguised) concept form at the Shanghai Auto Show. With China becoming a rapidly important market for BMW (read: sales are booming), the new car, codenamed the F10, will surely be a hit with performance-minded buyers in China and the world over.

Read more
Chevrolet To Introduce New Camaro-Based Car At Chicago Auto Show, New Caprice Almost Certain

During our drive of the Chevrolet Camaro Convertible, we chatted with one engineer about GM’s Zeta platform, which underpins rear-drive full size cars. Among remarking how much we adored the Pontiac G8 sedan and how we longed for a revival of the car, the engineer broke into a broad grin and said “well, these things have a way of happening.”

Read more
Volkswagen Super Bowl Ads Use The Force, Insect Imagery

With two new major debuts in 2011, Volkswagen is hoping to raise their profile in the United States with a coupe Super Bowl commercials that show off their new Passat and give a hint at what the 2012 Beetle will look like when it bows at the end of the year.

The Passat spot evokes some iconic music from Star Wars, as well as a cute youngster running around in a Darth Vader get-up, attempting to use “The Force” on a variety of household objects. Unsuccessful, he tries his luck with the family car, a 2012 Passat, only to find out he’s in for a surprise.

The ad for the Beetle is a little more literal, showing a CGI-rendered beetle (as in, the insect) tearing through a dirt path. Ostensibly, this is supposed to mimic the sportier Beetle due in time for 2012.

Hit the jump to see Volkswagen’s commercials for the Superbowl

Read more
Hyundai Superbowl Spots Highlight Elantra, Sonata Hybrid

This year’s Super Bowl is heavy on automotive ads, with [url=

Read more
BMW M Car Sales Up 14 Percent In 2010

BMW‘s M division saw sales of its sports cars increase by 14.2 percent in 2010, to 16,967 units. The M3 remained the brand’s most popular car, with the coupe, sedan and convertible making up 10,116 units. In second place was the X6M with 3,082 units and X5M with 2,778 units.

Read more
Lincoln Dealers Won't See New Product At Meetings With Ford Execs

With 200 of Lincoln‘s 1200 dealers staring down a possible termination of their franchise, an upcoming dealer meeting will provide little comfort to retailers of Ford’s luxury brand, as the Blue Oval will not share upcoming product details with Lincoln’s sales force.

Read more
BMW Prepares For 4-Cylinder Onslaught

BMW has always been known for their trademark inline-6 engines, but the recent industry-wide trend of downsizing has led to BMW adopting turbocharged four-cylinder engines as an alternative to smaller, naturally aspirated I6 engines in the name of efficiency.

Read more