|2015 Lincoln MKR sedan (official Lincoln photo - concept vehicle)|
Lincoln's MKS sedan is a sales failure. Ford's luxury division is only selling approximately 1,000 MKS sedans a month, while Cadillac is selling five times as many CTS sedans and the new XTS has been deemed a hit by the auto press, and Cadillac will soon parlay the XTS' success here in the USA and sell the model in both China and Europe (as an Opel, apparently).
Ford now realizes that no one (besides the Florida retiree market) will pay $50.000 USD for a overly chromed and leather-lined Ford Taurus sedan, even one with a 350 horsepower twin-turbo V-6, as the MKS offers - and the Taurus offers as well, also with all-wheel drive standard in the Taurus model. The new Mondeo-based Lincoln MKZ at least looks a lot different than its sexy Aston-ish styled 2013 Ford Fusion cousin. However, the uniquely styled MKZ has polarizing "love it or hate it" stying - the massive chrome grille (which Lincoln designers have said is supposed to look like an eagle's spread wings) just hasn't caught on thus far with the auto press or luxury buyers.
Lincoln is again on the ropes as a distinct brand, as Ford suffers tremendous losses (over $1 billion USD) recently from it's struggling European operations. In a move to cut costs, Lincoln may become collateral damage as Ford tries to stop the flow of Ford of Europe's red ink.
But, if Lincoln can hang on until the 2015 model year, the above-pictured MKR "suicide" doored sedan may be the savior of the brand. Lincoln desperately wants to utilize a stretched version of the all-new global 2015 Ford Mustang's RWD platform for a MKR sports sedan. The next-gen Mustang will weigh about 500 to 600 pounds less than the current Mustang, offer an independent rear-suspension (replacing the current model's ancient and ill-behaved live axle), and offer turbocharged Eco-Boost 4 and 6 cylinder engines, while any V-8 powered Mustangs may be limited-edition Shelby models due to tightening CAFE fuel economy standards. Lincoln would like to use an all-wheel drive version of the Mustang chassis for the MKR with an eight-speed automatic transmission (sourced from ZF likely) and the Eco-Boosted engines to compete with the new Cadillac ATS and the usual 3-series and C-class variants. A light hybrid version is also likely, if Ford decides to spend the money and go forward with the MKR.
[Edited 2012-08-26 19:45:37]
[Edited 2012-08-26 19:56:28]