Last post on May 27, 2013 at 8:05 PM
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Lincoln Zephyr, Lincoln MKS, Lincoln MKX
#3439 of 4178 Re: 2013 MKZ [edward53]
Sep 07, 2011 (8:13 pm)
Edward, I share your concern about platform sharing, but really, lots of luxury cars share architectural parts with more plebeian rides. The Lexus ES350 has Camry components. The current ES is getting long in the tooth, but it has been well-rated for quite some time (of course the Camry starts with a quiet cabin, so it is easy to build something special from there). Same with the Lexus RX and the corresponding Toyota.
Audi shares some architectures here and there with VW, although the majority of Audi's 20+ models either have their own or share architecture with higher ups (Bentley, Lamborghini, etc.). Infiniti does do their own cars separate from Nissan. Cadillac shares platforms and also has some of its own dedicated platforms. Most people had no idea that the soon to be discontinued DTS and the discontinued Buick Lucerne are the same underneath. Nor did they care. And never did they look alike as Grand Marquis and Crown Victoria did.
Lincoln has not had a dedicated platform since about 1980. The Continental and Town Car both used to use a separate chassis, but that stopped once the 1970s behemoths were done. Nonetheless, the Town Car soldiered on as more than just a Ford with brocade or leather. It had its own style and cache apart from the Ford and Mercury.
In recent years, it has become easier for manufacturers to distinguish their brands with completely different styling, interiors, and powertrains. Ford pre-Mulally did not see the utility of that. "People can't tell that the Explorer and Mountaineer are the same vehicle," and all that rot. Ford has a long history of both producing remarkable products, and also letting them die on the vine.
Now, Ford is trying to learn from its mistakes and trying to recover from losing market share and respect. Platform sharing is one way to go forward when the coffers have been depleted, and hunger has set in. Great things can come of one good platform. VW and Audi have turned out the Golf, Jetta, TT, Beetle, A3, upcoming A3 sedan, Eos, etc. from the same platform. The original Beetle platform spawned the Karman Ghia, the first Porsche, the Thing, the Type 2 and so on.
Anyway, sorry to be so long-winded here. Just saying that a good platform can become any number of good things. Add upscale components, and suddenly, you can have a luxury car if done right. Ford does not have the money or know how to do a whole series of rear drive models right now, even though I bet there are Lincoln people who would love to do so.
It isn't the platform sharing that is hurting Lincoln. It is introducing things like the MKS and expecting it to do well in the marketplace. Had the MKS been pretty and better proportioned, and not so clumsily drawn with vaguely derivative stabs at style, and more attention given to "feel," Lincoln would be doing a little better. After all, the lesser Taurus was derived from the MKS (and Volvo S80), not the other way around.
Nobody asked me of course, but I knew the first time I saw an MKS concept that it was a mistake. I have occasionally been wrong about a car I thought should have succeeded but didn't. But I have many times seen success in "pre-panned" cars that actually went on to do well. Lincoln can share platforms (but not bodies) and succeed. They have done so before. But they have to have beauty and value and some unique attributes beyond electronic gizmos.
Let's see what Lincoln can do now. I think they have gotten the message that platform sharing can no longer be done with badge engineering, or "let's change the body panels and interior and call it a better product." They have been slow, slow learners for sure. Almost killed the whole company. Efforts like the Zephyr/MKZ, MKS, MKT, a Navigator still using the same basic body since 1998...who wouldn't question this company's competence to compete? But now, it really is do or die. Ford can go on without Lincoln. But Ford will never get the respect it deserves until it can build some competitive upmarket products.
#3440 of 4178 Re: 2013 MKZ [gregg_vw]
Sep 08, 2011 (4:36 am)
OK ,But what is the first thing one thinks of when looking at a Lincoln? Most of the people I know think that it is a higher priced Ford. The other marks that you mentioned don't have that problem. People don't have the perception that a Cadillac is a higher priced Buick or Chevy. People don't look at Lexus as being higher priced Toyotas. Also these marks do have exclusive platforms for their premier models. Also the other marks that you mentioned have better platforms even though these platforms are on there last legs. Ford now has only caught up to them. So five years from now these other makes will be better and Lincoln will be on obsolete architecture once again. Besides ,I read in Auto Week that Lexus is going to have dedicated platforms for its models. No more Toyota platforms and they are all going to be RWD. Again Lincoln falls behind.
#3441 of 4178 Re: 2013 MKZ [edward53]
Sep 08, 2011 (3:44 am)
One of these days the American manufacturers will figure out that luxury car buyers want RWD, preferably V8 powered cars. Look at the success of Lexus LS, Mercedes, BMW etc. I'll never buy a Lincoln until they offer a RWD V8. Ford is going to find out that they've handed the law enforcement market to Chrysler on a silver platter. Law enforcement is like luxury car buyers. They want RWD.
#3442 of 4178 Re: 2013 MKZ [akratzer]
Sep 08, 2011 (4:53 am)
From a 1960's guy, Right On! Also Chevy I believe is offering a RWD Police Vehicle.
#3443 of 4178 Re: Platforms [akirby]
Sep 08, 2011 (5:04 am)
How is Llincoln going to be engaging to drive as a BMW when Lincoln is going to be a Front wheel driver? This sounds like propaganda to fool those who know nothing about what makes a car like BMW a BMW. Of course the Lexus you mentioned are best sellers. Buyers have the perception that they are buying a Lexus. These models are not equated to be higher priced Toyotas. Now what is the first thing that one thinks of when comparing Lincoln with Ford?
#3444 of 4178 Re: 2013 MKZ [akratzer]
Sep 08, 2011 (6:04 am)
Law enforcement is like luxury car buyers. They want RWD.
Law enforcement is also about cost containment - the new Taurus and Explorer police products have been designed to allow reuse of exisiting equipment. Moving from the CV to the Dodge and Chevrolet products will cost departments extra.
Also, the Charger has been criticized by the police departments as too small and too delicate.
#3445 of 4178 Re: Platforms [edward53]
Sep 08, 2011 (6:06 am)
How is Llincoln going to be engaging to drive as a BMW when Lincoln is going to be a Front wheel driver?
So when the next 1 series comes out as a FWD vehicle will it not be as engaging to drive as a traditional BMW?
#3446 of 4178 Re: Platforms [edward53]
Sep 08, 2011 (6:27 am)
I don't know how they're going to make it engaging to drive but I don't believe the NEW Ford would make statements like that lightly. You're forgetting that all Lincoln platforms are AWD and I expect that to be standard for the new Lincolns and we know they have the ability to split the torgue electronically. I would imagine this will have a lot to do with it. I don't think you'll see any FWD Lincolns.
As for the RWD Chevy police vehicle - the Taurus based Ford Police Interceptor already beat it in a head to head performance test. Once they get past the IDEA that it's FWD/AWD I think it will do fine.
As for the Lincoln image - exactly how do you think we got to the point where people think Lincolns are just tarted up Fords? Because that's what they were PREVIOUSLY. They shared doors and rooflines and in some cases interiors and they had no standout drivetrains or luxury features to distinguish them.
That is what Ford is changing about Lincoln and that seems to be the part you either don't believe or don't understand. This is a new management team at Ford including dedicated Lincoln designers. They no longer have Mercury or Aston Martin or Jaguar to worry about - they can focus entirely on Lincoln.
Whether they pull it off depends on execution but the plan is solid. I just wish people would wait to see some actual products before writing them off.
#3447 of 4178 Re: Platforms [akirby]
Sep 08, 2011 (8:09 am)
I live in NY and in San Diego. I can tell you that Officers who now drive Chevy Impala's had to get back into high speed driving instruction again because of the front wheeler's tendencies to torque steer under high speed driving. Some thing that the Crown Vic didn't have to worry about. As far as I know every test driver of the MKS/ Ford Taurus have complained about torque drive. As far as AWD Taurus and Lincoln's the primary drive wheels are biased to the front whereas Audi's AWD upper end models the bias is to the rear wheels. Ford cannot engineer such a vehicle as the big Audis without having to create a whole new platform for that purpose. And if it did the vehicle could not be used for Ford because of what a Ford vehicle would cost. And even if Ford did do that then it might as well have created a RWD platform. But Ford chooses to do what it is famous for. That is taking a basic Ford platform and trying to make everyone believe that it can be made into something comparable to what Lexus, Infinity, Audi, BMW, Mercedes, and Cadillac offer. I forgot the Hyundi Equus.
#3448 of 4178 Re: Platforms [robr2]
Sep 08, 2011 (8:19 am)
How much is the one series going to sticker for? I hear that it will be well below what the 3 series starts at. It is suppose to be Bimmers economy model and because it is an economy model it has to be lighter and smaller than the standard Bimmer. Because of its size it has to use fwd so the cabin would have more room. But I would not expect it to perform as its more expensive relatives.