DEARBORN - The premium industry offers a unique opportunity for growth as Lincoln strengthens to compete for market share. By 2017, the U.S. premium industry will grow to about 8.6 million units, up from 6.2 million today.
Considering 25 percent of all retail sales in the premium space are hybrids, the all-new 2013 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid has the chance to make conquests not only on the coasts but also in key luxury markets.
And for 2014, Lincoln will double the production of MKZ Hybrid – hybrid production will be 40 percent of the builds.
Since the recession, luxury trends have shifted to focus on long-lasting, high-quality vehicles that can be enjoyed discreetly and uniquely.
“The MKZ Hybrid is so special because it’s the perfect combination between design and technology,” said Tom Ozog, chief engineer, MKZ. “We want to offer customers a vehicle that not only meets their desires, but also is distinctively Lincoln.”
The MKZ Hybrid features a new lithium-ion battery, which has an air-cooling system to regulate temperature and maximize battery life. And the powersplit architecture allows the electric and gas engine to work together – or separately – to maximize efficiency.
Regenerative braking helps the MKZ Hybrid capture energy that would be otherwise lost as heat during vehicle braking, recovering more than 90 percent of the brake energy and recharging the lithium-ion battery.
Outstanding fuel economy also comes standard with MKZ Hybrid, as it delivers 45 mpg city, highway and combined – besting the Lexus ES300 Hybrid by 6 mpg.
With all vehicles, including hybrids, behavioral and environmental factors such as weather, temperature, driving style and driver routes can affect fuel-efficiency performance.
To help drivers improve fuel efficiency, SmartGauge® is standard on every Lincoln MKZ Hybrid. It includes EcoGuide, a powerful in-vehicle tool that provides drivers with performance information. By using these tools, drivers can understand how changing their driving habits can have a direct effect on maximizing their vehicle mileage.
A significant feature of the Lincoln brand going forward is the Lincoln Drive Control.
“The Lincoln brand is all about providing that warm, inviting comfort with a responsive driving element,” said Ozog. “This means drivers are rewarded with smooth, effortless power complimented by agile handling and responsive steering in a comfortable and quiet environment.”
This experience is provided by continuously controlled damping (CCD).
CCD delivers improved ride and handling with reduced vehicle motion, improved road isolation and increased initial roll damping. The settings also are varied based on road conditions and driver input. CCD also has pothole detection, rough road detection and active noise control to provide the customer the smoothest, quietest ride.