Does Lincoln Need Rear-Wheel Drive? - Ford Inside News Community
View Poll Results: Does Lincoln Need RWD Products To Compete?
Yes! 35 77.78%
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post #1 of 71 (permalink) Old 01-30-2012, 10:40 AM Thread Starter
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Does Lincoln Need Rear-Wheel Drive?

Many still assert the brand must have some RWD to succeed.
www.FordInsideNews.com
January 30, 2012
By: Nick Saporito


With Lincoln's renaissance now in the works, everyone seems to have an opinion as to which products the luxury brand should receive. Most specifically, the topic of rear-wheel drive continues to arise with discussion on both sides of the argument. During the recent Detroit auto show--where Lincoln's new direction was arguably set with the MKZ Concept--many within the media were heard trumpeting that Lincoln cannot successfully tackle the luxury market without the "price of entry" of having at least a couple of cars driven by the rear wheels.

Lincoln has made their direction fairly clear. They want their vehicles to be the best of both luxury worlds; a cushy ride like a Lexus, with drive qualities that rival Germany's best. Thanks to new technologies such as active suspensions, that direction is not entirely infeasible for Lincoln. Though any enthusiast knows that physics is going to defy Lincoln from truly driving like a BMW without a rear-wheel drive chassis. All-wheel drive is fantastic and should be on all Lincoln products, but there is a strong segment of the luxury market that wants rear-wheel drive. There is also the image portion of the luxury equation. Having a competitive rear-wheel drive sedan (or coupe) is about the equivalent to having the highest towing rating in the full-size truck market. In other words, it's a very important bragging right in the luxury market. Not to mention it is a near must to be competitive in the European market. Ford has hinted that it may ultimately make Lincoln a global brand.

So, does Lincoln need rear-wheel drive to have a successful luxury brand turnaround? Vote in the poll above.

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post #2 of 71 (permalink) Old 01-30-2012, 10:48 AM
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Re: Does Lincoln Need Rear-Wheel Drive?

I would say that larger vehicles in the lineup should go to RWD. Smaller vehicles can stay on FWD based platforms. I would say that the next MkS and MKT should go RWD.

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post #3 of 71 (permalink) Old 01-30-2012, 12:10 PM
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Re: Does Lincoln Need Rear-Wheel Drive?

We have yet to see the test drives of the new MKS with the advances made to their AWD system, let alone the new MKZ, which may raise the bar for AWD even more.

If the latest AWD systems with much more vehicle interaction can change the perception of the performance aspect of the contention, it may be the way to go for most Lincolns.

AWD already has safety as an advantage. If it can be delivered without a meaningful weight, price, or mileage penalty while matching performance, some established RWD manufacturers may be the ones with a decision to make.

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post #4 of 71 (permalink) Old 01-30-2012, 01:51 PM
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Re: Does Lincoln Need Rear-Wheel Drive?

If the Continetnal were to return then RWD is it. No questions asked. To use FWD/AWD on the next Continental would be like having the next Mustang based on the Focus and called Mustang II Redux.(It just will not get the respect) I would think some of the entry level Lincolns could be FWD/AWD based but the bigger guns need to be RWD to compete with the likes of MB, Cadillac and BMW.
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post #5 of 71 (permalink) Old 01-30-2012, 02:21 PM
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Re: Does Lincoln Need Rear-Wheel Drive?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Logans Run View Post
If the latest AWD systems with much more vehicle interaction can change the perception of the performance aspect of the contention, it may be the way to go for most Lincolns.
Logans Run I agree with you that AWD has many advantages and has a strong following. However, I don't think the mainstream luxury shopper will even notice Lincoln without several RWD vehicles as part of their product line-up. (IMHO)
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post #6 of 71 (permalink) Old 01-30-2012, 02:44 PM
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Re: Does Lincoln Need Rear-Wheel Drive?

Absolutely not! Lincoln does not need RWD. Most people don't need RWD! AWD with a FWD bias is just fine.

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post #7 of 71 (permalink) Old 01-30-2012, 02:47 PM
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Re: Does Lincoln Need Rear-Wheel Drive?

Quote:
Originally Posted by TurboS40 View Post
If the Continetnal were to return then RWD is it. No questions asked. To use FWD/AWD on the next Continental would be like having the next Mustang based on the Focus and called Mustang II Redux.(It just will not get the respect) I would think some of the entry level Lincolns could be FWD/AWD based but the bigger guns need to be RWD to compete with the likes of MB, Cadillac and BMW.
The last Continentals were FWD. I get really sick of hearing about competing with BMW and Mercedes. I wouldn't even consider either or those brands and I think a lot of Lincoln buyers are the same way. I hear the same drum-beating on the GM forums about how Cadillac has to do away with FWD. Doing that would be terrible. Cadillac and Lincoln are different from BMW and Mercedes. I hate to tell everyone that but it's true. I would be just fine with a RWD Lincoln again like the LS because that was an awesome car but RWD should not be the main focus. Why does everyone have to be carbon clones of BMW and Mercedes?!

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post #8 of 71 (permalink) Old 01-30-2012, 03:05 PM
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Re: Does Lincoln Need Rear-Wheel Drive?

Yes, I say they need at least 2-3 for the lineup.

1 for the Flagship
1 for the LS replacement
1 for the Mark Replcement

the rest can be FWD/AWD

This does not include the Navigator....

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post #9 of 71 (permalink) Old 01-30-2012, 03:12 PM
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Re: Does Lincoln Need Rear-Wheel Drive?

it would take a Ford market analyst with beaucoup hard data (in person) to convince me that Lincoln doesn't need Rwd ...in addition to F-Awd (to reach its Full Potential rather than "compete") ...& NOT the biggest Lincoln(s) either
- GRwdP Continental global flagship, 199¾" long MAX
- Mustang co-platformed sportsedan & coupe cabrio
however there is a time limit on this
petrol v8's are an endangered species

Quote:
Originally Posted by ausrutherford View Post
...MKT should go RWD.
imho the MKT should be killed off in favor of a LWB sedan - - a new EB Navigator with all of Ford's vaporware weight-savings oughta be better anyway.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Logans Run View Post
...some established RWD manufacturers may be the ones with a decision to make.
good point

I spent most of the weekend at our local dealer-run autoshow
& had a number of conversations with people who were looking for Awd,
apparently with NO consideration as to whether it was based on Fwd or Rwd (note: Reno has had NO snow, that stuck, this ENTIRE winter)

One man checking out a 5 series, asked my opinion of the TL* instead,
siting lower cost of ownership which appeared to be his main concern.
When asked he said he didn't expect to ever have rearseat passengers (the 5er has FAR superior passenger space imho)



* of course I said the TL is ugly, esp its "canopener" grille
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post #10 of 71 (permalink) Old 01-30-2012, 04:38 PM
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Re: Does Lincoln Need Rear-Wheel Drive?

To the average person who frequents auto boards such as this the answer is a clear, and loud yes! To the average luxury car shopper the answer is no.

I do think it would be beneficial to Lincoln to have a nice rear drive sports sedan (and possibly coupe), if done right it would go a long, long ways toward adding some credibility to its image. I'm thinking 3 series, ATS competitor here. Right now image is truly a big problem at Lincoln, and with the major auto media so laser focused on the fact that Lincoln's are build on Ford platforms (all the while ignoring the fact that so are many Lexus models, in fact their top selling models) they need to find a way to push past this issue.

I would like to see it, and I think we will. But as has been echoed by the Lincoln brass time and again, this rebuilding of Lincoln isn't going to happen in just a few years, its going to be a decade before they can make Lincoln what they truly expect it to be.
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