Car & Driver: Derrick Kuzak.- Rear-Wheel-Drive Car for Lincoln - Ford Inside News Community
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-12-2008, 05:22 PM Thread Starter
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Car & Driver: Derrick Kuzak.- Rear-Wheel-Drive Car for Lincoln

Rear-Wheel-Drive Car for Lincoln



If Lincoln has a rear-drive car in the works, we hope it’s the MKR.

BY ALISA PRIDDLE, January 2008

Maybe there’s hope for Lincoln as a competitive luxury brand yet, with news that there’s a rear-drive car in the works.

At a pre-Detroit-auto-show event, Derrick Kuzak, Ford group vice-president in charge of global product development, says rear-wheel drive will be important for the Lincoln brand going forward, and there is such a vehicle in the future product plan.

It’s music to our ears. We can be forgiven for thinking Ford was abdicating all rights to rear-drive performance to Cadillac and the German and Japanese luxury brands, given that the flagship Lincoln MKS sedan is a front-driver without a V-8, relying instead on the automaker’s new EcoBoost line of turbocharged direct-injection gasoline V-6 engines.

Kuzak won’t give any details on what he has in the pipeline, but we hope he has his engineers preparing the Lincoln MKR concept—from the 2007 North American International Auto Show in Detroit—for production. The sexy four-passenger sport sedan was shown on a stretched Mustang chassis.

Jim Farley, Ford’s new head of marketing, says MKS customers want dynamic steering, feel, and braking but are not necessarily performance seekers. Which sounds to us like it leaves room at the top for an eventual new flagship with power shunted rearward.

We expect some future Ford and Mercury vehicles also to be candidates for rear drive, especially as Ford has put its Australian operations in charge of a new global RWD platform. But it doesn’t look as though Ford is ready to export these cars from Down Under—freight costs and currency issues are among reasons cited for not consolidating all rear-wheel-drive car production there.

Meanwhile, the Lincoln division had better have strong shoulders because Ford keeps heaping expectations on the American luxury brand. It is taking over from Mercury as the volume leader of the two; it is leading the charge to more fuel-efficient vehicles by using the launch of the MKS to debut EcoBoost technology with its 3.5-liter V-6; and the forthcoming rear-drive entry will have to duel with some storied competitors.

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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-12-2008, 06:03 PM
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Re: Car & Driver: Derrick Kuzak.- Rear-Wheel-Drive Car for Lincoln

Imho , the MKZ > MKX > MKS is just the 'first phase' of Lincoln's rebirth.
&
the phase2 Huntsman will see a MKR/HRL > Continental > TouringCar (not nec. in that order)
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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-12-2008, 07:14 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Car & Driver: Derrick Kuzak.- Rear-Wheel-Drive Car for Lincoln

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2b2 View Post
Imho , the MKZ > MKX > MKS is just the 'first phase' of Lincoln's rebirth.
&
the phase2 Huntsman will see a MKR/HRL > Continental > TouringCar (not nec. in that order)
2b2

I was certainly expecting that the first response in this thread would be yours but I was waiting for you to catch on this . . .
Quote:
We expect some future Ford and Mercury vehicles also to be candidates for rear drive
. . . which is why in didn't highlight or mention it. I think it will breed new life into the Mission Mercury thread as well hopefully, into the Mercury brand.

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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-12-2008, 07:42 PM
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Re: Car & Driver: Derrick Kuzak.- Rear-Wheel-Drive Car for Lincoln

^^ I was still in chop-mode when I saw this thread
[ speed-reads article ]
Those are Ms. Priddle's words tho, no? Not Farley's or Mr. Kuzak's?
anyway
I'm very undecided as to whether Mercury would/should/could get Huntsman vehicles...
pretty sure they could be fine without them (Unlike Lincoln & Ford)...(tho I would give Merc access to the nextgen Mazda RX platform )


ps did you see the Trucklet™, Sobe?
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-12-2008, 07:48 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Car & Driver: Derrick Kuzak.- Rear-Wheel-Drive Car for Lincoln

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2b2 View Post
ps did you see the Trucklet™, Sobe?
I did. Its a very interesting idea. I would work on the headlight since these are way too Ford (Edge, Taurus X, F-150 and Flex)

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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-12-2008, 08:41 PM
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Re: Car & Driver: Derrick Kuzak.- Rear-Wheel-Drive Car for Lincoln

"Taking over volume sales from Mercury."

Think about how smart that is from a business standpoint. A loaded MKX or MKS will sell for about $40K and $50K, respectively. The profit potential there is so much more than what Mercury could ever do. Affordable American luxury is what they call it. Lincoln's plan makes a lot of sense to me. Offering quality luxury vehicles, realistically and with little compromise. Let the other guys have their low volume pseudo-exclusivity. Lincoln appears to be in it to win.

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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-12-2008, 09:21 PM
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Re: Car & Driver: Derrick Kuzak.- Rear-Wheel-Drive Car for Lincoln

^^ It makes sense (now) to me too, Wingsnut,
also from the standpoint that Lincoln is the right brand to *boost* first ().

Even tho development schedules mean that it won't/can't be done overnight,
the MKS & MKT are a great opportunity to fully re-establish Lincoln in the luxury department...
which is a perfect basis to build on when Huntsman arrives for those 'other criteria'.

HOWEVER / AfterThat / if-there's-a-car-god-out-there...
I fully expect Mercury to make Major Waves in the future entry-Lux segment - to the point of re-creating the definition of Premium (as opposed to Luxury) vehicles!
Mercura Meriniti Meraudivvagen even (some) MERClexURYs (plus the best from Mercubishi&Mercaboo)
- eventually reclaiming the higher-volume role within L-M.
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-12-2008, 10:00 PM
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Re: Car & Driver: Derrick Kuzak.- Rear-Wheel-Drive Car for Lincoln

Quote:
Originally Posted by wingsnut View Post
"Taking over volume sales from Mercury"

Think about how smart that is from a business standpoint. A loaded MKX or MKS will sell for about $40K and $50K, respectively. The profit potential there is so much more than what Mercury could ever do. Affordable American luxury is what they call it. Lincoln's plan makes a lot of sense to me. Offering quality luxury vehicles, realistically and with little compromise. Let the other guys have their low volume pseudo-exclusivity. Lincoln appears to be in it to win.


Kool-Aid induced rationalization.

Mercury would have been flying high by now if it had had the same tonnage of produt thrown at it. I think Lincoln has become "pseudo-luxury."

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Mercury is alive and well. It's called Lincoln.
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-12-2008, 10:29 PM
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Re: Car & Driver: Derrick Kuzak.- Rear-Wheel-Drive Car for Lincoln

Quote:
Originally Posted by megeebee View Post
Mercury would have been flying high by now if it had had the same tonnage of product thrown at it.
YUP

Quote:
Originally Posted by megeebee View Post
I think Lincoln has become "pseudo-luxury."

ummm... a decade or 2 (3?) ago
BUT
it's on the UPswing!!!
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-12-2008, 10:49 PM
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Re: Car & Driver: Derrick Kuzak.- Rear-Wheel-Drive Car for Lincoln

"pseudo-luxury"

No way!!

From a luxury standpoint, what car matches the luxury that the MKS will soon offer, even at $10K more than the MKS's price.

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