Many still assert the brand must have some RWD to succeed.
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.