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Discussion Starter #1
Since the demise of the Town Car, Lincoln dealers have been pining for a big, flagship sedan with real presence, an automobile to evoke the great motorcars from Lincoln’s illustrious past: the Zephyr or the Continental.

Lincoln hints that such a car is in the works, but there’s no word when it might arrive. To many dealers who stuck with Lincoln through thick and mostly thin, the ongoing brand reinvention seems to be taking a long time. The largest current Lincoln, the MKS, is a warmed-over Taurus, and it’s very long in the tooth.

Last week, I test drove a car that would seem to fill that flagship bill nicely. It’s a rear-wheel-drive sedan with sumptuous business class accommodations in the front and rear seats, loaded with the latest technology.

Under the hood is a 5.0-liter, 429-hp V-8 combined with an eight-speed automatic transmission that powers the big machine effortlessly down the highway riding on an electronic air suspension that’s more compliant than sporty.

Inside, passengers waft along in vaultlike quiet, cosseted in plush, heated and air conditioned seats. There’s ample rear seat legroom, plenty to satisfy an American or Chinese customer. Each rear-seat passenger can watch videos on a 9.2-inch video monitor. Sound is delivered via a 17-speaker system.

When a colleague pulled up to the curb to pick me up, I thought for a moment he was driving a Mercedes-Benz S class. But no three-pointed star was evident -- only a pair of spread wings above a horizontal chrome grille that doesn’t look all that different from Lincoln’s own split-wing grille.

Nameplate, not brand

After a couple of walk-arounds, I noticed a small version of the Hyundai “H” logo on the trunk.

Oh yeah: Hyundai’s flagship Equus, the word Equus in large letters. Hyundai isn’t exactly trumpeting its own brand here. It’s nameplate first.

“I think it would make a great Lincoln,” says the owner of a large dealership group that has both Lincoln and Hyundai franchises. “It’s a great car. It’s got what people are looking for and all the latest bells and whistles. It’s great driving and very comfortable. It’s the perfect size. If it said Lincoln, it would be 25 percent more successful.”

The Equus version I drove, the 2014 Ultimate, was priced at $68,920 including shipping, a steal of a deal for a customer looking for Mercedes S-class or Lexus LS style and comfort at a comparatively bargain price.

Not perfect

Oh, the Equus is not perfect. The styling is a trifle generic, the interior very nice but a cut below the German class leaders. And the electronic lane departure warning chirped annoyingly every time I drifted even slightly out of the absolute center of the lane.

The dealer I spoke with said many of his customers really like the Equus, but balk at writing the word Hyundai and $68,000 on the same check.

In the One Ford world of today, Lincoln isn’t about to buy a sedan off the shelf from another carmaker anyway. When Lincoln delivers a flagship sedan, it will come straight out of Dearborn product development, which is only appropriate for an all-American brand.

Like other large luxury sedans, the Equus hasn’t exactly been flying out of showrooms, selling 1,203 units so far this year, up 12 percent from a year ago. The Equus suffers from the same kind of image problem the Volkswagen Phaeton did a few years ago.

As the dealer said: “Hyundai has the product but they don’t have the image, and Lincoln has the image but they don’t have the product.”

It’s a problem that might take both carmakers a while to sort out.

You can reach Bradford Wernle at [email protected].

http://www.autonews.com/article/201...lincoln-dealers-yearn-hyundais-flagship-rolls
 

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"Like other large luxury sedans, the Equus hasn’t exactly been flying out of showrooms, selling 1,203 units so far this year, up 12 percent from a year ago. The Equus suffers from the same kind of image problem the Volkswagen Phaeton did a few years ago."

I think the idea of spending $70k for a Hyundai is like buying a diamond ring at K-Mart. Sure it can look similar to the one from Tiffany's, but it's not. Even Hyundai knows this and why they don't even want to put their own name on their own car thinking someone would spend $70k on a car thinking it's from an actual luxury brand.

Clearly from the low sales of the Equus, there are not enough Korean consumers in the US to support the model which sells so well in Korean.

Best quote ever about Lincoln:

“Hyundai has the product but they don’t have the image, and Lincoln has the image but they don’t have the product.” ......yet!
 

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Hyundai was going to go the Lexus route and bring the Genesis into NA under it's own brand, the screwed up by not doing so. For as nice as the cars themselves are the competition is just to tough now to expect to rewrite the books like Lexus did with the LS. Lexus moved into tier one territory by it's second generation, but then the LS was head and shoulders better than pretty much anything else on the road at the time, good luck trying that today when mainstream cars are as good as they are.

The premium market is a much tougher battle now as Cadillac is learning.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
You have to give Lexus(Toyota) credit for pushing luxury to another level. Prior to that, MB and BMW was sitting on their laurels and Audi was not even in the conversation. Lexus awoken the whole luxury industry. I don't now if the luxury category would be what it is today without the LS.

Genesis brand didn't make it because the USA economy was in shambles at the time. The Equus is no 7 series or S class but it is an extremely nice car. I see more of them than the S or 7 in my area. Eventually Hyundai will have to create a luxury brand.

With some Lincoln styling, I would love to see something similar in the Lincoln showroom.
 

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Quote Originally Posted by wingsnut View Post

^
If anyone knows how to produce a large, RWD V8 powered luxury sedan, brimming with technology and features.....it is Lincoln.


well if they know, produce it!


Quote Originally Posted by iculookn View Post

I agree 100%. It's just that Lincoln needs to produce one..... soon.


agree

Quote Originally Posted by wingsnut View Post

^
Do they?
Who is selling those in large volumes?

And no, I don't think it will do wonders for their image. Only a modest offering.


yeah, not large volume but a lot of image....the S class of MB is the most stunning sedan, good for the MB Brand!
I read everywhere that Lincoln needs a RWD vehicle, why they don´t give the people what they want?
 

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^
If anyone knows how to produce a large, RWD V8 powered luxury sedan, brimming with technology and features.....it is Lincoln.
What is there about today's Lincoln that makes you believe that they somehow hold the answers to building world class large premium RWD sedans? I'm not suggesting they couldn't do it, I just don't understand how a company that has never built a large modern RWD premium sedan would somehow be in the best position to do so.

^

Do they?
Who is selling those in large volumes?
And no, I don't think it will do wonders for their image. Only a modest offering.
Is there a great premium brand that's built from the bottom up?
 

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Quote Originally Posted by wingsnut View Post

^
If anyone knows how to produce a large, RWD V8 powered luxury sedan, brimming with technology and features.....it is Lincoln.


well if they know, produce it!


Quote Originally Posted by iculookn View Post

I agree 100%. It's just that Lincoln needs to produce one..... soon.


agree

Quote Originally Posted by wingsnut View Post

^
Do they?
Who is selling those in large volumes?

And no, I don't think it will do wonders for their image. Only a modest offering.


yeah, not large volume but a lot of image....the S class of MB is the most stunning sedan, good for the MB Brand!
I read everywhere that Lincoln needs a RWD vehicle, why they don´t give the people what they want?
It would be good, no doubt, I just don't think it will be the end all solution to their current troubles.
 

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It would be good, no doubt, I just don't think it will be the end all solution to their current troubles.
There is no be all end all for Lincoln or any other premium brand, it's about having the full line of world class vehicles. As impatient as I am with the pace of Lincoln rebirth I fully understand that they now is not the time to be shooting for the S-Class/7 Series. Until they have a more full line of truly competitive vehicles they won't reap the full benefit of having a flagship.
 

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I like the idea of an Explorer based SUV to fill the range from compact, mid to large with Navi it's own niche BOF segment.

Yeah, I think as MKZ improves and all new MKS makes waves, Lincoln can then take their time with a flagship as the brand improves from the bottom up, instead of top down.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
There is no be all end all for Lincoln or any other premium brand, it's about having the full line of world class vehicles. As impatient as I am with the pace of Lincoln rebirth I fully understand that they now is not the time to be shooting for the S-Class/7 Series. Until they have a more full line of truly competitive vehicles they won't reap the full benefit of having a flagship.
I couldn't have said it any better.
 

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I like the idea of an Explorer based SUV to fill the range from compact, mid to large with Navi it's own niche BOF segment.

Yeah, I think as MKZ improves and all new MKS makes waves, Lincoln can then take their time with a flagship as the brand improves from the bottom up, instead of top down.
the MKS has to be a great car, I hope they make it a real A6 competitor instead of going after XTS/RLX (boring!)
 

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the MKS has to be a great car, I hope they make it a real A6 competitor instead of going after XTS/RLX (boring!)
As nice as many of us think the MKZ is the MKS has to be miles ahead in every conceivable way! From some of the mules we've seen running around I would guess the MKS is going to be closer to A8 sized than A6.
 

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As nice as many of us think the MKZ is the MKS has to be miles ahead in every conceivable way! From some of the mules we've seen running around I would guess the MKS is going to be closer to A8 sized than A6.
but it won't make sense to have a A8 size if it is not a full size luxury sedan like the A8/S class, etc.
IMHO that is the problem of this MKS, it is a vehicle without a category, it goes against midsize but it has the size of a large vehicle
 

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I've been in several Equus models. There is an executive model sold here that has a longer wheelbase with reclining rear seats and all kinds of tech goodies. You can get them with the Limo partitions, larger than normal sunroofs and all kinds of things. These things are EVERY bit as nice as an S-Class or 7 Series. With an open mind it is hard to say they are NOT on equal footing and without badgees they are all on an equal playing field.


With this it is completely understandable that Lincoln can (and will) make a worthy competitor. The badge always wins in the end but that can turn around too.
 

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hyundai is the Ikea of automobiles in this country.
Korean crap, loaded up with features and stolen styling, to sell.

no thanks
Based on people's reactions to the new Lincolns, they think Lincoln's new split wing grille looks like stolen from a Pontiac or an Oldsmobile. And the headlights look like borrowed from Acura. The waterfall grille was unmistakably Lincoln they should have evolved it instead of throwing it away.

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