Ford’s luxury marque, Lincoln, has finally been seeing some life lately, thanks to the company putting more effort into reviving this once storied brand. Selling off Aston Martin, Jaguar, and Land Rover have helped Lincoln’s cause, as that move has freed Ford designers to work on cars for its Ford, Mercury, and Lincoln brands.
All New Models In The Pipeline
Ford executives have been forthcoming about some products in the pipeline, most noticeably the Ford Fiesta, while hinting that both Mercury and Lincoln would get a few new models. The latter two brands are sold at Lincoln-Mercury dealerships and those dealers are anxious for some fresh product to sell.
Recently, Automotive News shared that the Lincoln may, indeed, get an all-new model, this one being a compact car to compete against the BMW 1 Series and to offset a compact Cadillac model that is also in the works. This is the first time that sort of news has come out, leaving analysts speculating what Ford has in mind. Based on current market conditions we can say that a compact Lincoln would be slotted below the MKS and retail for about $30,000, the price point for cars in this segment.
What A Compact Lincoln Could Look Like
Let’s examine a potential Lincoln compact and what that car could mean for the American luxury brand:
Designing A Sedan – I can’t imagine Ford giving Lincoln anything other than a sedan, but a luxury roadster would be nice. However, with the Lexus SC not selling all that well and with GM planning to cut the Saturn Sky and the Pontiac Solstice, the automaker would be better off on concentrating on something safe – there isn’t a car safer than a four door sedan!
Relying On EcoBoost – No buyer will be satisfied with a four cylinder Lincoln unless it has the power to deliver. With Ford’s EcoBoost engines on the way, this new technology allows smaller engines to work as harder as a bigger one while delivering fuel savings. A 1.8L four cylinder would be small, but with EcoBoost it could have the power of a small V6.
Borrowing From Volvo – As the owner of Volvo, Ford hasn’t tapped its Swedish brand for Lincoln yet. Though I sense that we’ll see nothing but a reworked Ford being sold as a Lincoln, building a new car from the ground up that could underpin both a Volvo model and a Lincoln model makes the most sense to me. Then again, we are talking about Ford here – the king of brand redundancy.
Make It Snappy! — The next Lincoln needs to do something no other Lincoln currently does and that is jack up the brand’s wow appeal. The MKS is starting to shake things up for the brand, but it isn’t enough – can Ford build a compact luxury car that is truly luxurious, good looking, and fun to drive? That remains to be seen!
I’m not confident that Ford will follow through and give Lincoln a compact model nor do I think that this car is a must for the brand. Mercury is in worse shape and it might be the best brand for selling this kind of car. Regardless, we aren’t likely to see this new model before 2011, therefore our speculation will have to do it for now.