|The 2011 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid. Click to enlarge.|
Ford’s Lincoln brand revealed its first hybrid—the new mid-size 2011 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid—during the press preview to the New York International Auto Show. Lincoln’s premium hybrid is expected to deliver at least 41 mpg US (5.7 L/100km) in the city when it goes on sale this fall.
The 2011 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid uses Ford’s second-generation hybrid system, based on the 2.5-liter Atkinson-cycle I-4 hybrid engine, and earlier applied in the Fusion and Milan hybrid sedans. (Earlier post.) Ford notes that the Lincoln MKZ Hybrid’s projected fuel economy tops its nearest competitor—the 2010 Lexus HS 250h—by 6 mpg, while providing room for one more passenger and more standard luxury and segment-exclusive safety features.
The new premium midsize sedan hybrid joins the Ford Fusion and Escape Hybrids and Mercury Milan and Mariner Hybrids. Introduction of the new Lincoln MKZ Hybrid also complements Ford’s global electrification plan, which calls for the introduction of five new electrified vehicles by 2013. These include the Transit Connect Electric in late 2010; the Focus Electric in 2011; a next-generation hybrid electric vehicle and a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) in 2012; followed by another next-generation hybrid electric vehicle in 2013.
|SmartGauge with EcoGuide. Click to enlarge.|
Lincoln MKZ Hybrid. The combined gasoline engine and electric motor provide 191 net horsepower (142 kW). The pure electric mode on the Lincoln MKZ Hybrid extends to 47 mph (76 km/h). The 2011 MKZ Hybrid also offers a new implementation of FOrd’s SmartGauge with EcoGuide. The interactive technology provides real-time information to help drivers maximize fuel efficiency, and coaches drivers on how to optimize hybrid performance.
Lincoln takes SmartGauge to the next level of engagement by giving drivers enhanced positive feedback on long-term fuel efficiency and driving performance through the “growth” of virtual small flowers on the system’s right-most screen. Lincoln’s white flowers, inspired by apple blossoms, remain permanently unless long-term fuel economy is reset.
SmartGauge with EcoGuide offers four data screen options; the information available includes the following levels:
- Inform: Fuel level and battery charge status
- Enlighten: Adds electric vehicle mode indicator and tachometer
- Adds engine output power and battery output power
- Empower: Adds power to wheels, engine pull-up threshold and accessory power consumption