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Lincoln Town Car

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About Lincoln Town Car

The Lincoln Town Car was one of the most established automotive nameplates in America. Since it debuted as a trim level for the 1969-'71 Continental, the Town Car's purpose remained the same: to spoil as many as six occupants with spacious and luxurious accommodations no matter where in the car they were sitting. For years it was the epitome of what Americans expected from a luxury car.

As time passed by, those expectations began to change, and the Town Car did not evolve to meet them. Not only did Lincoln maintain the Town Car's palatial dimensions, massive trunk and soft ride, it also maintained the basic platform that had underpinned the car since the late 1970s. Its solid rear axle suspension and V8 engine, in particular, were relics of another time. Many of the latest safety, convenience and entertainment features were also not available.

Some will certainly view a used Town Car as a comfortable choice for luxury transportation. But for the most part, we think most shoppers will do better choosing another large luxury sedan that's more capable and advanced.

Most Recent Lincoln Town Car
The most recent Lincoln Town Car was produced from 2003-'11. Compared to the model that immediately preceded it, this final Town Car featured a strengthened frame, updated mechanicals, minor styling changes and a revised interior. But it still was heavily based on the previous car, with a body-on-frame chassis, rear-wheel drive and a solid rear axle.

Equipped with wide front and rear bench seats, the Lincoln Town Car was one of the few six-passenger cars around. Both standard- and long-wheelbase models were offered, each powered by a 4.6-liter V8 engine that produced 239 horsepower and 287 pound-feet of torque. Not only was acceleration pokey, but fuel economy was poor as well. Not helping matters was an old four-speed automatic that lacked the choice of gear ratios and fuel economy of the five- and six-speed automatics found on competitive sedans.

Changes during its lengthy model run were largely restricted to a reshuffling and renaming of trim names in its first few years. For instance, the top-of-the-line model was first named Cartier, then Ultimate and finally Signature Limited. From 2006 through 2011, however, the Town Car could primarily be had in standard-wheelbase Signature Limited and long-wheelbase Signature L trim levels. Feature highlights included dual-zone automatic climate control, heated front seats, power-adjustable pedals, a premium sound system, a power-operated trunk and driver memory settings. The Town Car Signature L was essentially a limousine. Six inches longer than the standard car, the L featured a much roomier rear bench seat with separate audio and climate controls.

In editorial reviews, we appreciated the Town Car's abundant storage areas, soft ride quality, interior spaciousness and ability to swallow four sets of golf clubs in the huge trunk. And compared to the previous generation, it did benefit from a stronger frame, sharpened steering and upgraded brakes. But compared to other large luxury sedans of the time, the Town Car was let down by a weak engine, soggy handling, a dated interior design and a lack of modern features.

Previous Lincoln Town Car Models
The Lincoln Town Car produced from 1998-2002 lacked the more recent model's updates, but still offered the same roomy interior. It was offered in Executive, Signature and Cartier editions, and beginning in 2002, the latter two trim levels were available in long-wheelbase form. Between 1998 and 2000, the Town Car was powered by a 4.6-liter V8 that produced 205 hp. In 2001, hp was bumped up to 220 for Executive and Signature editions, while Cartier versions produced 235 hp.

Between 1990 and 1997, the Town Car was boxy, slab-sided and formal. However, its radiused edges, flush-mounted windows and lighting elements made it appear infinitely more modern and aerodynamic than the carriage-like pre-1990 models. In 1991, an overhead-cam 4.6-liter V8 was installed that, with 190 hp, was significantly more powerful than the 5.0-liter V8 in previous Town Cars. In 1994, hp rose once again to 210. Other notable developments for mid-1990s Town Car models included an optional Handling Package with firmer suspension and matched tires introduced for 1993, and a subtle but tasteful interior and exterior restyle for 1995.

Most editorial reviewers of the time noted the Town Car's strength as a serene reading room on wheels while lamenting its ponderous driving dynamics. However, there was universal acknowledgement that the Lincoln Town Car never has been for spirited drivers, but rather for those who grew up believing that big, comfortable, rear-wheel-drive American luxury cars were the ultimate reward for a job well done. And for them, this Town Car was a perfect fit.

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Ford's Galhotra succeeds Farley as head of Lincoln

Wed, 23 Jul 2014 19:01:00 EST

Ford Motor Company is announcing a major personnel shakeup that could have a dramatic effect on the future of the Lincoln division. Kumar Galhotra (pictured above), currently vice president of engineering at Ford for all of its vehicles worldwide, is taking over as the president of the luxury brand on September 1, replacing Jim Farley. The automaker is also hiring a new head of advanced engineering.
Galhotra has a huge job ahead of him as the new boss of Lincoln worldwide, overseeing product development, marketing, sales and service. His task is to turn the luxury division into a world-class brand as quickly as possible, and he reports directly to Ford President and CEO Mark Fields.
"These changes underscore our commitment to build on the success of our One Ford plan by accelerating our pace of progress. They also make clear we are serious about Lincoln as a world-class luxury brand and that product excellence and innovation are what will deliver growth and define our entire company going forward," said Fields in the company's announcement.

Ford issues six recalls covering 101,000 vehicles for multiple issues

Tue, 08 Jul 2014 15:30:00 EST

Ford is announcing six separate recalls for a variety of issues affecting a dozen models and a total of 100,610 vehicles in North America. However, according to Ford spokesperson Kelli Felker, "None of them have caused accidents or injuries." Half of them cover fewer than 1,000 cars.
The largest recall covers 92,022 North American examples (about 83,250 in the US) of some models of the Ford Taurus, Lincoln MKS, Ford Interceptor, Flex and Lincoln MKT from the 2013 and 2014 model years; the 2012-2014 Edge and the 2014 Lincoln MKX. All of them have a potential issue with the halfshaft on the right side that might not be fully seated and could move outward over time. If it shifts too far, the models may no longer be able to drive, and the condition could also allow the vehicles to roll away, even when in Park. Dealers will inspect the shaft to make sure it's seated and will replace the part if necessary.
The next-largest recall covers 5,264 North American examples (4,867 in the US) of the Ford F59 Commercial Stripped Chassis from the 2011-2014 model years. It's possible that an electrical junction box can corrode in areas with salty roads and short circuit. The problem could potentially cause a fire. Dealers will replace the box with an improved design.

Mulally wanted to kill Lincoln as late as last year, Fields vows to turn it around

Mon, 30 Jun 2014 17:29:00 EST

Lincoln fans might want to give incoming Ford CEO Mark Fields a pat on the back for having a hand in saving the brand from the chopping block last year. He's among the people spearheading the rejuvenation of the division away from its stodgy image to appeal to younger customers.
According to two unnamed sources speaking to Bloomberg, CEO Alan Mulally was ready to kill Lincoln last year. Following the slow production ramp-up of the MKZ combined a with a costly ad campaign, Mulally was frustrated and openly suggested dropping the brand. However, Fields and Jim Farley, Ford's marketing boss, convinced the CEO that the brand was worth saving. They also created a plan to prevent similar problems for new models in the future.
It seems that one part of the strategy may involve waiting until new models are at dealers before starting a big ad campaign for them. Lincoln global director, Matt VanDyke, recently told Autoblog that the division is holding off on a full marketing push behind the new MKC crossover to prevent the supply problems that plagued the MKZ last year. Its big offensive begins in the fall when the CUVs are at all of the dealers and consumers are at home watching more TV. VanDyke also told Bloomberg that Fields, Farley and Joe Hinrichs, Ford president of the Americas, have more direct oversight over new product launches now.

Why the 2015 Lincoln MKC is 'holding some powder'

Thu, 19 Jun 2014 16:01:00 EST

Earlier this month in our first drive of the 2015 MKC, we told you that Lincoln finally had a new vehicle in its arsenal worth crowing about. So with the compact premium crossover now finding its way into dealers, why aren't you seeing its likeness plastered on billboards and barraging you on television? It's because Lincoln is "holding some powder."
Those are the words of Lincoln's global director, Matt VanDyke, who tells Autoblog that the company is holstering some of its marketing guns because it's keen to avoid repeating the ill-timed efforts that blighted its last rollout, the MKZ. That vehicle's launch early last year was beset by various delays related to manufacturing and quality. The cadence issue was so dire that by the time the model reached showrooms in volume, Lincoln had already blown most of its budget on things like Super Bowl ads that ran weeks or even months before customers could check one out in person. It was a particularly trying series of events for parent Ford because the MKZ and its oversized marketing spend were charged with relaunching the Lincoln brand to the public.
Keen to avoid repeating the same timing issue and mindful of consumers' habits at this time of year, Lincoln is taking a different strategy with the MKC. According to VanDyke, "What we don't want to do is try and fight the summertime - people using television being down, and other mass media when school's out. New television shows aren't on." Of course, that doesn't mean Lincoln is sitting idle. VanDyke says, "By no means are we quiet during the next 90 days. This year, we're going to really spend the next 60 to 90 days using digital and social media, in-theater advertising and the like, and once we have full availability at dealerships, we'll really ramp up the advertising later on in the summer." Part of that early media effort includes immersive digital marketing like Lincoln's clever Dream Rides web experience.

Lincoln, GMC clean up in AutoPacific Vehicle Satisfaction Awards

Tue, 17 Jun 2014 14:01:00 EST

In recent years, there have been a lot of dire pronouncements made about Lincoln's future, or a lack thereof. But Ford's premium marque is like the Rocky Balboa of the auto business; every time the company seems ready to go, it comes back for more. Apparently, that dogged persistence is paying off, because the industry analysts at AutoPacific have put a big check in their win column with their newly released 2014 model year vehicle satisfaction survey. And despite recent enmity for its seemingly never-ending recall saga, it appears General Motors knows how to satisfy new owners, too.
In fact, not only was Lincoln named as the premium brand with the highest new owner satisfaction, even scored three models on the list of passenger cars with the most gratified buyers - the MKS, MKZ and MKZ Hybrid.
GM's stable of brands was also among the top companies in this year's survey. GMC was named the top popular brand by AutoPacific, with its Sierra pickup and Acadia crossover singled out for awards in their segments. Chevrolet also did incredibly well, with more cars on the list than any other brand. The Corvette, Camaro, Sonic and Impala all made the cut in their respective categories.

2015 Lincoln MKC

Mon, 09 Jun 2014 12:13:00 EST

Back in 2012, Lincoln claimed its comeback bid was finally underway with the new-for-2013 MKZ. But don't you believe them - the renaissance won't actually begin in earnest until the shapely compact crossover seen here reaches showrooms in big numbers. That's because while the four-door MKZ was indeed a proper step toward rebirth, the 2015 MKC is the first wholly conceived vehicle under Lincoln as a standalone brand, a move first announced back in 2012.
That's an important distinction, because Lincoln's newfound emancipation from Ford's design and development processes has given the struggling marque both the corporate wherewithal and the will to develop a more fully formed product. The four-wheeled result seen here is a surprisingly cohesive luxury CUV, one with significantly more aesthetic and dynamic separation from its Ford Escape sibling than the MKZ and its Fusion counterpart. Said another way, after flogging Lincoln's latest for hundreds of miles over canyon roads outside of Santa Barbara, we've come to understand that this is far from a re-grilled Dearborn special with luxury tinsel - it's a bona fide standalone product that readily displays the sort of clear differentiation seen in platform cousins like the Audi Q5 and the Volkswagen Tiguan. It's the real deal.

Lincoln releases power and economy ratings for 2015 MKC with 2.3L EcoBoost

Thu, 05 Jun 2014 10:32:00 EST

As the first 2015 MKC crossovers slip into dealerships, Lincoln has confirmed power and fuel economy ratings for the compact crossover's optional 2.3-liter Ecoboost four-cylinder engine.
The new range-topping powerplant, thus far otherwise unavailable in the Blue Oval kingdom, will net a healthy 285 horsepower at 5,500 rpm and 305 pound-feet of torque from 2,750 revs. Those figures represent gains of 10 hp and 5 lb-ft over earlier estimates, putting the handsome new compact CUV in the hunt with up-engined rivals from Audi and BMW. (A variant of the 2.3L will shortly find its way into the engine bay of the 2015 Ford Mustang, albeit with a number of key changes, including north-south orientation.)
In the MKC, the new engine will net 18 miles per gallon in the city and 26 on the highway with standard all-wheel drive, meaning it only loses a single mile per gallon in the city cycle versus the 240-hp, 270-lb-ft 2.0L EcoBoost model when fitted with all-wheel drive. Both engines rely on the same six-speed SelectShift automatic transmission.

Ford announces four recalls, 1.4M vehicles affected

Thu, 29 May 2014 15:58:00 EST

Ford is taking a bit of the spotlight away from General Motors, announcing a major group of recall campaigns, covering a total of 1.4 million vehicles built between 2006 and 2013.
Let's start with the big one, which covers the Ford Escape, Mercury Mariner and, according to The Detroit News, Ford-built Mazda Tribute CUVs. 915,216 vehicles are covered, all of which were built in model years 2008 to 2011. 736,000 vehicles are in the US, while Canada then Mexico make up the vast majority of the remainder. The problem is due to an issue with the torque sensor in the steering column, which could lead to sudden power steering failure. Manual steering would still be available, though.
"Dealers will perform one of three service fixes, depending upon what diagnostic codes are shown when the vehicle is taken to the dealer," Ford spokeswoman Kelli Felker wrote to Autoblog in an email. "They will either update software for the power steering control module and the instrument cluster module; replace the torque sensor; or replace the steering column, which includes upgraded power steering control module software."

2015 Lincoln Navigator ready to roll for $62,475*

Wed, 21 May 2014 17:29:00 EST

Fancy picking up a refreshed Lincoln Navigator? Well, prepare to shell out at least $62,475. That's a whopping increase of $6,310 for the now-EcoBoost-equipped SUV.
That's just for the two-wheel-drive Select model, though. Want to drive all four wheels? Better have an extra $3,575 laying around. Snagging the top-of-the-line Reserve model, meanwhile, demands a premium of $7,500.
For those extra bills, you'll net Lincoln Drive Control, complete with continuously controlled dampers, power running boards, Ziricote wood interior trim, upgraded leather, 22-inch wheels, a "unique" interior headliner and, of course, a "Reserve" badge.

Lincoln MKX Concept goes for the gold in Beijing

Sun, 20 Apr 2014 13:20:00 EST

We've now seen the Lincoln MKX Concept in the metal, and we've shot it with the lenses of our own DSLR cameras. And we have to say, our opinion of the concept's design language has improved over our initial reaction. Yes, it's clear that this MKX shares its underpinnings with those of the Ford Edge Concept that we saw in LA, but the changes made by Lincoln stylists are a welcome departure from the angular lines of its corporate cousin from The Blue Oval.
We like the subtlety of the MKX Concept's front fascia, and the lighting elements both front and rear lend a luxurious quality to the crossover's typical two-box proportions. When combined with the smaller MKC that was shown in production form late last year, it's clear to see that Lincoln has a specific design direction that at least seems visually capable of setting it apart from the Ford models with which the brand shares its platforms. Here's hoping there are some Lincoln-specific upgrades underhood...
Have a look at our image gallery of live photos from Beijing above, reread the press release below, and feel free to let us know what you think.