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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.

Auto blog

Ford recalling 205k Edge and Lincoln MKX units for possible corrosion

Thu, 30 Oct 2014 13:30:00 EST

After the horrible weather last winter, it's hard to look forward for the season to return this year. For those readers in much of the country, the snow is going to be flying soon, and with it comes salt on the roads. That means Ford's regional recall for the 2007-2008 Edge and Lincoln MKX arrives at the perfect time because they are at risk for corrosion.
The campaign covers 204,448 examples of the models in 21 states, plus the District of Columbia and some provinces of Canada. In total there are 186,024 vehicles in need of repair in the US and 18,424 in Canada.
According to Ford, it's possible for the area, "under the reinforcement brackets where the fuel tank is mounted" to corrode. If this happens, there might be a gas smell in the vehicle or even a fuel leak could develop. In fact, the automaker reports that one fire could be related to the problem but no injuries or accidents are reported.

Submit Your Questions for Autoblog Podcast #403

Mon, 27 Oct 2014 16:44:00 EST

We're set to record Autoblog Podcast #403 this evening. Check out the topics below or drop us your questions and comments via the Q&A module. And don't forget to subscribe to the Autoblog Podcast in iTunes if you haven't already done so. To take it all in live, tune in to our UStream (audio only) channel at 10:00 PM Eastern tonight.
Discussion Topics For Autoblog Podcast Episode #403
Ford investing $5B in Lincoln

Lincoln's $5B revival bid hinges upon new D6 chassis

Mon, 27 Oct 2014 14:29:00 EST

It's no secret that Lincoln has received short shrift from the Ford Motor Company for years, and former CEO Alan Mullay even wanted to kill the whole thing off when he ran things. Today, things appear to be trending in a different direction. Fresh investment has helped enable a sizable marketing push for its well-regarded MKC compact crossover, a couple of awards for the company and plant the seeds for a major expansion into China. While the situation is still in the early going, it looks like Lincoln is on a tentative (if long) path towards a turnaround. If new reports are accurate, the brand is poised to build on that momentum with its largest investment in new products in years thanks in large measure to a new modular platform codenamed D6.
According to four unnamed insiders speaking to Reuters, FoMoCo is investing over $5 billion over the next five years, partially to create a new modular platform to underpin multiple Lincoln vehicles - and possibly some Ford products, too. Development is reportedly being overseen by the division's new boss, Kumar Galhotra. At the moment, specific details about the D6 chassis aren't yet known, but it's rumored to have the flexibility to support front-, rear- and all-wheel drive vehicles. According to Reuters, the first model using the framework could be an MKZ replacement and seven-passenger MKT successor in 2019.
Until the D6-based models hit, expect to see continued expansion from Lincoln. Ford management isn't trying to turn around the division overnight and is planning "in terms of generations of products," according to current CEO Mark Fields. The strategy unsurprisingly includes a production version of Lincoln's recent MKX Concept, as well as an all-new Navigator using aluminum-intensive architecture. Reuters also claims the MKS is due for renewal in the meantime, including with a longer-wheelbase version to appeal to the brand's new Chinese buyers.

SNL, Jim Carrey late to the Lincoln MKC ad spoof party

Mon, 27 Oct 2014 12:30:00 EST

At this point, making fun of the Lincoln MKC ads starring Matthew McConaughey is getting pretty old, though apparently Lincoln loves it. The commercials have been airing for over a month, but Conan O'Brien, Ellen DeGeneres and even South Park have all taken their swipes at the spots with the smooth-talking actor monologuing about his new luxury crossover. Saturday Night Live might have finally killed the joke in its recent episode featuring Jim Carrey.
The problem certainly isn't that Carrey does a bad job in the spoofs, and he actually pulls off a pretty good McConaughey impression. They start out as pretty direct mimicry and slowly evolve into the absurd, including cracks at McConaughey's acting career and the way he rubs his thumb and finger together. Carrey certainly raises at least a chuckle at times, though.
However, the comedian's engaging performance can't take away from the fact that SNL has arriving to this mocking party pretty late in the game. The jokes just don't feel fresh anymore, so hopefully these ads put the final nails in the coffin for the riffs - at least until the next batch of Lincoln ads arrive.

Ford Q3 pretax profits drop to $1.18B

Fri, 24 Oct 2014 16:28:00 EST

Following positive third quarter financial results recently from General Motors, rival Ford took a tumble in Q3. The automaker posted pre-tax profits of $1.18 billion, compared to about $2.59 billion in Q3 2013, a drop of around 54 percent. Net income also suffered with $835 million made in the quarter, versus $1.272 billion last year, a decline of about 34 percent. The Blue Oval blamed the gloomy figures on three reasons in its release: "lower volume, higher warranty costs and adverse balance sheet exchange effects."
There were problems of one kind or another in practically every region. North America experienced higher warranty costs than expected, partially due to recalls. The sales volume for the quarter was 665,000 units, versus 725,000 in Q3 2013, and pre-tax results amounted to $1.41 billion versus $2.296 billion last year.
South America and Europe both posted worse pre-tax results than last year. On the bright side, European volume was up slightly to 321,000 vehicles, from 303,000 in Q3 2013. The Middle East and Africa also lost $15 million, but that was an improvement compared to the $25 million loss previously experienced in this region.

2015 Ford F-150 named Truck of Texas, Lincoln and Jeep also awarded at Truck Rodeo

Tue, 14 Oct 2014 09:28:00 EST

The Ford Motor Company has a lot of reasons to celebrate after winning eight categories in this year's Texas Auto Writers Association's annual Truck Rodeo. Most important among them, the Blue Oval's latest 2015 Ford F-150 earned the prestigious Truck of Texas award, ending the Ram 1500's two-year winning streak. The 2015 Lincoln MKC also grabbed the honor as the CUV of Texas, and Ford was named Truck Line of Texas.
FoMoCo even took trophies for best technology with its extensive use of aluminum on its latest F-Series and best commercial vehicle for the new Transit 250. It wasn't a total sweep, though, because the Jeep Grand Cherokee grabbed the title of the SUV of Texas for the fifth straight time.
This year's event put 60 auto writers in 75 pickups, SUVs and crossovers and challenged them to find the best in a plethora of categories. All of the winners are listed below, and scroll down to read the full announcements from the Texas Auto Writers Association and Ford.

Why Lincoln says it's loving Ellen and Conan MKC ad spoofs [w/videos]

Mon, 13 Oct 2014 14:14:00 EST

You would think that commercial being ridiculed across the Internet would be an advertising executive's worst nightmare, but that's not necessarily the case. At least not when it comes to Lincoln and its latest campaign to promote the new MKC.
The campaign features Matthew McConaughey channeling his characters from True Detective and The Lincoln Lawyer, and was quickly spoofed by both Conan O'Brien and Ellen DeGeneres. But instead of shaking their heads in dismay at the comedy talk-show hosts' take on their ad, Lincoln and its advertising firm Hudson Rouge welcome the free publicity.
"We're flattered. Just to get out into the public mind with parodies says you've achieved a certain amount of notoriety," Hudson Rouge CCO Jon Pearce told Automotive News. "It's hard to put a dollar amount on earned media. We couldn't ask for better."

Is Lincoln MKC cutting into Cadillac SRX sales?

Tue, 07 Oct 2014 15:44:00 EST

The two big American luxury brands of Cadillac and Lincoln are on surprisingly similar paths at the moment with both divisions hoping to redefine themselves and grow popularity. They're still early in the process with no clear winner yet, but things might actually be looking up for Lincoln's latest model, according to a monthly sales analysis from The Motley Fool. It seems, at least early on, that the new MKC crossover might be taking a bite out of the Cadillac SRX's growth.
The MKC launched just a few months ago and has been getting a big marketing push from a series of oft-mocked ads starring the smooth-talking Matthew McConaughey. The luxury CUV has been the popular, new kid on the block with growing sales since its introduction. While smaller than the SRX, the Lincoln starts at a lower price and offers better fuel economy.
Through June, the SRX performed well with sales up over 20 percent on average through June, according to The Motley Fool. However, July and August saw things plummet with year-over-year drops of 7 percent and 37 percent, respectively. It still far outsold the MKC in terms of actual units in a given month, but the Caddy's continued growth has appeared to stagnate.

NHTSA will investigate some Ford Fusion, Lincoln MKZ models for power steering issue

Tue, 07 Oct 2014 09:30:00 EST

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is opening an investigation into the 2010-2012 Ford Fusion, Fusion Hybrid and Lincoln MKZ, the 2012 MKZ Hybrid and 2011 Mercury Milan because the agency has hundreds of complaints of electric power steering failure in these models.
According to NHTSA's data, it has received 508 complaints of the power steering allegedly suddenly malfunctioning and resulting in increased effort to turn the wheel. In four incidents, these failures resulted in loss of control and crashes. According to the reports, in some cases a power steering warning message came on as the fault occurred, and other times the system restored itself by turning off and then restarting the vehicle. NHTSA said it has also received further field report data from Ford, but that information hasn't been publicly released yet.
For the moment, there isn't a recall for this failure on these models. NHTSA is just investigating them to "assess the scope, frequency and safety consequences of the alleged defect," and the agency says an estimated 938,000 vehicles could potentially be affected.

Ellen DeGeneres sends up Matthew McConaughey's Lincoln ad

Mon, 29 Sep 2014 12:43:00 EST

Lincoln had to have known that when it released its new ad campaign for the new MKC with Matthew McConaughey, it would open itself up to a bit of good old fashioned ridicule. The television commercial was, after all, good for a laugh or two. And true to their mission, talk show hosts haven't missed the opportunity to have a little fun at Lincoln's and McConaughey's expense.
Conan O'Brien was first to send up the television spot, but now Ellen DeGeneres has taken a stab at it too, superimposing herself in the back seat of the compact luxury crossover, downing some pot brownies and generally playing Costello to McConaughey's Abbott. It's worth a watch, if only to see Ellen getting down in her usual, offbeat style.