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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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Lincoln's first shipment of cars arrives in China

Mon, 15 Sep 2014 18:01:00 EST

It has been two years since Lincoln first announced its plans to expand into China, and the first models destined for sale in the giant automotive market just came off the boat in Shanghai on September 10. It's going to be a few weeks before Chinese buyers actually have the chance to get behind the wheel, though.
The first two models being offered to China are the MKZ and MKC, as seen arriving in these photos, and they are going to be sold at dealers that look more like hotels than traditional showrooms. The first four are opening in Beijing, Shanghai and Hangzhou in October, with a grand unveiling of the new brand to Chinese consumers later that month. By the end of the year, Lincoln wants to have eight dealers operating in seven cities. By 2016, the automaker wants to have a lineup of five models available in the People's Republic.
"This is the culmination of months of teamwork and collaboration both in North America and here in China," said Robert Parker, President of Lincoln China, in the company's release.

2015 Lincoln Navigator

Mon, 15 Sep 2014 11:57:00 EST

Typically, when I approach a new vehicle launch, it's with a degree of optimism. Nowadays, we just expect that every new vehicle will pose a legitimate challenge to segment leaders. Mid-cycle refreshes, meanwhile, have taken on a greater degree of importance, as customers' preferences for the freshest vehicles remains strong and automakers rush to keep the latest tech in their offerings.
Conversely, I admit to not being terribly optimistic hopping into the 2015 Lincoln Navigator. I was the first person from Autoblog to see the new model in the metal, way back in January ahead of its Chicago Auto Show debut, and my initial reaction was far from positive. But, as I'd been the one that initially tested the new Cadillac Escalade and had just finished a week in the long-wheelbase version of General Motors' most premium SUV, I was a natural candidate to head down to Louisville, KY - home of Navigator production - to sample the brand's latest.
Lincoln's attempt at freshening the old Navigator's bling-bling face is pretty typical of today's more thorough mid-cycle refreshes, with dramatically new front and rear clips. The addition of standard 20-inch wheels or optional 22s - in place of standard 18s and optional 20s - goes a long way towards modernizing the Navigator's staid exterior. The cabin, meanwhile, is home to finer leather, which covers most of the dash as well as the steering wheel and seats. Warm Ziricote wood would prove to be a particular highlight on the top-flight Reserve model that I drove (the only trim available for us to test).

Conan O'Brien takes McConaughey's Lincoln ad to its logical conclusion

Thu, 11 Sep 2014 14:58:00 EST

We all had to see this coming. Conan O'Brien has released a parody of Matthew McConaughey's new ads for the 2015 Lincoln MKC and remixed them with lines from one of his most critically acclaimed recent roles.
The now much darker commercial probably isn't how Lincoln would prefer the MKC to be marketed, but really in a few of the actual ads, McConaughey already seems moments away from breaking into a full Rustin Cohle from True Detective impression. The cadence and tone of his voice are just so close to that character, especially in the one where he's talking to the bull standing in the middle of the road. It very nearly verges on parody anyway; Conan is just turning all of this up to 11.
It's a little surprising that the writers didn't dig a little deeper into the McConaughey oeuvre for the parody. Maybe McConaughey could have taken the MKC for a party at the Moon Tower from Dazed and Confused. In any case, it's worth a quick watch, so check it out.

Lincoln debuts MKC ads starring Matthew McConaughey

Fri, 05 Sep 2014 17:02:00 EST

Lincoln is making the decisive commitment that it wants to improve its brand perception going forward. It can't be cheap to hire A-list talent like Academy Award-winning actor Matthew McConaughey and director Nicolas Winding Refn, best known for Drive, for its new ad campaign for the 2015 MKC crossover, but the company is showing that it's serious about the new vehicle and its future. The first three of these five commercials are just hitting YouTube, and they begin airing on television on September 6.
The Live in Your Moment campaign is all about Lincoln trying to sell not just the MKC to customers but also explain the brand's philosophy. It's one of the oldest luxury automakers around, but hasn't exactly had a glorious history, especially recently. Based on these first ads, we can see that there's a definite focus on philosophizing rather than focusing on the crossover. At times, McConaughey seems just a mustache and a mangled beer can away from reprising his role from True Detective.
The first ad (above) is simply titled Intro and sets the mood and concept for the whole campaign. Bull has McConaughey talking to a longhorn in the middle of a road, and I Just Like It has him explaining his affinity for the brand. Lincoln's full release is available below, and you can view the other ads by flipping through the playlist in the video player above.

Ford hybrid sales rebound following MPG controversy

Sun, 31 Aug 2014 13:00:00 EST

Ford hybrid customers apparently have very short memories. With two EPA fuel economy reratings in the last year, sales of the C-Max, Fusion Hybrid and Lincoln MKZ haven't been too terribly dented, Ward's Auto reports.
All three vehicles saw sales dips following the August 2013 rerating, although sales of the MKZ Hybrid had begun to rebound as early as November of that year. C-Max sales, meanwhile, took slightly longer, with sales on a steadily improving course as early as February of this year.
The second rerating, in June of this year, has had an even smaller effect on the Blue Oval's hybrids. The C-Max has actually been subject to a sales increase, while both the MKZ and Fusion saw minor sales drops (less than 400 units between the two in the month following the rerating).

Lincoln trumpets $129M investment, 300 new jobs in Louisville for MKC

Tue, 26 Aug 2014 16:16:00 EST

Remember when we used to talk about how close Lincoln was to being axed and how it seemed any day now the Grim Reaper would use it as a car service back to the grave? Last time we did it was, oh, not even a month ago. What a difference 27 days makes: Ford and Lincoln are trumpeting a $129M investment in the Louisville Assembly Plant that builds the MKC.
In July the MKC was the third-best-selling Lincoln of the brand's six offerings, beat by the MKZ and - by a much smaller margin - the MKX. It has sold 2,895 units in the two months it's been on sale, which is more than half the year-to-date sales of the MKS, MKT and Navigator. It's already important, is what we're trying to say, and this is before the Chinese market gets a crack at it later this year.
The money headed to Kentucky will be joined by 300 new workers, another marker in Ford's march to create 12,000 hourly jobs in the US by next year. You can read more about it in the press release below.

Matthew McConaughey dusts off his Lincoln Lawyer jacket [w/videos]

Thu, 21 Aug 2014 16:58:00 EST

Alright, alright, alright. Easygoing Texan Matthew McConaughey has enjoyed a career renaissance recently with critically acclaimed roles in Dallas Buyers Club and True Detective, and the actor has just signed a multi-year deal with Lincoln to become the luxury brand's spokesperson. The first ads starring McConaughey should hit televisions and the internet soon.
McConaughey's campaign has his pitching starting out with the company's pivotal new 2015 Lincoln MKC compact crossover. "Lincoln is an iconic, American brand and I like where they are heading with their transformation," he said in the announcement of the deal. The appears to be really throwing some money into these ads, too. Not only has it hired A-list talent in front of the camera, Nicolas Winding Refn, best known for Drive, is directing the spots.
Of course, this won't be McConaughey's first noteworthy ride in a Lincoln. Back in 2011, he starred in The Lincoln Lawyer, a legal thriller about at attorney would did business out of a 1980s Town Car. The MKC should certainly prove to be a much better driver than that.

Lincoln Navigator facelift only has to last until 2016 replacement

Thu, 21 Aug 2014 11:30:00 EST

The Navigator is not only Lincoln's longest-serving nameplate - dating back to 1998 when the final Town Car was introduced - but it's also the oldest model still in the brand's portfolio. The current Navigator arrived on the market in 2007, and underwent a refresh just a few months ago for the 2015 model year. The updates were subtle, but if you're waiting for an all-new model, it's just a couple of years down the road.
According to Automotive News, Lincoln is already working on an all-new replacement for the current, long-serving Navigator, which will be revealed two years from now in the middle of 2016 as a 2017 model. At that point, we're expecting it could switch (alongside the Expedition) to the new aluminum architecture introduced on the Ford F-150, seeing as how the current model is based on the old F-150.
In the meantime, the refreshed Navigator ditches the big 5.4-liter Triton V8 in favor of a more economical 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6, and wages war in two wheelbase lengths against the V8-powered competition in the form of the Cadillac Escalade (and Escalade ESV), the Land Cruiser-based Lexus LX and the Infiniti QX80, which is based on the overseas Nissan Patrol.

Ford issues four recalls covering 163k vehicles

Tue, 19 Aug 2014 16:27:00 EST

Recalls! 2014 will be forever remembered as the year that automakers went recall crazy, with millions and millions of vehicles adding up to crush previous recall records well before the end of the year. Adding to that tally is Ford, which announced a call-back for 163,000 vehicles.
Leading that charge are the 2.0-liter, EcoBoost four-cylinder engines of the Ford Focus ST and Ford Escape. 160,000 of the 2013 and 2014 models have bad wiring harnesses that can disrupt the signals traveling to the powertrain control module. That, in turn, could lead to a check engine light, reduced power and stalling. Notably, Ford hasn't recalled any other vehicles that feature the 2.0 EcoBoost, such as the Fusion, Taurus or Explorer.
While the Focus ST and Escape constitute the vast majority of recalled vehicles, they aren't the only problem children in the Ford family. 1,300 Transit passenger vans from model year 2015 were recalled due to brake fluid leaks, while another 600 Transit cargo variants were recalled after Ford discovered the windowless sliding doors could come open in the event of a side-impact crash. Dealers will replace the sealing washers on the passenger variants and add a reinforcement plate on the cargo models, The Detroit News reports.

Lincoln putting perfume on its sales

Mon, 18 Aug 2014 08:32:00 EST

Lincoln has a scent. But unlike those from Mustang, Lamborghini or even Shark by Tara, you can't buy it and you have to visit a Lincoln dealership to inhale its notes of jasmine hedione, mate tea leaves and tonka beans. Essence of Lincoln - that's what it's called - is being piped through the ventilation systems at some showrooms to help "create an emotional connection between the luxury brand and its customers," and olfactorily promote the idea of "luxury and warmth." Where it's not run through the ducts, visitors can sample it on scent cards.
Master perfumer Rene Morgenthaler worked with aroma house SensoryMax to design Essence of Lincoln. Also including traces of Earl Grey bergamot and green tea, whenever you encounter it you're meant to enjoy "a feeling of belonging to an exclusive, forward-thinking group that values style and success." And then buy an MKC. There's a press release below with details and an image to explain more, if you're still having a little trouble smelling the orange blossoms.