Ford is surprised by the 2011 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid sales

Article by Christian Andrei, on March 30, 2011

What you will hear now it’s quite funny: it appears that FoMoCo is actually surprised by the impressive sales showed by the 2011 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid. Back in 2010, a Ford Motor Co. executive said that the manufacturer doesn’t expect to sell too many Lincoln MKZ Hybrid, but today things have changed and the company is impressed by the sales.

According to Ford, the Lincoln MKZ Hybrid sells like hot cakes and the company expects the car to account for about 15 percent of total MKZ sales. In 2010, Ford sold 3,343 MKZs, 762 of which were hybrids, which means that the car is ahead of its direct rival, the Lexus HS 250h.

For those who don’t know, Lexus HS sales are down 76 percent to 469 in February. Apparently, the MKZ Hybrid success might be part of Ford’s strategy to price it the same as the gasoline version, at $35,455, including shipping. If you don’t know yet, we will tell you that the 2011 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid uses Ford’s second-generation hybrid technology.

This means that under its hood we find a fuel-efficient 2.5-liter Atkinson-cycle I-4 hybrid engine combined with an electric motor. The total output of the car is 191 hp. In pure electric mode, the car is able to travel for 47 mph, an impressive goal considering that the Lexus HS 250h has a range of just 25 mph. The 2011 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid claims to be most fuel-efficient luxury sedan in America and received EPA certification of 41 mpg in city driving and 36 mpg on the highway.

Of course, the 2011 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid is laden with an array of features and technologies that are either not available or are offered as optional (with extra charge) by its nearest rival, the 2010 Lexus HS 250h. One of these features is the SmartGauge with EcoGuide, which is an interactive technology from Ford that could provide real-time information that could help maximize fuel efficiency. Moreover, this feature could provide instructions on how the vehicle’s hybrid performance could be optimized.

SmartGauge provides positive feedback on long-term fuel efficiency and driving performance using virtual small flowers on the system's right-most screen. These white flowers grow as efficiency is enhanced and they remain unless long-term fuel economy is reset. The new 2011 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid has also been integrated with the Lincoln SYNC, an exclusive voice-activated communications and entertainment system with Bluetooth phone, audible text and MP3 player capabilities.

Lincoln SYNC also allows Lincoln drivers to access Vehicle Health Report and 911 Assist. Parents with teen drivers may find MyKey helpful in encouraging their young ones to drive safer and improve fuel efficiency.

Aside from allowing parents to program a key to limit speed and audio volume (sound chimes at 45, 55 and 65 mph), MyKey also encourages teen drivers to use their seatbelt while providing earlier low-fuel warnings. For drivers who want to get out of their Lincolns without taking their keys along, the Keyless Entry Keypad should be a welcomed feature for them. This technology allows drivers to open the doors of the MKZ Hybrid using a personal combination.

Moreover, the new 2011 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid comes with a Reverse Sensing System that could sense “invisible” proximate objects on the rear and provide an audible alert that increases in frequency as the vehicle gets closer. In terms of safety, the new Lincoln MKZ Hybrid is not behind.

It gets the Personal Safety System that consists of seven protection technologies functioning together as a system to help secure and protect the driver and passengers. Personal Safety System includes dual-stage front air bags as well as an occupant classification system that could detect whether the passenger seat is vacant or occupied. It regulates air bag deployment for a more appropriate level of protection.

In addition, Personal Safety System comes with the Ford Belt-Minder technology that reminds front-seat occupants to buckle up. Quite a number of features and technologies are designed for the convenience of occupants while seated inside the 2011 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid. These features include a 10-Way Power Passenger Seat that could accommodate various types of passengers. It comes with memory functions that allow occupants to recall their seating positions.

These features also include Power Driver Memory Seat Settings that help ensure personal seating preferences anytime with a simple push of a button. The 2011 Lincoln MKZ is also blessed with Heated and Cooled Front Seats that offer superior heating and cooling comfort.

On the other hand, the 2011 Lincoln MKZ has no fuel tank screw cap, which has been replaced by the Easy Fuel Capless Fuel-Filler feature that employs an integrated spring-loaded flapper door. Lincoln is also offering exquisite and eco-friendly Swirl Walnut and Olive Ash wood trims for the Lincoln MKZ Hybrid. These veneers are obtained from well-managed forests and from other controlled sources.

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