Lincoln joins hybrid market

Streamlined and satisfying – two words that describe the attributes of Lincoln’s first hybrid vehicle identified simply by three letters: MKZ.
Part of Ford Motor Co.’s Lincoln Division, the 2011 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid builds off the success of the automaker’s popular front-wheel drive midsized MKZ premium sedan.
“Progressive luxury is the Lincoln brand’s target for tomorrow”, said Lincoln Group Marketing Manager C.J. O’Donnell. “Progressive luxury customers are open to new technology that connects to their social and environmental consciousness.”
Lincoln’s newcomer is fueled by a gasoline-electric hybrid system that achieves a remarkable 41 miles per gallon in town and 36 mpg on the highway, making the Lincoln MKZ Hybrid the most fuel-efficient luxury sedan in America.
The MKZ Hybrid is powered by a 2.5 liter, four cylinder engine with a battery-driven electric motor for a combined output of 191 horsepower. When in electric mode, MKZ Hybrid is capable of traveling up to 47 mph on electric-only power.
The 2011 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid’s powertrain is buttery smooth when the gasoline engine steps into duty. It is managed by a continuously variable automatic transmission, making the transition from electric assist to gasoline enhanced seamless.
The Lincoln MKZ Hybrid shares the same basic mechanical platform and size as the parent company’s Ford Fusion Hybrid.
“The Lincoln buyer age group is becoming younger, more middle-aged, with a greater interest in being green,” said Ray Mistarz, sales consultant for Art Hill Auto Group in Merrillville. “Lincoln MKZ Hybrid differentiates itself from the Fusion Hybrid counterpart with upscale design, which may lead to other Lincoln brand hybrids in the future.”
MKZ Hybrid’s outside styling is classic Lincoln with the marque’s signature split-wing grill, which is bookended by sweptback headlamps that point to a graceful profile and refined rear fascia.
A wheelbase of 107.4 inches provides MKZ Hybrid with a cushy ride. Handling is agile with brisk acceleration under foot.
Inside, driver and four passengers are surrounded by a tailored cabin with ample leg, knee and headroom. Back seat space accommodates two adults nicely without compromise. Three belted children find the back space comfortable.
Up front, the driver is greeted with simple instrumentation that can be manipulated at a glance. Heat and cooled seats also pamper front-seat occupants.
MKZ Hybrid’s gauge cluster features SmartGauge and EcoGuide – a system that provides real-time information to help the driver maximize fuel efficiency and hybrid performance with use of four data screen options.
A navigation system with rear view camera, blind sport alert and premium audio system with theater-like sound reproduction makes the MKZ Hybrid experience even more satisfying across town or cross-country.
With the 2011 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid, luxury is standard and priced the same as the Lincoln MKZ V-6 gasoline version, starting at $35,180 including freight.

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