Strong Fusion Energi Sales (Or Not) Will Power The Lincoln MKZ Plug-In

5 years ago by Jay Cole 15

Will We See A Lincoln MKZ Plug-In?

Will We See A Lincoln MKZ Plug-In?

Ford Fusion Energi sales finally get underway this month, and buyers of Ford’s luxury Lincoln lineup are hoping the Fusion does well…or maybe not.

A Lincoln MKZ Plug-In Seems Like A Natural Addition Alongside The MKZ Hybrid

A Lincoln MKZ Plug-In Seems Like A Natural Addition Alongside The MKZ Hybrid

Last year, Jim Farley, who is global head of sales and marketing at Ford, said that if the Fusion Energi is received well, that engineers can expand the Lincoln lineup to also allow the new luxury MKZ to accept a plug.

“…but if there is demand for a Lincoln plug-in, Ford engineers can deliver it (the MKZ).”

The reason why the two go hand-in-hand, is because the Ford Fusion Energi and the Lincoln MKZ both share Ford’s CD4 platform, so adding the plug-in option to the MKZ is a fairly straight forward operation.

The same non-turbo 2-liter 4-cylinder engine that is found in the Fusion Energi would also be found in the MKZ, but all the features of the top of the line Lincoln would be available on the plug-in platform; similar to what the upcoming Cadillac ELR is to the Chevrolet Volt.

However, even more recently at the New York Autoshow, FordInsideLine talked to Fusion’s Marketing Manager, Samantha Hoyt, and came away with a completely different take on whether or not the Lincoln MKZ will see a plug-in option.

Like Mr. Farley earlier, Ms. Hoyt also said that whether or not the MKZ receives the ‘Energi treatment” is dependent upon the sales of the Ford plug-in…but in a more negative way.   After speaking with the Fusion marketing boss, FordInsideLine came away from the conversation with the understanding that, if the Fusion Energi’s pricepoint was not accepted by the market, Ford would want an alternate venue to get a return on their investment; enter the Lincoln MKZ plug-in.

Cutaway Of The Technical Aspects Of The Ford Fusion Energi And Potentially The MKZ Plug-In

Cutaway Of The Technical Aspects Of The Ford Fusion Energi And Potentially The MKZ Plug-In

The standard (and hybrid) Lincoln MKZ has a starting price of $35,925 (up to $47,395) and could likely absorb the added cost of the plug-in powertrain more easily in comsumer’s minds than the Fusion,  The standard Fusion starts at $21,700, with the Fusion Energi model beginning at an 80% premium to that model at $38,700.

The MKZ Certainly Has The Interior Comfort You Expect From Lincoln

The MKZ Certainly Has The Interior Comfort You Expect From Lincoln

What do we think?  Regardless if the Fusion Energi is received well or not this month, it probably doesn’t matter.

Every Ford guy we have ever spoken to references the Lincoln MKZ as a real possibility, and with so little extra R&D dollars needed to produce it, how can they not?

The likelihood of the MKZ plug-in is also compounded by the fact that Ford is desperately trying to re-brand Lincoln (now officially known as the Lincoln Motor Company) “to a new generation of progressive luxury buyers.”  And those progressive buyers are not looking for Town Cars anymore.  Lincoln needs a plug-in for the brand, and this is where they will find it.

 

Also of note for readers outside of North America:  The Fusion Energi is renamed the Mondeo Energi, but unfortunately you likely won’t be receiving it until mid-2014, thanks to some recent quality issues ramping up production.

FordInsideLine

 

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15 responses to "Strong Fusion Energi Sales (Or Not) Will Power The Lincoln MKZ Plug-In"

  1. Bloggin says:

    Nice article!

    I think the MKZ plug-in is gonna happen. With the early success of Tesla S full EV for luxury car buyers, starting at the $52k mark, a sub $50k MKZ plug-in with 21EV mile range and no range anxiety should be a hit.

    I also think Lincoln should add the 6.6 charger to the Lincoln MKZ plug-in to shorten the charging time, along with including the combo charger.

    This will also be an option that the Lexus ES does not offer. Another win for Lincoln MKZ.

    1. David Murray says:

      being how small of a battery these “energi” models come with, I really do not see the benefit of adding a faster charger. You can already charge one of these from dead to totally full in about 2.5 hours.

  2. Nelson says:

    IMO, all hybrids should come with a plug. In my experience with a 2007 Civic Hybrid the battery always starts up semi depleted every morning. Because of this the engine runs at the first few stops until the hybrid battery is charged up.

    NPNS!
    Volt#671

    1. David Murray says:

      I agree.. I think all hybrids should have plugs and slightly larger batteries. I think 4Kwh should be the minimum.

  3. Bloggin says:

    It also looks like the 2013 Focus Electric just become a much better option:

    – $159/mo with $2,188 down in Southern CA
    – $306/mo with $200 down in Northern CA
    – $139/mo with $3,183 down for the rest of the country

    36 month lease.

    ALL the features of the Leaf SL, 6.6 charger(no quick charge port), Navigation(voice), MyFord Touch(voice), MyFord Mobile, 76EV miles, 17 inch alloy wheels, LED Headlights, Fog Lights, and most importantly…. a battery pack with thermal protection to extend battery life, quicker charging, and provides more range in all temperatures. But cheaper than the stripped down Leaf S with 3.3 charger, no navigation, no carvings, etc at $199/mo with $1,999 down.

    1. evnow says:

      These are decent prices. FFE would make a decent commute car for someone who doesn’t need much of a trunk space.

  4. Bill Howland says:

    I’d buy one if there were any decent Lincoln’s around anymore. I looked at them at the recent AutoShow, but the only one I was only mildly interested in was the SUV. All the (few) cars left me stone cold. So put a plug on the SUV and put a decent battery in it, and maybe we’ll talk.

  5. evnow says:

    “The standard Fusion starts at $21,700, with the Fusion Energi model beginning at an 80% premium to that model at $38,700.”

    That 80% premium is ridiculous. That tells me, Ford isn’t serious about selling Fusion Energi.

    C-Max Energi is just $1,000 more than C-Max SEL, the closest trim, after tax credit.

    1. David Murray says:

      I agree..there can’t be that much difference to justify the cost.

    2. Bloggin says:

      The comparison would actually be between the:

      Fusion SE ($23,700) and Fusion Hybrid SE($27,200) at $4k.

      Fusion Hybrid SE and Fusion Energi SE($38,700) at 10k.

      Fusion Hybrid Titanium($32,200) and Fusion Energi Titanium ($40,200) at $8k.

  6. Stuart22 says:

    What can Ford lose by doing it? Easy-peazy modification that would place Lincoln ahead of other brands in the luxury segment family car category. A four door 5 passenger sedan with 20 miles of gas free capability would stand alone there. Potential vulnerability would be if EV performance was weak compared to ICE performance.

  7. Robster1979 says:

    @Jay: shouldn’t Mondero be Mondeo? That’s the name of the largest Ford in Europe

    1. Jay Cole says:

      Yes, little sp mistake there…spellchecker/editor doesn’t catch those, (=

      Thanks, fixed.

  8. Grumpy says:

    The 80% mark-up isn’t unusual. I remember the low-end Volovo 850 was 25,000$ while the top of the line model was 45,000$. It was faster and more elegant, but still the same basic car.

    I like the new Fusion Energi, but the price is ridiculous in comparison to the C-max. I can see a 3-4,000$ premium, but I am cheap.

  9. Jason says:

    The dealer I went to was close to the Energi and hybrid in pricing. My issue was the Fusion was simply too small to sit in the back seats. Also, the Energi left only 8.2 cu ft in the trunk. Bad (lazy approach) design. Sorry, I’m not leaving the kids behind just because the only room for suitcases is in the back seat.

    I’ll check back in 5 years and see if they get smarter.