If the Ford Fusion gets a hybrid version, it only makes sense that the Lincoln MKZ, the Fusion’s cousin, too should get one. Indeed, the 2011 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid was unvieled at the New York Auto Show. When it hits the road later this year, it will be the most fuel-efficient luxury sedan in the US.
Like its Ford Fusion and Mercury Milan Hybrid siblings, the Lincoln MKZ hybrid is powered by a 2.5L Atkinson-cycle four-cylinder engine and a electric motor that, together, produce 191 horsepower. Fuel-economy rating comes in at 41 mpg on the highway, which tops its nearest competitor the Lexus HS 250h. The MKZ can also travel up to 47 mph in electric mode, compared to only 25 mph in the Lexus.
The complete details on the 2011 Lincoln MKZ hybrid can be found in the press release below.
LINCOLN INTRODUCES FIRST HYBRID; NEW MKZ HYBRID TO BE MOST FUEL-EFFICIENT LUXURY SEDAN IN AMERICA
* New 2011 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid expected to be most fuel-efficient luxury sedan in America
* Lincoln MKZ Hybrid takes SmartGauge™ with EcoGuide to next level, offering drivers enhanced positive feedback on long-term fuel efficiency and driving performance
* More standard luxury, technologies and segment-exclusive safety features in the new Lincoln MKZ Hybrid help it top its nearest competitor, the 2010 Lexus HS 250h
NEW YORK, March 31, 2010 – Lincoln today introduces its first hybrid – the new 2011 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid – a premium midsize car poised to be the most fuel-efficient luxury sedan in America.
Ford Motor Company – America’s largest domestic hybrid seller – is further broadening its aggressive electrification plan and second generation of hybrid technology with the new Lincoln MKZ Hybrid. The vehicle is revealed today at the New York International Auto Show.
“Lincoln’s hallmarks are design, technology and comfort. Now, Lincoln also delivers the best fuel efficiency of any luxury sedan in America,” said Mark Fields, Ford’s president of The Americas.
Lincoln’s first-ever hybrid is expected to deliver at least 41 miles per gallon in the city when it goes on sale this fall.
The new premium midsize sedan hybrid joins Ford Motor Company’s growing lineup of hybrids, including the Ford Fusion Hybrid – 2010 North American Car of the Year and America’s most fuel-efficient sedan – the Ford Escape Hybrid and Mercury Milan and Mariner Hybrids.
Introduction of the new Lincoln MKZ Hybrid also complements Ford’s aggressive global electrification plan. Ford is introducing five new electrified vehicles by 2013. They include the Transit Connect Electric in late 2010, the Focus Electric in 2011, a next-generation hybrid electric vehicle and a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) in 2012, followed by another next-generation hybrid electric vehicle in 2013.
The Lincoln MKZ Hybrid’s projected fuel economy tops its nearest competitor – the 2010 Lexus HS 250h – by 6 mpg. It also trumps the Lexus with room for one more passenger and more standard luxury and segment-exclusive safety features.
“Today’s luxury customers do not want to make sacrifices. Lincoln has found a way to deliver a luxury sedan with the comforts they expect, the technology they want and the environmental responsibility society demands,” said Derrick Kuzak, Ford’s group vice president, Global Product Development.
The 2011 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid uses Ford’s second-generation hybrid technology – the 2.5-liter Atkinson-cycle I-4 hybrid engine, named one of Ward’s 2010 “10 Best Engines.”
The system combines the best attributes of the gasoline engine and electric battery-driven motors to deliver optimal performance and fuel economy.
Industry-leading fuel economy comes without sacrificing power. The combined gasoline engine and electric motor provide 191 net horsepower. Plus, the pure electric mode on the Lincoln MKZ Hybrid extends to 47 mph – compared with the Lexus HS 250h battery-only mode, which reaches just 25 mph.
More standard luxury
The 2011 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid comes standard with features and technologies that are either not offered on the Lexus HS 250h or are available only at an extra cost. They include:
* SmartGauge with EcoGuide – Ford’s highly successful interactive technology provides real-time information to help drivers maximize fuel efficiency, and coaches drivers on how to optimize hybrid performance. Lincoln takes SmartGauge to the next level of engagement by giving drivers enhanced positive feedback on long-term fuel efficiency and driving performance through the “growth” of virtual small flowers on the system’s right-most screen. Lincoln’s white flowers, inspired by apple blossoms, remain permanently unless long-term fuel economy is reset.
* Lincoln SYNC® – The Lincoln-exclusive voice-activated communications and entertainment system provides an omnipresent link to s and information. In addition to Bluetooth® phone, audible text and MP3 player capabilities, Lincoln customers also can access Vehicle Health Report and 911 Assist™.
* 10-Way Power Passenger Seat – This seat is designed to accommodate a diverse group of passengers. Memory functions enable passengers to fine-tune and recall their positions.
* Power Driver Memory Seat Settings – The driver seat memory feature helps ensure personal seating preferences anytime, with the touch of a button.
* Heated and Cooled Front Seats – This uniquely engineered system delivers exceptional heating and cooling comfort.
* Genuine Wood Trim – In addition to their exquisite appearance, the Swirl Walnut and Olive Ash wood trims offered in the Lincoln MKZ Hybrid are eco-friendly as well. The veneers come from well-managed forests, as defined by strict environmental, social and economic standards, and from other rigorously controlled sources.
* Reverse Sensing System – This system senses what drivers might not see behind them and relays an audible alert if objects are near, which increases in frequency the closer a driver gets.
* Keyless Entry Keypad – This Lincoln-exclusive feature provides secure entry at a driver’s fingertips. A personal combination holds a memory for driver preferences. So if an owner is out for a run and doesn’t want to take the keys along, the vehicle can be opened with the touch of a few buttons.
* Easy Fuel® Capless Fuel-Filler – This Lincoln-exclusive feature uses an integrated spring-loaded flapper door to eliminate the need for a fuel tank screw cap. That means no more fumbling to remove and tighten the cap and less fuel odor on a driver’s hands at the pump.
* Personal Safety System™ – A Lincoln-exclusive suite of seven protection technologies works together as a system to help protect vehicle occupants. The system includes dual-stage front air bags and an occupant classification system to sense whether the passenger seat is occupied. It tailors – or suppresses – air bag deployment to help provide an appropriate level of protection. It also features the Ford Belt-Minder® system to remind front-seat occupants to buckle up.
* MyKey™ – This Lincoln-exclusive feature allows parents to program a key to limit speed and audio volume to encourage teens to drive safer and improve fuel efficiency. It also encourages seat belt usage, provides earlier low-fuel warnings, and can be programmed to sound chimes at 45, 55 and 65 mph.
* Integrated Spotter Mirrors – The traditional side-view mirrors are designed with a secondary convex spotter mirror in the top outer corner, which provides a view of the driver’s blind spot. When traffic enters the driver’s blind spot on either side of the vehicle, it is visible in the secondary convex mirror, alerting the driver of obstacles.
* Acoustic Laminated Windshield – This windshield features a layer of sound-absorbent vinyl sandwiched between two sheets of glass, which enhances interior quietness.
The Lincoln MKZ Hybrid also includes standard Bridge of Weir leather seats. The world-renowned luxury leather from Scotland is unembossed, allowing the natural beauty and character of the grain to shine through. The leather is milled for up to 12 hours to ensure a soft hand, and Bridge of Weir uses a chromium-free tanning process, which makes it easier to recycle.
MINI Will Only Sell Electric Cars In U.S., Canada
MINI is struggling in North America, and that could force it to sell only electric cars in the region.
Like Daimler’s smart division, BMW’s city car brand is considering going electric-only as one of several possible solutions to improve sales, with MINI CEO Peter Schwarzenbauer revealing to that his team is looking at pushing it “in the direction of the electric mobility company”
Schwarzenbauer believes that adding more SUVs — the proven fix to any sales slump — is not the way to go due to the brand’s image as a small car company.
The company has been in talks with several world automakers on how to electrify smaller cars, including Great Wall Motor. The Chinese automaker has confirmed that it was discussing a partnership with BMW to produce MINI electric vehicles in China.
It will be interesting to see how well Smart’s model will work for Mini. Going electric has so far not provided the “jolt” Smart was hoping for, with buyers expressing little excitement and nearly two-thirds of its American dealer network closing shop after the shift to EVs was announced.
Either way, MINI has already has an electric car on the way for 2019.
Honda Working On Electric Cars That Can Recharge In 15 Minutes
Other than revealing two retro styled concepts, one of which will enter production,
Honda has been pretty quiet about its future electric car plans. However, a new report claims the company is working on a new lineup of electric vehicles that will only require 15 minutes to recharge.
Most of today’s electric cars, be it a Chevrolet or a Tesla, take nearly twice as long to recharge using a DC Fast Charger.
According to Japanese newspaper Nikkei, Honda’s electric cars, which are expected to have a driving range of up to 150 miles (241 km), will have significantly reduced charging times thanks to a new high capacity battery that is being developed entirely in-house.
Even though fast charging times will definitely enhance the appeal of any electric car, the biggest hurdle is the inability of existing charging networks to provide such charging speeds. Fortunately, government officials in Europe, the United States, and Asia are working with the private sector to build thousands of high-capacity chargers before the next wave of electric cars hits the market, with Europe in particular expected to have 350 kW charging stations up and running by 2020.
Do you find an electric car that has a driving range of 150 miles and can recharge in 15 minutes competitive?
Walmart, Loblaws Among First To Order Electric Tesla Semi Truck
Retail giant Walmart and Canadian supermarket chain Loblaws are among the first companies to place orders for Tesla’s all-electric semi truck.
Walmart generates the highest revenues of any global company and boasts one of the largest private logistics fleets, accumulating around 700 million miles each year. The company has actively pursued ways to reduce its fleet costs.
A successful sustainability initiative launched in 2005, one aimed at doubling fleet efficiency by the end of 2015 and involving specialized driver training and collaboration with tractor and trailer manufacturers, cut costs by $1 billion annually and CO2 emissions by 650,000 metric tons.
As for Loblaws, the company believes replacing diesel-powered trucks with electric alternatives could prevent the release of over 94,000 tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, which is equivalent to removing 20,000 cars off the road. Achieving this goal would require buying 350 zero-emissions vehicles and 2,500 emissions-free refrigerated trailers before the year 2030.
Estimates put the starting price of the Tesla Semi at approximately $200,000, about twice that of a regular semi. It’s costs 5,000 to reserve one, with Walmart pre-ordering 15 trucks and Loblaws placing an order for 25 examples.
Deliveries are expected to begin in 2019; however, given Tesla’s track record, especially with regards to the Model 3, we’ll have to take any estimated delivery dates with a handful of salt.