Ford Motor Company has put an increased amount of attention into its Ford brand in recent years to make it competitive, and now with the Mercury brand shuttered, Ford’s Lincoln division is about to see some new products of its own. According to Automotive News, Lincoln will introduce seven new or heavily updated models by 2014.
Some of the most recent rumors about Lincoln additions include compact models based on Ford’s newest global C-platform. Although the 2009 Lincoln C Concept previewed a future compact hatchback from Lincoln, Automotive News indicates that a compact crossover – possibly sharing its underpinnings with the next-generation Ford Escape – could be the first new model to join the line-up. The new Escape was previewed by the 2011 Ford Vertrek Concept, and the Lincoln version of this crossover could arrive for the 2013 model year. Despite the existence of compact luxury hatchbacks like the Lexus CT and Audi A3, AN doesn’t expect a production version of the Lincoln C Concept until the 2016 or 2017 model year.
On the opposite spectrum in Lincoln’s stable of vehicles, the full-size Lincoln Navigator is also set to get some updates in the near future. With the current model having been around mostly unchanged since 2007, a new exterior styling could arrive for the 2013 model year, but the biggest news will be what’s under the hood. Currently, the Navigator (and its Ford twin, the Ford Expedition) is only available with a V-8, but with the EcoBoost engine being a popular engine in the Ford F-150, this powerful, fuel-efficient engine should also make its way into Lincoln's full-size SUV in the relatively near future.
Another big change for Lincoln will be an all-new 2013 Lincoln MKZ that will not only ride on a new global platform but will also be more distinguishable from its twin, the Ford Fusion. Both cars will share platforms with the Ford Mondeo. Based on Ford’s plan to offer an EcoBoost engine in 90 percent of its models by 2013, the next-generation MKZ and Fusion will likely use either the 2.0-liter EcoBoost or the 1.6-liter EcoBoost – both are currently used in the Mondeo. Lincoln is also expected to use the new MKZ to a debut a new design language although no details of the new styling have been released yet.
According to the Automotive News article, Ford was considering dropping the Lincoln MKT in place of a vehicle based on the Ford Explorer, but this is now doubtful with the demise of the Lincoln Town Car and the addition of livery MKT Town Car models including a limousine model that has been stretched by 10 feet. Instead, the Lincoln MKT will likely receive a slight update for the 2013 model year that will mostly focus on changes on styling changes and new technology. The updated MKT will certainly get the MyLincoln Touch voice-activated infotainment system since the new Ford Flex will be getting MyFord Touch.
Since the Ford Taurus is being heavily updated in early 2012 for the 2013 model year, expect a similar treatment for the related Lincoln MKS although it could debut later in the calendar year. While significant styling changes will likely help the new MKS stand further apart from the Taurus, the big news for the new full-size sedan should be the addition of the 2.0-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder engine which has already been confirmed for the new 2013 Taurus. The 2013 Lincoln MKS will be another model to receive the MyLincoln Touch voice-activated infotainment system.
Standing as the seventh possible new or updated Lincoln by 2014, little is known about the next-generation Lincoln MKX. This mid-size luxury crossover was just updated for the 2011 model year, but it still carried over most of the components and basic body structure. Based on the lifecycles of most Ford and Lincoln vehicles, an all-new, redesigned Lincoln MKX could very easily make a debut for the 2014 model year.