Ford vice president of global product development, Raj Nair, has announced that the company will double its production of the Lincoln MKZ Hybrid for the model year 2014. This comes in the wake of growing global sales of hybrid vehicles. This will result in almost half (40 percent to be exact) of the MKZs produced will be hybrids in 2014.
Lincoln MKZ Hybrid
Hybrids are hot these days, for Ford and otherwise. Sales of hybrid vehicles are up by 18.3 percent for the period between January and June of this year as compared with sales during the same period last year. The Electric Drive Transport Association reports that 257,635 hybrids were purchased by consumers during the first 6 months of 2013. While last year Ford produced only 4 percent of the hybrid vehicles sold they now produce 16 percent, so their presence in the hybrid market is growing.
We swung by a local Lincoln showroom just outside of Philadelphia, Reedman Toll Lincoln, to check out an MKZ Hybrid in person. Talking with them we found that the MKZ seems to be something of a favorite among hybrid buyers as well. During the past three months 715 of the cars have been sold each month. Ford’s intention to produce more of the Lincoln model thus seems well timed.
What changes can we expect in the 2014 model? An EPA investigation led to the recommendation that the real world fuel economy of the vehicles be improved, so consumers can look forward to some better mileage on the new models. The top electric-mode speed will increase from 62 to 85 miles per hour. There will be an increase in warm up time, better climate control energy economy, and an increase in the usage of the Active Grille Shutters. All of these improvements can be traced to the reduction in the engine’s fan speed.
It looks like Ford is gearing up to make its 2014 Lincoln MKZ hybrid something of an industry leader: