From Green Right Now Reports
Ford Motor Company’s Lincoln division today introduced its first hybrid, the 2011 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid, a premium midsize car that the company says will be the most fuel-efficient luxury sedan in America.
The car was debuted today at the New York International Auto Show. Lincoln said its hybrid is expected to deliver at least 41 miles per gallon in the city when it goes on sale this fall. That would top its nearest competitor, the 2010 Lexus HS 250h, by 6 mpg.
“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,” Derrick Kuzak, Ford’s group vice president of Global Product Development, said in a statement.
The 2011 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid, priced beginning at $34,115, uses Ford’s second-generation hybrid technology, the 2.5-liter Atkinson-cycle I-4 hybrid engine that was named one of Ward’s 2010 “10 Best Engines.” The combined gasoline engine and electric motor produce 191 horsepower. Lincoln said that in pure electric mode, the Lincoln MKZ Hybrid will reach 47 mph compared with the top speed of Lexus HS 250h’s battery-only mode speed at 25 mph.
The MKZ Hybrid uses Ford’s SmartGauge with EcoGuide, which supplies real-time information to help drivers maximize fuel efficiency, and coaches drivers on how to optimize hybrid performance. Lincoln’s version will give 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 said the wood trim used in the car “come from well-managed forests, as defined by strict environmental, social and economic standards, and from other rigorously controlled sources.”
The company also said that the car’s standard Bridge of Weir leather seats are made with a chromium-free tanning process, which makes it easier to recycle.
In addition to the new Lincoln MKZ Hybrid, Ford plans to launch five new electric 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.