When one usually thinks of all-wheel-drive, the first brands that pop into mind are Subaru and Audi, both having spent decades building a carefully-crafted image around that core technology. The latest brand that wants to join the AWD fray in a major way is…Lincoln? Although not traditionally associated with the technology, Lincoln claims the drivetrain configuration is comprising an increasingly larger part of its sales mix.
With the discontinuation of the rear-drive-only Town Car, Lincoln notes that all-wheel-drive is now available in all the brand’s vehicles, from the MKZ and MKS sedans, through to the MKX and MKT crossovers, as well as the full-size, body-on-frame Navigator SUV.
In terms of sales mix, the ostensible Town Car replacement MKT is trending at 72 percent all-wheel-drive, followed by the MKX and Navigator, both at 62 percent, the MKS at 46 percent, and the MKZ with 25 percent.
All-wheel-drive is also an enabling technology to allow full optimization of the 355 horsepower and 350 pound-feet of torque produced by the 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6 in the MKS and MKT models. That level of power in a front-wheel-drive vehicle would likely result in poor driveability and control characteristics.
"We see all-wheel drive as a core technology option for the entire Lincoln line-up, both today and for the future," C.J. O'Donnell, Group Marketing Manager for Lincoln, said.