The new Lincoln MKT Town Car Livery and Limousine will soon be driving to an airport near you. Lincoln has tailored the MKT to the professional car business and will offer standard and stretchable limousine bodystyles after it goes into production in the spring.
The move from Town Car to MKT is a necessary one since the Town Car ends production this fall. Lincoln’s livery vehicles are big business for Ford, which has worked with the industry throughout the development process. Even so, the move to the MKT will still be a significant leap from a rear-wheel-drive V-8 sedan to a front- and all-wheel-drive V-6 crossover.
Lincoln hints that an engine with up to 35 horsepower more than the regular MKT will be part of the package. We're guessing that means an MKT Town Car Livery could have under the hood a 305-horsepower 3.7-liter V-6 instead of the regular crossover's 270 horses. Of course, a version of the 355-horsepower EcoBoost V-6 might be an option, too. The standard Lincoln MKT is shown here.
"The new MKT Town Car will be the best available in the livery industry," said Mark Fields, Ford president of The Americas, "working off a solid base as the perfect way to achieve the versatility needed for executive transportation or a night out on the town."
It remains to be seen whether the regular-sized MKT Town Cars will last as long as actual Town Cars, but after talking to the Limo/Livery Advisory Board, the MKT Town car might prove to be tough. Undoubtedly, the MKT Town Car's extra legroom and cargo capacity (39.6 cubic feet) will be appreciated and, Lincoln is excited to note, ingress and egress is easier in the MKT. The MKT Town Car has three-across second row seating and a continuous rear floormat.
"Extensive research helped ensure we designed the new Lincoln MKT Town Car to truly deliver on the key needs of operators to improve their business and provide end-users modern transportation capable of full connectivity," said Gerry Koss, fleet marketing manager.
When Koss mentions connectivity, he's talking about features like SYNC, a hands-free navigation system, standard Wi-Fi capability, a blind spot information system, and a rear view camera system. A USB cell phone charger and 110-volt electric plug are part of the package, as well.
Lincoln is also planning on building an MKT Town Car Limousine extended up to 10 additional feet. The MKT limo is all-wheel drive only and has upgraded equipment to help cope with the added demands of a stretched car. The suspension, electronic power-assisted steering, brakes, wheel bearings, and transmission are tweaked for limo duty. Unique wheels and tires will make their way onto the limo.
All this new technology is great, but the MKT Town Car's price, relative to the Town Car, will likely be a huge factor in determining its success. In 2010, the MKT was outsold by the Town Car by more than 3000 units -- a lot in a year when the MKT sells 7435 units. At this point it's anyone's guess where pricing will fall for the MKT Town Car Livery and Limousine, but it's clear Lincoln has a lot riding on the MKT.