Ford to show off Lincoln MKZ hybrid today

Ford to show off Lincoln MKZ hybrid today
BY BRENT SNAVELYFREE PRESS BUSINESS WRITER
Ford said today that it will introduce a hybrid version of the Lincoln MKZ this fall and plans to market the vehicle as the most fuel-efficient U.S. luxury hybrid.

The 2011 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid is to be revealed at a news conference today at the New York auto show.
Ford decided to develop a hybrid version of a Lincoln because of increasing interest in hybrids among luxury car buyers, said Greg Scott, group marketing manager for the MKZ, Fusion and Milan. “Luxury customers want to take a leadership role,” Scott said.
The Lincoln is expected to get 41 m.p.g. in the city and 36 on the highway, Scott said.
Lincoln’s expected fuel efficiency is better than all 2010 Lexus hybrids including the compact Lexus HS 250h, which gets a combined 35 m.p.g., and the midsize Lexus GS 450h, which gets a combined 23 m.p.g.
Bill Chope, president of Crest Automotive Group in Sterling Heights, said the addition of a hybrid will likely generate a lot of interest. “In the showroom, people already ask a lot of questions about hybrids,” Chope said.
The launch of the MKZ Hybrid follows the successful introduction last year of the Ford Fusion and Mercury Milan hybrids.
The MKZ will be built in the same factory in Hermosillo, Mexico, and the three cars will share a similar 2.5-liter four-cylinder hybrid engine and electric motor.
The hybrid will use interior wood paneling from sustainable-growth forests and an updated version of Ford’s Smart Gauge dashboard displays that will show flowers growing behind the leaves that grow as the driver saves fuel on each trip.
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