Spied: Lincoln MKT EcoBoost limo
In February Ford announced that the Lincoln MKT would officially replace the Town Car sedan for livery applications, and now we have spy shots of the first limo MKT.
Ford recently announced that Lincoln has finally found a replacement for the Town Car when Ford's luxury brand unveiled the Town Car Livery and Limousine variants at the International LCT (Limousine, Charter and Tour) show in Las Vegas, Nevada, in February.
Today, our spies have brought us the very first spy photos of a stretched limousine variant of the MKT Livery model.
What makes this MKT quite unique - aside from the fact it has very obviously been crudely stretched for testing purposes - is the fact that it is also donning what appears to be an EcoBoost badge on the tailgate. Officially, Ford says that the livery variants of the MKT will come with the 3.7-liter V6 engine, but the automaker also suggested more powertrain information would be available closer to launch, which made us particularly curious when we saw this badge.
Given that the car is clearly a testing mule with miss-matched parts, we certainly can't jump to any conclusions based on an EcoBoost badge alone. It is also worth mentioning that both the 3.7-liter and 3.5-liter EcoBoost MKT civilian models both feature dual exhaust tips, so there is no way to determine the powertrain from the outside alone.
Out with the old, in with the new
Synonymous with limousine drivers everywhere in North America, the Lincoln Town Car has become a veritable cultural symbol - but its fate has been sealed with the imminent closure of Ford's St. Thomas, Ontario, Assembly Plant. It's replacement comes in the form of a modified consumer-grade MKT crossover, which compared to the body-on-frame Town Car it replaces, promises to include an even more comfortable ride, improved fuel economy and up to 35 additional horsepower.
The livery variant adds comfort and convenience for second-row passengers in a handful of changes, while the limousine variant comes with a heavy-duty chassis that can be stretched up to 10 feet by third party builders.
Ford likely chose the MKT to replace the Town Car as the crossover hasn't been selling terribly well on its own accord, and a boost from fleet sales would be welcome at the factory where the Flex and platform sharing MKT are built.
Most of the MKT Livery's features are focused around increasing passenger comfort. Namely, the third row seat has been removed and the second row has been repositioned to allow for more stretch-out legroom. Like the Town Car, a rear seat-mounted switch can move the front passenger's seat forward for even more space. Despite the repositioned second row, Lincoln says that cargo capacity exceeds that available in the Town Car; a total of 39.8 cubic feet means there is plenty of room for golf clubs and luggage.
The second row also gains a USB charging plug and a 110v outlet, as well as separate audio controls. Lincoln says that WiFi hotspot capability will also be on offer.
Map and newspaper pockets have been reconfigured on the front seatbacks, while rear door puddle lamps and integrated headliner-mounted vanity mirrors add more comfort and convenience.
For the driver, the MKT Livery features standard Blind Spot Information System (BLIS) and a rear view camera, as well as Ford's Sync system.
Destined to grow the moment it leaves the factory, the MKT Limousine features an extra heavy duty chassis and an upgraded suspension. Also offered in both front and all-wheel-drive, the MKT Limo has been thoroughly rethought with upgraded wheels and tires, bearings and brakes.
The beefed up body can be stretched up to 10 feet by outside customizers.
Inside, changes include a removed third row and repositioned second row, an available rear view camera and optional Sync.
More details to follow
Lincoln says it will issue more information regarding MKT Livery and Limo powertrains and pricing closer to the vehicles' launch in a little over a year (roughly six months after the last Town Car rolls down the line).
The commercial variants will be built alongside standard MKTs at Ford's Oakville, Ontario, assembly plant.