This week’s episode of The Car Show packed many of the things that were vacant from the last week’s episode. Yes, we said it, there was much more Car Show and a lot less filler crap.
Some of the mini segments did make their way into the show, including 0-60 (one of our favorites), Behind the Wheel, and of course, One for the Road. Aside from that, there were more celebrity appearances with two different interviews and a trip up the German Autobahn and down the Pacific Coast Highway in an Audi R8 V10 Spyder .
If anyone finds Adam Carolla the least bit annoying then you’ll be happy to know that he participates in Red Bull’s SoapBox Derby and falls a little short of the finish line. One nasty scrape later and he still finds a way to piss people off. All for the love of cars.
Hit the jump for more details on The Car Show: Season 1 Episode 8.
Back in the ’70s, Lincoln customers could buy the De Tomaso Pantera from Lincoln dealerships, giving the brand some appeal in the sports car department. That only lasted until about 1975 when poor response due to quality issues in the vehicle made Ford back out of their agreement to sell the Pantera, leaving Lincoln with only full-size models. With most brands providing a wide array of vehicular options, Lincoln has slowly but surely been sinking into a hole that only drastic changes can get them out.
These changes are more or less what the company is working on now with plans to introduce seven new or revamped vehicles in the next three years. One of these vehicles is rumored to be a 200 mph two-seat sports car which seems a little out of their reach, but may just be possible. If produced, this new sports car may feature a supercharged V-6 to complement the V8 found in Ford’s GT model .
In addition to the new sports car, Ford is also planning on juicing up the technology found in their Lincolns. During a recent interview with Automotive News, Derrick Kuzak, Ford’s global product czar, said that "there will be technology that will be unique to Lincoln." He noted that Lincoln s of the near future could be fitted with electronic PRNDL (park, reverse, neutral, drive, low), which would "provide a truly unique design and interior."
Lincoln hopes to pleasantly surprise their existing customers with this new technology, but also hopes to engage new buyers. New technology on a 200mph two-seat sports car? That’s a good way to start if they are indeed capable of pulling it off.
Not much was said concerning the details of this tuning project, but we do know that the model will carry Brembo brakes, a set of rims from HRE Wheels, Falken tires, an Alpine electronics system, and a discrete body kit. Both Ford and ID Agency have stated that this vehicle was a combination of fashion and function. The ID Agency further stated that the Lincoln MKX was designed with the modern man in mind and that the Urban Assault Vehicle was built to fit into his active lifestyle.
Okay, enough of that mumbo jumbo. Can we get some real details or will we seriously have to wait until the SEMA Show opens it’s doors and Ford lets loose the official ones?
It seems that Lincoln has just received another chance. In the next four years the company will get seven all-new or significantly revised vehicles, including a pick-up truck model. If this rumor proves to be true, the Lincoln pick-up truck will be the the most luxurious and expensive pickup in Ford’s truck lineup.
If you remember the Ford F-250 Super Chief concept truck unveiled at the 2006 Detroit Auto Show, then you have a clue on what the future model will look like. And while the exterior will be defined by sheet metal, the interior will be highlighted by a stretched cab similar to the Ram 3500 Mega Cab configuration. Expect not only lots of leather and aluminum insertions, but also LCD televisions for the second row seats.
The Ford F-250 Super Chief concept was the world’s first vehicle with Tri-Flex fueling, enabling the supercharged V-10 to run for 500 miles between fill-ups on hydrogen, E85 ethanol or gasoline.
Every man who has ever seen Mad Men will attest that it’s one of the best shows on TV today. Lincoln seems to think so too because why else would they tap John Slattery – aka Roger Sterling – to be the man to promote their brand’s refreshed line-up.
Automakers seem to have had a deep-lying affinity for the show with Mercedes-Benz recently signing John Hamm – he’s Don Draper in the show, by the way – to be their new voice over for their commercials.
The Lincoln commercial for the 2011 MKX promotes the car’s unparalleled attention to its technology, with Slattery even saying that “no other anything in the world has it.”
And with the campaign’s tag line of “Smarter than Luxury”, it fits right in with Slattery’s character in Mad Men, Roger Sterling. Really, you’d be hard-pressed to find a more ideal pitchman for Lincoln than John Slattery, a man the company says fits in to their brand for his "authentic, real-world appeal."
Now, care to venture a guess as to what auto brand will try to get Robert Morse to work with them?
The Lincoln Continental has one of the longest history in the automotive industry. It was produced between 1939 and 2002. Now Ford announced plans to revive the Continental nameplate in an effort to bring new competitors for Lexus and Mercedes models.
Ford spokesman Christian Bokich said dealers at Monday’s meeting that the company is already preparing concept-stage images of some of the upcoming vehicles. However he did not discussed details such as the size or the names of the vehicles under development.
Steve Kain, general manager of a Ford and Lincoln dealer in London, Ky., who was briefed on Monday’s meeting, said he supported the idea of bringing back a Continental-inspired sedan. "It’s about revitalizing the whole Lincoln franchise," said Kain. "It’s no different when Ford did away with the Ford Taurus for a year and a half. They refreshed the vehicles, and it’s been a great seller since then."
Expect the new Continental to debut in the next five years.
Ford is hoping to move Lincoln up the automotive ladder, and in order to accomplish this goal, the company will cut at least 200 dealers, mostly in major metropolitan areas.
"The future direction of the Lincoln ownership experience has been charted on a joint basis between Ford Motor and select dealer representatives," spokesman Christian Bokich told Automotive News. "It is important that Lincoln dealers are the first to hear about this information from the company."
Ford’s luxury brand currently has 1,221 U.S. stores, with around 276 stand-along Lincoln-Mercury dealers. Up to 40 percent of these dealers will be cut, as Lexus, the nation’s leading luxury brand, has just 236 stores. Maybe Lincoln should be cutting 40 percent of its chrome as well.
The company currently ranks eighth among luxury brands and should sell around 83,000 vehicles in 2010. With so many dealers, the company sells fewer cars per outlet than any other luxury brand. Ford hopes that these cuts will help that statistic.
They are dropping like flies around Ford. With Mercury going down, Ford will now only have Lincoln to fund and the extra cash will definitely be going into refreshing and expanding the Lincoln line-up. The first model to be added to the line-up will be a compact 4WD vehicle. There are no official details on this particular model as of yet, but it is believed to be a crossover based on the next-generationKuga crossover from Europe. Look at the Lincoln C concept from the 2009 Detroit show and we might be getting a glimpse of the crossover to come.
The future crossover won’t be the only thing getting added to the lineup. Lincoln will also be bringing a redesigned version of the MKZ and a new Mid-sized sedan based on the next-generation Ford Mondeo . The MKS will also receive a redesign in 2012, with a completely new version coming in 2016.
But wait, there’s more. In 2011, Lincoln will drop the Town Car and offer a facelift for the MKX . A redesign for the MKX is expected in 2014. The MKT will be redesigned for 2012, but most likely dropped in 2014. And finally the Navigator ; it will receive a facelift in 2012 and a new EcoBoost engine with a 5.0-liter V-8 within the next few years.
You’ve finally got that big time job and you want something that isn’t too cheap, but you don’t want to spend $80,000 quite yet. There is much to choose from in the middle luxury segment and each car has it’s own unique characteristics that make it better, or worse than the competition.
Just like the entry-level luxury segment, the Germans have always had the middle levels to themselves. The Japanese and the American automakers have never been able to catch up. Yet, 2010 is a new year and things might be changing in the automotive marketplace.
As you have seen by now, we have a tendency to rank cars differently than other car sites. While we love practicality as much as the next site, at TopSpeed, we put speed, performance, and that certain sparkle above the size of the trunk and the back seat.
With entry-level luxury cars, finding the gems between the boring sales rep vehicles can be a pretty hard task. We have so many terribly dull sedans that are only good for taking you down the motorway to work and that’s about it. We aren’t looking for that. We don’t care about sales, we don’t care about popularity, we care about how these cars drive on the track and in the real world. We are aware that a point to point car is what most people will like, but we want an entry-level sedan that provides excitement on that everyday journey. Something that can make you smile and enjoy the drive home. A car that will make you take the back roads.
Over the course of this series we have jumped price by $10,000 each time, starting from $20,000 with the small cars and then $30,000 with the midsize. For this test, we are jumping by $15,000, to make the price cap at $45,000.
Hit the jump to see what our top ten entry-level luxury vehicles are.