For the past three decade or so, one car company has so completely dominated the taxi and livery service that its cars have become synonymous as people movers for both the proletariat and wealthy elite. We are talking of course about Ford’s Panther platform, which underpinned both the Crown Victoria and Lincoln Town Car models. But with the Panther platform dead, some have assumed that Ford is giving up its luxury livery business.
Not so. Today Ford announced that a new generation of Town Cars, based on the Lincoln MKT, will be produced and sold for customers around the world. Yes, it’s getting EcoBoost power, and no, it isn’t technically a car.
Nor is this the EcoBoost power your were hoping or expecting. See, the Lincoln MKT shares the D4 platform with the Ford Flex which, as you no doubt already know, is offered with Ford’s awesomely powerful 3.5 liter EcoBoost V6. That’s a 355 horsepower people mover, and the civilian version of the MKT can also get the 3.5 liter EcoBoost. Just not the 2.0 liter EcoBoost, which Ford is reserving for fleet sales of its livery MKT Town Car.
Fuel efficiency seems to be the top priority with the Lincoln MKT Town Car. Ford will only offer the 3.7 liter naturally-aspirated V6, or the 2.0 liter EcoBoost engine. This EcoBoost engine will only be available to livery drivers, and the MKT Town Car starts at just a shade under $50,000. The EcoBoost engine is standard, while the V6 will be an $1,100 option. The EcoBoost engine is rated at 20/28 MPG, while the V6 has a 17/24 rating. So the fuel savings will be significant, but so is the power difference; 235 horsepower and 260 ft-lbs of torque for the EcoBoost engine, while the V6 has 300 horsepower and 275 ft-lbs of torque. That’s a big gap in a car that weights more than 5,000 pounds.
Ford is hoping to woo luxury livery drivers with an EcoBoost engine, but we’re not so sure the extra fuel economy will worth it. This one has us scratching our heads a bit…how about you?