Woe be Lincoln, Ford’s long-languishing luxury brand. Though the Ford brand itself has rebounded in a big way, Lincoln continues to be a drain on corporate profits and stock price, and so far the only “new” Lincoln, the 2013 MKZ, is rather underwhelming. Among luxury brands, Lincoln is now the only one without ANY rear-drive sedan offerings…and forget performance. Sorry Ford, but the 355 horsepower EcoBoost-powered Lincoln MKS doesn’t cut it when Chrysler offers a 470 horsepower 300 sedan, and Cadillac has the 556 horsepower V-series of CTS sedans.
All of which means, to us, that Lincoln will inevitably cave in to pressure and build a four-door performance sedan. And according to Car & Driver, this new Lincoln sedan could come as early as 2015 and share a platform with…wait for it…the 2015 Ford Mustang.
Gasp! Shock! Awe! We totally called it! In fairness, Car & Driver’s report notes that Ford is merely contemplating the use of some of the 2015 Mustang’s new independent rear-suspension and MacPherson front-end to underpin a new Lincoln sedan. This sedan would obviously have rear-wheel drive, and would almost certainly share engine options with the next Mustang, including the 5.0 V8 and EcoBoost motors.
Unfortunately, with the recent emphasis from luxury brands on all-wheel drive, this could pose a serious problem to making a large Mustang-based Lincoln sedan. Whatever FOrd does for the 2015 Mustang, you can bet it will still utilize rear-wheel drive. Working an AWD system into that architecture could prove difficult and expensive. Still, it is abundantly clear to even the least astute observers that Lincoln is simply not competing on the same level as other luxury brands, and it has a lot to do with the lack of a performance-minded rear-drive sedan.
The last time Lincoln borrowed Mustang parts for a car, they found a lot of success in the Lincoln Mark VII LSC. Might they tweak that recipe for the 21st century and find success once again?