2012 Lincoln MKZ

Though Lincoln’s sales have recently been lagging behind other luxury automakers, parent company Ford hopes that an infusion of cash and a reworked lineup will turn the luxury marque’s fortunes around. Ford has released some details about the seven brand-new or significantly refreshed Lincoln models it plans to present to the public by the 2014 model year, reports Automotive News.

Overall, the Lincoln lineup will likely begin to see more use of Ford’s turbocharged EcoBoost engines, as well as more drastically differentiated styling from the Ford vehicles on which they are based. Some analysts say that Lincoln’s slow sales have been a result of too many similarities between the luxury branded cars and their affordable Ford counterparts. “A key component to future Lincoln redesigns will be minimizing any connection between the luxury make and any Ford siblings,” writes Autoblog.

For instance, in a review of the Lincoln MKZ Hybrid, Car and Driver noted that it stands out in its class of luxury hybrids, but seems eerily similar to the Ford Fusion Hybrid on which it’s based. “The MKZ hybrid’s library-like ambience, solid build quality, and excellent fuel economy make it the easy choice between [it and the Lexus HS 250h],” writes the magazine. “Compared with the Fusion hybrid with which it shares so much, though, the difference is slimmer.”

The Lincoln Navigator will likely be refreshed for 2012, including the addition of Ford’s V6 EcoBoost engine and some updated exterior styling. Originally, the Navigator was slated for a full redesign for the coming model year, but Autoblog predicts that that’s on hold for now.  Other updates include a complete redesign of the midsize Lincoln MKZ sedan, a substantial update for the Ford Taurus-based MKS and an updated MKX crossover, which just received a total makeover for the 2011 model year.

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