You rarely see "green car" and Lincoln in the same sentence; Ford's upmarket brand has long been known for weighty, slab-sided V8 luxury sedans with opulent appointments. But their mileage hasn't been worth writing home about.
That's changing, though. First came the 2007 Lincoln MKZ (nee 2006 Lincoln Zephyr), a tidy midsize sedan that has held its own in the crowded near-luxury segment.
Now comes the 2010 Lincoln MKS with EcoBoost, Ford's green engine technology that offers big-block power with notably reduced gas consumption. Ford says the all-wheel-drive MKS with EcoBoost will deliver "at least" 17 miles per gallon city / 24 mpg highway.
And yes, we know that's a far cry from the uber-thrifty 98-horsepower, 1.3-liter engine in, say, the 2010 Honda Insight mild hybrid. But buyers will always want large luxury sedans, and they too will make much better use of their gasoline.
In fact, the Mercedes-Benz Vision F700 concept car shows how that make believes it could make a car the size of its S-Class that returned 40 mpg or more. And Jaguar is working on an XJ hybrid project.
Neither of those cars will be in dealerships next year, but the MKS is a step along the path to higher-mileage luxury sedans like them.
The 2010 Lincoln MKS is actually the second car to be announced with the 3.5-liter EcoBoost engine, following the 2010 Ford Taurus SHO we wrote about in February.
The EcoBoost engine is one of many examples of the global trend toward bigger power from smaller engines. It uses gasoline direct-injection and twin turbochargers to wring out 355 horsepower, as much as the company's traditional 4.6-liter V8, from a mere 3.5-liter V6.
The 3.5-liter EcoBoost is the top-line engine in the 2010 MKS, despite being smaller than the less powerful, 273-horsepower 3.7-liter V6 that's the only other choice. The 2010 MKS with EcoBoost will arrive at dealers within several weeks.
Ford says that by 2013--just three model years hence--more than 90 percent of its North American nameplates will be offered with EcoBoost engines as an option.
2010 Lincoln MKS with EcoBoost