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Ford Adding 1.0-liter EcoBoost, 8-Speed Automatics

Maker also moving hybrid driveline production in-house as sales rise.

by on Jun.02, 2011

Though Ford isn't revealing details, sources suggest the 1.0-liter I3 engine may first show up on the Fiesta.

Ford will introduce another version of its high-mileage EcoBoost engine line-up, at 1.0-liter expected to be not just the smallest but the most fuel-efficient offering in its U.S. powertrain family.

Separately, the maker plans to match its competitors in the escalating “gear war,” with a new 8-speed automatic transmission now under development.  Ford also plans to stop purchasing its hybrid drive system from outside supplier Aisin, bringing in-house the production of the advanced technology used in such models as the Ford Escape Hybrid and Lincoln MKZ Hybrid.

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“We’re doing everything we can to improve fuel economy,” Derrick Kuzak, Ford’s global product development czar, told TheDetroitBureau.com prior to a Thursday news conference.

The new moves are “a significant development” for a company that had long been faulted for lagging behind on powertrain development, noted John McElroy, an industry analyst and host of the TV and webcast AutoLine: Detroit.

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First look: Lincoln’s Baby Sedan, The MKZ, Goes Hybrid For 2011

MKZ gets styling makeover, as well.

by on Sep.08, 2010

The 2011 MKZ Hybrid will Lincoln's first hybrid and the first car for the luxury brand with a four-cylinder engine.

For 2011, the popular MKZ sedan, formerly known as the Lincoln Zephyr, gets a complete cosmetic makeover that makes it look like all the other Lincolns, with that toothy split-wing grille, but more importantly, it is Lincoln’s first-ever hybrid passenger car, and the first Lincoln ever powered by a 4-cylinder engine.

The entire second-generation Ford hybrid system has been picked up from the Ford Fusion and installed in the more luxurious and more expensive MKZ with which the Fusion shares platforms.  That means a 2.5-liter Atkinson-cycle gasoline engine coupled to an Aisin E-CVT transmission, an electric motor, a 275-volt Nickel metal hydride propulsion battery, and regenerative braking.

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It also means that the very clever and easy-to-use digital display screens developed for the Ford hybrid have been carried over to the Lincoln, including the four-phase driver assist system and the virtual leaves that grow the more carefully you drive.  Like the Fusion, the MKZ will drive on pure electric power up to 47 miles per hour, when the engine comes on automatically to assist or accelerate.

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No Price Premium For 2011 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid

Move could drive up demand for gas-electric powertrain.

by on Jul.22, 2010

Lincoln plans to offer the hybrid version of its 2011 MKZ for the same price as a standard powertrain.

Lincoln will launch its new 2011 MKZ Hybrid at the same price as the conventionally-powered version of the luxury sedan, the first time an automaker has decided to forego the normal price premium for a gasoline-electric drivetrain.

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The move, which Ford Motor Co. officials suggest will be repeated on other Lincoln hybrids to come, is part of a plan to re-establish Lincoln as a serious competitor in the luxury market, something that has become all the more critical in light of Ford’s recent decision to abandon the mid-range Mercury brand, with which Lincoln had long been paired.

“We think they (customers) will be even more excited to learn they sacrifice nothing to be able to go green in style,” said John Felice, general manager of Ford and Lincoln Marketing.

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