Tuesday 13 January 2015

CGI to power 2016 MKX Lincoln

According to wardsauto, Ford is to bring out an all-new Lincoln MKX CUV in a bid to lift the marque’s annual sales above the 100,000 mark.

Lincoln needs the new MKX to build on the momentum of the smaller MKC, which went on sale last spring and has been well received, with 13,077 deliveries by year’s end.

Overall sales of Lincoln in 2014 rose 15.6 per cent to 94,474 vehicles.

To top the 100,000 mark, Ford executives are pinning their faith on the equally new 2.7-litre EcoBoost turbocharged gasoline engine which is novel it its use for the first time in a gasoline engine of a compacted graphite iron (CGI) cylinder block.

Although Ford has identified its Lima, Ohio engine plant as the location for production of the latest EcoBoost, the company has yet to officially reveal which foundry will cast the ground-breaking gasoline vee cylinder blocks. However, industry supposition is that the vee blocks will be sourced from the Saltillo, Mexico foundry of Tupy SA, of Joinville, Brazil. Tupy is the world's leading CGI foundry and does supply vee engine cylinder blocks for the 4.4-litre and 6.7-litre V8 engines that Ford makes at its Chihuahua Engine Plant, Mexico. Saltillo will need to have enough capacity to ship at leas 300,000 vee blocks a year to Lima Engine Plant when production is fully ramped up.

The new 2.7-litre EcoBoost turbocharged V6 is expected to be rated above 330bhp and generate more than 370lbft or 502Nm of torque – that is above the magic number of 500Nm (502 Nm) of torque.

Readers will be aware that last year the same engine debuted in Ford’s all-new 2015 F-150 pickup.

As well as the new engine, the latest MKX will sport a stiffer chassis, sculpted styling and an available premium Revel audio system.

In addition, the 2016 MKX, which goes on sale first in the US this autumn, will be offered with two new Black Label interior and exterior design themes intended to compete with premium luxury brands.

According to wardsauto the vehicle also will launch later in China, Canada, the Middle East, Mexico and South Korea.

The MKZ sedan has picked up steam after a rocky 2013 launch, finding 34,009 customers in 2014. The MKX is Lincoln’s best-selling vehicle.

Lincoln is second in Ford’s stable in 2014; the previous-generation 2015 model year MKX almost at the end of its lifecycle managing sales of 23,995. In 2014, it outsold the Land Rover Evoque and Volvo’s CUVs. According to wardsautodata, other luxury sports utility vehicles from Acura, Audi, BMW, Cadillac, Lexus and Mercedes and the Infiniti QX60 outperformed the MKX.

The previous MKX was an enhanced version of the five-passenger Ford Edge, which also is being redesigned. Both vehicles will share Ford’s common global C/D platform, but Lincoln executives point out that the MKX will have unique underpinnings to ensure a more nimble, quiet ride.

However, those who opt for the powerful EcoBoost are likely to have to pay a premium.

The standard powertrain for the front-wheel five-passenger MKX will be the naturally aspirated 3.7-litre V6 that is expected to deliver 300bhp and 280lbft (380 Nm) of torque, based on preliminary test data. A six-speed automatic transmission is standard, and all-wheel drive is optional.

With seven-, eight and nine-speed transmissions available elsewhere in the market it is a question as to when Ford will move in this direction. Certainly a while back Ford and General Motors announced they were working on joint development of nine- and ten-speed transmissions.

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