The new electric car
The problem I have with many of today’s luxury cars is the fuel consumption. It seems that you can have luxury but you can’t get frugal fuel consumption. Well, Lincoln seems to have the solution with the MK Z Hybrid, a gas/electric car.
The Hybrid starts with the MKZ platform and its luxury interior and other fine appointments. The heat of the Hybrid is the Atkinson-cycle 2.0-litre four cylinder connected to an electric motor that powers the front wheels. Besides the electric motor, the car also has lithium-ion batteries to help with the whole drive system.
What happens is that once the car in put into drive the batteries get the car moving. Once the car is up to a certain speed, the engine starts and begins to turn the electric motor and takes over the powering of the car. As the driver needs more power, the gas engine powers up the electric motor which drives the front wheels.
It is this demand that determines the average 5.9 litre per 100 kilometres both highway and city driving.
On paper the power doesn’t look that good with 188 horsepower but the car really does go quite smoothly. Torque of the car is rated at 129 lb-ft which again doesn’t sound like much, but the 2.0-litre gas engine combined with the electric motor gives the car a lot of power. In my own testing I found the 0 to 100 kilometres per hour time of roughly eight seconds. I found this more than adequate for city traffic as well as passing on the highway, or for that matter, accelerating on to the highway.
Due to the weight, that of the electric motor and power battery, the MKZ handles quite well. There is no excessive roll in corners, giving this front-wheel drive car fairly neutral handling, which I personally like. In rain, the weight gives the car even better handling than other front-drive cars.
Unlike some hybrids which have space age styling, the Lincoln interior is almost the same as the convention gas-powered versions with exception of the gauge section of the dash. Here you find the speedometer and a bunch of graphs showing everything concerning the power levels. What I did find interesting was the gauge that showed regenerative braking for the car’s battery. By coasting to a stop and gently applying the brakes, the car’s computer scored you. As you might imagine, this started to become a game to get the best score.
The rest of the interior was basic Lincoln with all the goodies you have come to expect in a luxury car. These included all the power amenities, leather seats, styled console, and generally a nice place to travel in. I found the driver’s seat and the rest of the seats comfortable with good leg room in the rear. What I did take some getting used to was the push-button drive control, I will assume that it just takes more than a week to get use to this feature.
After spending some time with the Lincoln MKZ I have to say I became attached to it. As an everyday driver, it gave you great fuel economy and room and comfort for you and your passengers. The MKZ may not have the same prestige as some of its European counterparts but overall it offers decent handling and good room for a car without being an SUV. At just under $50,000, it is well equipped for what you get.
MSRP: Base $45,000,
as tested $49,500
Torque (lb-ft): 129
Layout: Front-wheel drive
Transmission: E-cvt (electronic)
Fuel economy: 5.7L/100 km city 5.9L/100 km