Report: Ford Mustang and F-Series, Lincoln MKC Leading the Charge for the Blue Oval's Future Products
It's going to be a busy next couple of years for both Ford, and its upscale arm, Lincoln. That's not to say it hasn't been already, as Ford offerings currently pace the compact crossover segment (Escape), mid-sized sedan segment (Fusion), and the all-important hybrid segment (C-Max). For 2014, the Blue Oval Boys are focusing on its two heavyweights; the Mustang and F-Series. Besides those, a redesigned Fiesta is expected to be launched shortly and two more EcoBoost engines are expected to become available in the near future, too. And then there's Lincoln. The floundering luxury arm of Ford is in the middle of a brand reinvention, but after debuting the 2013 MKZ, it appears there's a light at the end of the tunnel. Next up for Lincoln will be to successfully launch the MKC compact crossover, which is built on the same platform as the Ford Escape, but will feature all-new styling cues already seen on the MKZ. There have even been whispers of a Lincoln Continental-like revival and it could include rear-wheel drive. That's pure speculation at the moment but we don't think it's a bad idea. In the meantime, Lincoln has been setting modest goals for itself as it tries to get back to where it once was and be relevant again. With all that being said, here's a look at where both Ford and Lincoln are headed in the next couple of years. Ford C-Max: With a few revisions aimed at improving fuel economy for the 2014 model year, the C-Max is slated for an all-out redesign in 2016 with better batteries and propulsion systems. Edge: A redesigned version for 2015 is expected during the latter part of next year and so far, it's unknown if the V-6 engine will be dropped. It makes sense though because it would force perspective buyers to look at the upmarket Lincoln MKX. Escape: An all-new version was just introduced this year and nothing is likely to happen again until 2016. For the 2014 model year, the Hands-Free Liftgate and Class II towing package will be available together. The same 1.5-liter engine going in the Fusion is expected to be available in the 2014 Escape, too. Expedition: A few small changes have been made to the 2014 model year variant, and Ford may add the 5.0-liter Coyote V-8 engine. Explorer: 2014 brings minor changes for the Explorer including performance features seen on the Explorer Sport and bigger brakes. It’s possible that Ford will no longer offer the 2.0-liter EcoBoost engine in the 2015 Explorer but will replace it with a 2.3-liter EcoBoost engine. E-Series: Ford will pull the plug on the E-Series next year as the Transit begins to take on more of the workload. Both cutaway and chassis variants of the E-Series are expected to be available well into this decade, though. F-Series: It's no secret that 2015 is going to be a huge year for the Ford F-150 as a completely redesigned model is expected to debut then. We've already seen what Ford has up its sleeve (sort of) in the form of the Atlas Concept, which attempted (and just about succeeded) in stealing the Chevrolet Corvette C7's thunder at the 2013 North American International Auto Show. Rumor has it that the 2015 Ford F-150 will bow in production guise at the 2014 North American International Auto Show. It's expected that Ford's new Nano V-6 engines will be available on the latest F-150 and a wide use of aluminum will help reduce the light-duty truck's weight; up to 750 pounds shaved off, to be exact. Other features that may be featured on the 2015 Ford F-150, and seen on the Atlas Concept, include active grille shutters, a drop-down front air dam, and Dynamic Hitch Assist. Other features may include hidden cargo ramps, a 360-degree camera, a cargo cradle, and a dual purpose liftgate. If you opt for the extended-cab configuration, reverse-hinged rear doors that open nearly 180 degrees are expected to make its debut, too. As for the F-Series Super Duty lineup, a redesigned model is expected to join the fold early on in 2015. Fiesta: Will be completely redesigned for the 2014 model year and feature the trapezoidal grille that's been making its way across Ford's entire lineup as of late. Soon there will be three engine offers including two different EcoBoost models in the form of a 1.0-liter three-cylinder engine and a 1.6-liter four-cylinder variant. The Ford Fiesta ST will join the lineup with a 1.6-liter EcoBoost engine rated at 197 horsepower and will only be available as a five-door hatchback. A nine-speed automatic transmission may find its way into the 2014 Ford Fiesta, as well. Flex: The future is murky for the Flex as it doesn't pull its weight much in anywhere but California. For 2013, some styling tweaks have been made but after 2015, it's uncertain what will happen to the Flex. Fusion: The big change in store for the latest Fusion is a 1.5-liter EcoBoost engine that will be joining the 1.6-liter offering. However, the 1.6-liter EcoBoost will only be available with a six-speed manual transmission. Both the 1.5-liter and 1.6-liter offerings are expected to have the same exact outputs. Mustang: The 2015 Mustang is expected to contain a ton of changes and will now be available in many more countries around the world. Entering its six-generation, the 2015 Ford Mustang will feature independent rear suspension and a turbocharged offering will be available for the first time since the Mustang SVO from the 1980s. Weight reduction is also the name of the game for the 2015 Ford Mustang and the Blue Oval will look to drop some poundage through a new suspension system. However, the new rear suspension will be heavier than the solid rear axle configuration currently found on the Mustang. Taurus: After going under the knife in 2013, a full-blown redesign is expected for 2015. Transit Connect: A redesigned version will begin showing up in early 2014 and will be available in either cargo van or wagon configurations. The 2014 Ford Transit Connect will also be available in two different wheelbases, unlike the current offering. If you opt for the Transit Connect wagon, you can choose between five and seven seats. As for the wagon, it will be available in either short- or long-wheelbase fashion. A 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine will be the standard form of motivation but the 1.6-liter EcoBoost engine will also be available. When properly equipped, Ford promises that the Transit Connect will be able to pull up to 2,000 pounds. Transit: Slated to arrive in the middle of 2014, the Transit will replace the outgoing E-Series van. Lincoln MKC: A completely new compact crossover aimed at taking sales away from the Acura RDX, Audi Q5, and BMW X3 is expected to debut later on in 2014. The Lincoln MKC originally debuted at the 2013 North American International Auto Show and includes Lincoln's signature spread-wing grille. A 2.0-liter EcoBoost engine is expected to power the MKC once it comes to market. A hybrid model could very well be a reality, as well. MKS: A new grille graced the MKS's face for 2013 but more colors and a backup camera are expected to become available for the 2014 model. A redesigned MKS should show up some time in 2016. However, the MKS name may give way to the Continental badge. MKT: Perhaps the best kept secret at Lincoln, not much is known at all about the future of the MKT and it's unknown if the MKT will go under in the next few years. The MKT's future, along with the Ford Flex's, hangs in the balance. MKX: A redesigned version is expected to pop up in early 2015 but will be for the 2016 model year. Not much is known about the upcoming MKX except that it will probably be based off of the Ford Edge. If history repeats itself, the Ford offering will arrive in showrooms first followed closely behind by the Lincoln. MKZ: The vehicle that kick-started it all again for Lincoln, or so it hopes. The MKZ was completely redesigned for the 2013 model year. MKZ hybrid production is getting a boost from 20 percent to 40 percent of all MKZ production. Expect the MKZ to go back under the knife for the 2016 model year. Navigator: One of Lincoln's many projects currently, a revised version of the Navigator is expected to return later on in 2014 with either Ford's 3.5-liter EcoBoost or a Nano V-6 engine. Source: Automotive News (subscription required)
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