41 MPG City, 36 MPG Highway
We're about to find out if car buyers prefer superior fuel economy or power. Ford has announced that its 2011 Lincoln MKZ hybrid will be priced at $35k, the same as the regular gas-powered V6 MKZ. According to the EPA numbers, the hybrid will get a combined MPG of 39 while the V6 will get a combined 21 MPG. That's a significant improvement, and while horsepower is lower, the low-end torque of the electric motor can compensate for that in many situations. Read on for more details and photos.
In its release, Lincoln had this to say:
When the 2011 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid goes on sale this fall, it will have an MSRP starting at $35,180, including destination and delivery. The pricing is identical to the 2011 Lincoln MKZ gas model and below the 2010 Lexus HS 250h, the MKZ Hybrid's nearest competitor.
Lincoln is the first automaker to offer luxury customers a premium hybrid vehicle with an MSRP that matches its conventional gas sibling.
A New Trend for Hybrid Car Pricing?
I hope that this is the beginning of a larger trend. Eliminating the "hybrid premium" should make a big difference, if only the psychological level (nobody's complaining about the "sunroof premium" or the "mag wheels premium", but for some reason, most auto journalist would seem to think that paying more for a hybrid is a big problem).
What I'd really like to see is cars like the Camry hybrid and Fusion hybrid sold at the same price as their V6 gasoline equivalents. If that means cutting a little on the standard equipment offered with the hybrids, so be it.