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Hands-On: Lincoln MKZ Offers Hybrid as Free Upgrade[2010-09-08] [Clicks:]

The 2011 Lincoln MKZ midsize sedan makes a hybrid drivetrain a no-cost option to go along with the dazzling Sync music and Bluetooth feature. Gas or gas-electric hybrid, it has a $35,180 base price including freight. Technically, the 2011 MKZ adds knockout features to an aging platform. Its uncertain success may hinge on factors unrelated to high-tech, such as whether the Lincoln brand has traction with upscale consumers in the near-luxury segment that Lincoln declares to be in tune with uncertain economic times.

see review) that is the closest competitor of the MKZ, have lots of electrical sounds that are an acquired taste. The MKZ does, too. You just don't hear them.

41 mpg City Driving, Up to 47 mph on Electric Power
The Lincoln MKZ Hybrid uses a 2.5-liter Atkinson cycle four-cylinder gasoline engine and electric motor rated at 191 net horsepower. It is rated at 41 mpg in city driving (35 mpg city, 39 mpg combined) vs. 35 mpg city for the Lexus HS 250h. Ifthis kind of thing intrigues you, Lincoln claims the MKZ under optimal conditions (fully charged battery, easy on the throttle) can go as fast as 47 mph on battery power alone, vs. 25 mph tops for the Lexus hybrid. And the MKZ hybrid blows away its V6 gas-engine MKZ twin, with is rated at 18 mpg city, 27 mpg highway, 23 mpg overall. The only downsides to the MKZ hybrid vs. MKZ gas are slower straight-line acceleration, and a bit of the trunk lost to the hybrid battery pack.

Upward: No Next: Mobile chargers could keep electric cars juiced up