Ford Has Got It Figured Out, Lincoln Not So Much (Ford Taurus, Shelby GT500 Mustang, and Lincoln MKT)



Ford is on the road to recovery. Of all the domestic manufacturers, it is showing the most promise. Ford didn’t need the bridge loans over the holiday season and now it also has the best products coming down the pipeline. Leading the product-based charge is the upcoming Mustang and Taurus, revealed at this week’s Detroit Auto Show. 

While we will never cover the Mustang as indefatigably as Autoblog, we certainly want you CarEnvy boys and girls to be in the loop when particularly notable Mustangs come along. And the 2010 Shelby GT500 Mustang is just such a vehicle. Powerful good looks meet better handling and more Tim-the-toolman-Taylor power than the previous iteration. Well done, Mr. Shelby. 

But it’s not just supercharged niche products that Ford has figured out these days, its bread and butter models like the Taurus as well. 

Sadly, for Ford’s luxury sibling, Lincoln, the future isn’t so bright. 

Follow the jump to see what I mean. 



Let’s start off with the good before the bad. The new Shelby GT500 is based on the new 2010 Mustang and it looks meaner than ever. It features 540hp and 510 torques from a 5.4L supercharged mill – making it the most powerful Mustang ever. Unfortunately, it is also the heaviest Mustang ever due in no small part to the cast iron engine block from the F-150. It remains to be seen if the increased power and revised suspension are able to cope with the greater weight. Realistically, I’m not expecting any ballet partner.

If you get the coupe (a convertible is also available), you get to roll on 19s wrapped in 255/40R19 front and 285/25R19 rear rubber from Goodyear. This should help to control the new power, as should the new ESC control system and a limited slip differential. Not sure why Ford wants to control all the power – GT500 owners just want to live in a cloud of tire smoke. Is that so much to ask?

The interior is also much improved over the last Mustang GT500. Ford has woken up and smelled the coffee. 



It’s about time someone made an interesting large sedan. The last one was probably the Chevrolet Malibu, a mid-sizer playing with the big boys. Now Ford is at the table with the Taurus and it looks to be a gooder. A nice blend of the Euro Kinetic Design language and the Ford Interceptor concept make for an attractive family sedan, if I do say so myself. This is the car that North Americans have been pining for since the Ford Mondeo came out in Europe.

The first engine it will be released with will be a 3.5L Duratec V6 making 263 hp and 249 torques. Not bad. But things will really get hotted up when the 355hp EcoBoost engine gets dropped in under the sculpted hood for the SHO version. No word yet on which 4-cylinder engine will be used. 

The exterior design is especially successful from the front, as seen in the picture above. It’s so much better than the outgoing Five Hundred Taurus that I can barely believe my eyes. The rear, the part inspired by the Interceptor, is just ok. The side is a bit of an eyesore due to the fake chrome fender vent and the odd continuation of the character line past the rear fenders and into the middle of the gas cap (as seen in the gallery). The interior is night and day better and we’re expecting greatly improved interior materials and fit and finish. 

Would I have one of these? Yes. And that’s the biggest compliment I can give. 



And now for the bad. I really don’t even know where to start. I don’t even know if I can start; I might not stop. The styling of this Lincoln is…I can’t do it. The pictures speak for themselves. All I know is that the designers for Lincoln must look at life through Beetlejuice glasses. I say this because there is no other explanation for why the MKT looks like a caricature of itself. You don’t need to look past the whacky “T” on the MKT logo to see what I mean. Dali has apparently lent his keen eye to Lincoln’s design team. 

I know we’ve talked before about cars with big rear ends, a style I personally don’t understand, but this thing has got to take the cake. I don’t care if you’re Lil Wayne or T.I., this thing is offensively bloated. 


Here’s a mish-mash jumbo gallery of the newest Ford/Lincoln from the Detroit Auto Show. Enjoy (the Fords, that is). Some photos courtesy of Autoblog.