DETROIT -- Ford Motor Co. has killed plans to put a V-8 engine in its future Lincoln flagship sedan.
The 4.4-liter V-8, a version of a Yamaha engine used in the Volvo XC90 crossover, was slated to power the Lincoln MKS beginning in 2008. Ford planned to produce the V-8 at its Lima, Ohio, plant. But in recent days, the company has canceled the program, supplier and industry sources say.
The V-8 appears to be a victim of new cost-cutting efforts by Ford, which says it needs to accelerate its Way Forward restructuring plan for North America.
"Lower-volume engine production is always higher cost," said Eric Fedewa, a powertrain analyst with CSM Worldwide in Northville, Mich.
Ford had planned to use the V-8 in other future products, including crossovers for the Ford and Lincoln brands. Annual engine volume was expected to approach 100,000.
Ford now will rely solely on its new 3.5-liter V-6 engine family to power the MKS, sources said. Ford's other V-8s are too large. The decision could prove to be a competitive challenge in a segment where most rivals offer a V-8.
The 3.5-liter V-6 is being added to the Ford Five Hundred and Mercury Montego sedans, which share a platform with the MKS. Lincoln's smaller MKZ sedan also is using the 3.5-liter V-6 beginning this fall.
To set the bigger sedan apart, Ford will boost the output of the base V-6 for the MKS, sources said.
Ford spokeswoman Sara Tatchio said: "We have taken the step to differentiate the powertrain in the Lincoln MKZ, and we hope to do that for Lincolns moving forward."
You may e-mail Amy Wilson at [email protected]