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New Lincoln sedan to rival Lexus

DETROIT — Ford is taking aim at Lexus with a new Lincoln luxury sedan that goes on sale this fall.

Ford said Tuesday that the Lincoln MKZ will start at $35,925. That’s $175 less than the Lexus ES 350.

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The MKZ is a critical product for Ford, which is trying to revamp the Lincoln brand after years of neglect. It’s the first in a string of new Lincolns that Ford plans to roll out over the next three years.

Among the MKZ’s features is an all-glass roof that opens automatically and slides over the back window, giving both front and rear passengers a convertible-like ride. It has Lincoln’s split-wing grille, one of the brand’s most recognizable features. But designers toned it down after complaints about the ungainly maw on the most recent Lincoln sedans.

Ford first revealed the new MKZ midsize in January, but didn’t reveal the price until now. The price tag sets Lincoln up as a rival to Lexus, which was the third highest-selling luxury brand in the United States last year behind BMW and Mercedes-Benz. Lincoln was the top-selling US brand in 1998, but it was eclipsed by Lexus for most of the next decade.

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