DEARBORN, MI - The Lincoln MKZ Hybrid adds another distinction to its list of attributes as a winner of Global Green USA's award for design innovation.

Global Green USA honored the newest Lincoln at its 11th Annual Sustainable Design Awards in New York on Monday night. Kelly Rutherford, an actress best known for her role in the popular TV series "Gossip Girl," presented the honor to Sue Cischke, Ford Motor Company's group vice president for Sustainability, Environment and Safety Engineering.

"The Lincoln MKZ Hybrid offers a real choice for consumers. Its superior fuel economy reflects the kind of environmental responsibility our society demands, yet this luxury sedan delivers all the comforts customers really want," said Cischke. "This vehicle is another important part of our plans to help make fuel economy and greener driving affordable for millions of people - including luxury buyers."

Since the first Lincoln MKZ Hybrid was delivered to a former Toyota Prius customer in San Francisco in October, sales of the car have outperformed the Lincoln team's expectations. In fact, since September, the Lincoln MKZ Hybrid has helped the brand double its overall MKZ sedan segment share.

The identical pricing strategy for MKZ Hybrid and gas engine-powered MKZ models has allowed Lincoln to present customers with the opportunity to make a lifestyle choice based on their vehicle needs - without compromising on strong fuel economy performance.

The gas engine-powered MKZ sedan delivers 18 mpg, while the MKZ Hybrid - Lincoln's first hybrid - is the most fuel-efficient midsize luxury sedan in America. This car delivers 41 mpg fuel economy in the city, topping its only near competitor - the 2010 Lexus HS 250h - by 6 mpg.

"The Lincoln MKZ Hybrid represents a significant achievement by a car company to create the first hybrid luxury vehicle to get more than 40 mpg in the city," said Global Green President Matt Petersen. "We are so pleased to recognize the vehicle's environmental benefits, as well as Lincoln's commitment to make the vehicle accessible to more of the public by offering the car at price parity with its conventional gas only version - the first hybrid vehicle to be sold this way."

The award marks only the second time a green vehicle has been honored by Global Green USA for environmental leadership. Global Green USA's Annual Sustainable Design Awards were inspired by former Russian President Mikhail Gorbachev and recognize specific advancements in industry, building, media, organization and public policy.

Lincoln has seven all-new or significantly refreshed vehicles on the way in the next four years, all promising refined, modern design, the most fuel-efficient premium powertrains and industry-leading technology creating a unique driver experience both in the cabin and on the road.

Future Lincolns are building from a strong base. Along with the MKZ midsize sedan and MKZ Hybrid, Lincoln also features its flagship MKS large sedan, significantly upgraded 2011 MKX crossover and MKT seven-passenger crossover.

Originally posted on Automotive Fleet