One of the stand-out unveilings at the New York Auto Show this week was at the Lincoln exhibit. Ford’s luxury brand has been stagnant in recent years, suffering from a bit of an identity crisis. As the Blue Oval focused its resources on its high-volume models, Lincoln had battle the likes of Cadillac, BMW, and Mercedes-Benz with little more than badge-engineered Fords.
That’s all about to change as the all-new 2013 Lincoln MKZ shows that Lincoln is finally going to offer luxury buyers something elegant, fresh, and sophisticated. Far from merely a re-badged Ford, the new MKZ not only offers posh sheetmetal, but it’s infused with technologies that premium sedan buyers will undoubtedly appreciate.
Buyers will be able to opt for one of three engines at the MKZ’s launch. These include a turbocharged 2.0-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder engine producing 240 horsepower and 270 pound-feet of torque. That potent unit will also yield an impressive 22 miles per gallon in city driving and 33 mph on the highway. There’s also an available 3.7-liter V6 cranking out 300 horsepower and 277 pound-feet of torque. That unit’s rated at 18 mpg city / 26 mpg hwy. Last but not least, there’s a hybrid model featuring a 188-horsepower 2.0-liter four-cylinder paired with an electric drivetrain. This option is expected to maintain the MKZ’s claim of being America’s most fuel-efficient premium sedan.
Maintaining Lincoln’s existing strategy of offering all-wheel drive across its lineup, both non-hybrid MKZs will be available with AWD traction. Non-hybrid models will also feature six-speed automatic transmissions and paddle shifters, while the MKZ Hybrid is front-wheel-drive only with a CVT.
As some of its competitors tout performance, the new Lincoln MKZ’s strength will be in driving and safety technologies. For starters, there’s Lincoln Drive Control, which automatically delivers an ideal balance of a smooth ride with confident handling as it intuitively responds to driver commands and the road. This one system also controls a host of other systems including Continuously Controlled Damping (CCD) adjustable suspension, electric power-assisted steering (EPAS), engine, transmission, Active Noise Control (ANC), traction control and stability control, to deliver a ride that’s refined and engaging.
Drivers will also love that SYNC with MyLincoln Touch is standard in the new 2013 MKZ. The combined system makes it easier to use the entertainment, climate and available navigation features as well as devices brought into the car (e.g., mobile phones, iPods, etc). The interior is also accented by the Retractable Panoramic Roof – a 15.2-square-foot glass panel that offers one of the largest openings available on any current sedan. While helping to provide a more open, airy interior, Lincoln promises the design of the roof maintains the structural strength of a steel-roof vehicle.
Although Lincoln’s growth in the luxury segment has been stalled by the economic downturn and the lack of resources supplied by the Blue Oval, the new MKZ is evidence that things are about to change.
“The new Lincoln MKZ represents the future of Lincoln in both style and substance,” said Jim Farley, Group Vice President, Global Marketing, Sales and Service. “It is proof of our commitment to deliver a new breed of Lincolns for a new generation of Lincoln clients – motor cars that are distinctive, elegant, full of technology and a delight to own.”
Find more details on the 2013 Lincoln MKZ posted below.