2009 Lincoln MKS
2009 Lincoln MKS; photo by Jil McIntosh. Click image to enlarge

By Jim Kerr

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2009 Lincoln MKS

The 2009 Lincoln MKS, now rolling off the assembly line, is the most technologically advanced vehicle ever put together by Ford Motor Company. Some of the features have been seen before, others are improved versions, and some are new and unique. Put all the features together and you have an integrated technological system that improves passenger safety, convenience and comfort.

One of the new Lincoln MKS features is the Generation II driver’s keypad system. You may have noticed the raised keypad available on previous Ford and Lincoln models where a code could be entered to open the vehicle without a key. This new system now has a flush-mounted invisible keypad that becomes visible when you touch it. The vehicle can still be unlocked with the correct code, but it is now integrated with the Intelligent Access and push-button start system. With the key fob in your pocket or purse, you only need to touch the external keypad to unlock the doors.

2009 Lincoln MKS
2009 Lincoln MKS; photo by Jil McIntosh. Click image to enlarge

The push-button start system means you never have to reach for that key to operate the car. Locking the car is as simple as unlocking it – simply press the external keypad again.

Another new feature is the Easyfuel Capless fuel filler system. Open the gas door and there is no gas cap to remove or lose. When the pump nozzle is placed in the filler opening, it opens a self-sealing door so the fuel can enter. Remove the nozzle and the opening automatically seals again. The new Capless fuel filler system is simpler, cleaner, with less chance for air leaks that set emission codes.

The HID headlight system uses vehicle speed and steering wheel angle to vary the headlight’s angle up to 15 degrees so that the headlight beam swivels for optimum lighting ahead. This system also incorporates automatic high beam/low beam selection. Traffic can be sensed up to 762 metres away so the lights automatically switch to low beam. The system uses image-sensing technology, so other lights such as streetlights or roadside lighting don’t cause it to switch from high to low beams.

Ultrasonic sensors on both the front and rear bumpers locate nearby objects and warn the driver with audible tones. These systems are not new technology, but Lincoln has made them standard equipment and has integrated them into the optional Navigation system. The Next Generation Navigation system has a higher resolution eight-inch display screen than I found much easier to read quickly and clearly. A backup camera shows a view of the vehicle rear and guidance lines on the screen help locate where the car is backing into.

The new Navigation system has voice activation so drivers can enter a destination while driving. The smudge-resistant touch-screen hides fingerprints well, and it can be also used to adjust the audio system or climate controls. An integrated 10-GB hard drive stores music and video files, which you might want to enjoy on the 16-speaker, 600-watt THX II certified audiophile system. We cranked up the volume and found the system as clear at high volume levels as it was at low volume settings.

2009 Lincoln MKS
2009 Lincoln MKS; photo by Jil McIntosh. Click image to enlarge

The Sirius satellite system comes with or without the Nav system. If you are a U.S. subscriber, you can access Travel Link on the Nav Display screen. Travel Link provides up-to-the-minute information on gas prices, traffic, weather, sports scores and movie listings. Gas stations can be selected by price or location with a couple of touches of the screen. Weather displays are accurate and in real-time from broadcast information. It enabled us to avoid some severe local weather and also see the weather at our final destination. Travel Link isn’t available in Canada yet, but this is a wonderful integration of on-board technology connected to external communications.

There are many other technologies incorporated into the MKS, including adaptive cruise control, AdvanceTrac traction/stability control and rain-sensing wipers, but the SYNC media system has to be one of the vehicle highlights. SYNC allows voice communication link with vehicle entertainment systems and Bluetooth enabled phones for hand-free operation. It even converts incoming text messages to audible messages and allows voice replies while driving. SYNC automatically integrates iPods or other MP3 players and USB memory sticks into the audio system so the device content is displayed on the dash screen and controlled with voice commands. This is leading edge technology and is part of the complete package that makes the Lincoln MKS a showcase for user-friendly high tech systems.

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