NEW FOR 2009:

– All-new model

An all-new model for 2009, the Lincoln MKS takes over from the Town Car as the brand’s flagship sedan (the Town Car is now available only for fleet sales).

Based on a widened version of the platform used for the Ford Taurus, the MKS is unique in the Lincoln line-up in that it shares no equivalent with any Ford vehicle; its new styling cues are intended to eventually appear in other models and move Lincoln in a new direction that sets it apart.

The MKS uses a 3.7-litre V6 engine derived from the company’s family of 3.5-litre Duratec engines, mated to a six-speed automatic transmission with manual shift mode. Configuration choices are front- or all-wheel drive; that system is capable of sending 100 per cent of power to the rear wheels when required.

The MKS is offered in a single trim line that is the same for both front- and all-wheel models. Standard features include 19-inch alloy wheels, dual-zone automatic climate control, heated mirrors with memory, puddle lamps, and auto-dimming driver’s side, dual chrome exhaust tips, adaptive Xenon headlamps, LED taillights, front and rear parking sensor system, rain-sensing wipers, touch-sensitive keypad, proximity key with pushbutton start, capless fuel filler system, leather 12-way power heated and cooled front seats, heated rear seats, power rear sunshade, auto-dimming rearview mirror, SYNC voice-activated communications and entertainment system, six-CD/MP3 stereo with SIRIUS Satellite Radio, wood steering wheel with power tilt and telescopic column, garage door opener, rain-sensing wipers, 60/40 split-folding rear seat, and fog lamps.

Available options include 20-inch alloy wheels, premium wood door trim package, dual-panel sunroof, tri-coat paint, a block heater, THX audio, a voice-activated navigation system, and a "Vision Package" of adaptive cruise control, THX audio, navigation system and rear backup camera.

Big and luxurious, the MKS is a worthy successor to the Town Car, with more modern styling, a well-done interior and a great powertrain, but the too-soft handling needs to be tighter to make this a complete package. The long list of technology features should woo buyers, including an impressive sound system, SYNC and the new Easy Fuel capless system, which eliminates the fuel cap and also the possibility of triggering an engine light if it isn’t sufficiently tightened. In calendar year 2009, the MKS is slated to become the first Ford product to use the company’s new EcoBoost twin-turbo direct-injection gasoline engine, which is expected to improve power while using less fuel and reducing CO2 emissions.

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