June 12, 2012
2013 Lincoln MKT (top) and MKS. Click image to enlarge
|Test Drive: 2009 Lincoln MKS
Test Drive: 2010 Lincoln MKT EcoBoostManufacturer’s web site
Review and photos by Grant Yoxon
Mirabel, Québec – It’s a tough world out there, especially tough for manufacturers trying to survive in the super competitive entry-luxury market. If you have $50,000 and change to earmark for a car, you have plenty of choices in everything from coupes to sedans to crossovers.
Staying ahead, or even just trying to keep up with the competition, can be difficult. Today’s must-have vehicle is tomorrow’s deep discount deal of the day. And the tumble from being in demand to also-ran can happen with amazing speed these days.
One way to help keep an aging model current is the mid-cycle update. About three years into a model’s normal five- or six-year run, the manufacturer gives it a refresh, typically with new front and rear bodywork and a new choice of wheels.
But these days, a new grille and taillights just doesn’t cut it. Consumers want real improvements, not just white wash.
The folks at Lincoln must have been thinking the same way because the mid-cycle changes that the 2013 Lincoln MKT and MKS have received are way beyond what I would have expected for a simple refresh.
Recently we got a chance to sample the new MKT and MKS at Circuit ICAR, north of Montreal. Our time was limited to about 20 minutes with the MKT crossover on the road and a dozen laps around the race course with the MKS sedan, so no full first drive report. We’ll have both of these vehicles for extended tests in the near future.
In the meantime, here is a sample of the changes that have made this mid-cycle update so significant.