November 10, 2008
Vancouver, British Columbia – Lincoln has gone all-out to make its new full-sized sedan, the MKS, an ultra-modern, high-tech electronic tour de force. It has just about every electronic gadget, gizmo or system you could dream up, and then some. Fortunately, what it doesn’t have is a huge gas-guzzling engine, like big Lincolns of old.
The MKS comes in both front-drive and all-wheel-drive versions and it’s powered by a new and more fuel-efficient 3.7-litre V6 engine that’s unique to Lincoln. It’s a four-valve per cylinder engine with variable valve timing that can deliver 273 horsepower and 270 lb.-ft. of torque on regular-grade fuel.
The advanced technology features available in the MKS are impressive. In Canada, most options are assembled in a ($5,000) Vision package that in addition to navigation includes adaptive cruise control, a rear back-up camera and a superb THX II 5.1 surround-sound audio system.
The standard equipment list is also impressive. It includes stuff like a front park-assist system (an audible signal warns if an impact is imminent), intelligent start (a keyless ignition system), adaptive headlamps (that move with steering) and a power rear window sunshade (with an auto-retract feature when the MKS is put in reverse).
Although its styling is a modern interpretation of Lincoln luxury and style, the MKS design also embraces classic predecessors. In particular, its attention-grabbing double-wing grille was inspired by the 1941 Lincoln Continental.
Inside, “guilt-free luxury” is the stated philosophy of the new Lincoln. In the MKS this translates to the use of recycled wood reclaimed from furniture makers, and eco-friendly leather upholstery. Made by a Scottish company called Bridge of Weir, an organic chromium-free tanning process was used to produce the seat leather, which is the softest leather ever used in a Lincoln. Matching eco-friendly leatherette is also used on other parts of the interior.
The MKS cabin is deceptively roomy. Head and leg room in the rear is excellent and even the rear seats come with electric heaters. The trunk is also large, offering 521-litres (18.4 cubic feet) of cargo space.
In addition to a full complement of air bags, the MKS’ high-tech story continues with advanced safety features such as Adaptive Cruise Control, Adaptive Headlights and Auto High Beams. Adaptive Cruise Control is a radar-based system that monitors the vehicle in front (up to 180 metres) and keeps the MKS at a safe distance, even in fog. Adaptive headlamps illuminate more of the road at night in a curve by pivoting the headlights up to 15 degrees. Auto high beams automatically detect the headlights or taillights of other vehicles and switch the beam from high to low and low to high.
On the road, the MKS is decidedly more cruiser than sports car, and a darn good cruiser. Ride and comfort is first-rate and it has a well composed, heavy-car feel at highway speeds that instills confidence in the driver.
The new six-speed automatic transmission offers both a sport-shift and full manual-mode operation, in addition to normal automatic shift. The optional all-wheel-drive system has a front-drive bias in normal driving situations and can distribute up to 100 per cent of drive power to the front or the rear axles on demand. Fuel consumption for the front-wheel drive model is rated at 12.5/8.4 L/100 km (city/highway).
Right for the times, the new Lincoln MKS has enough computer power to make an inter-galactic starship envious and it offers a modern interior, a great ride and a nice balance of power and economy under the hood.
Pricing: 2009 Lincoln MKS
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Manufacturer’s web site