Detroit Auto Show: Lincoln Debuts Freshened MKX
By Jonathan Wong
When the 2011 MKX crossover rolls into dealerships this summer, it will feature fresh looks, new standard technologies and a new V6 engine. The updated Lincoln midsize crossover debuted at the Detroit auto show.
The facelift will be instantly recognizable with Lincoln's split-wing grille being grafted onto the front end. Together with raised front wheel arches and new lower rocker trim that tapers along the length of the car, the MKX now sports a smoother, flowing appearance. New wheel designs, indirect LED taillamps and larger exhaust tips complete the exterior changes.
For the cabin, Lincoln has increased the usage of genuine materials including woods, aluminum trim and leathers. The new seats feature a standard tuxedo stripe to follow the company's new styling language. To make the cabin even quieter, sound insulation throughout the interior is improved with a thicker acoustic-laminated windshield and acoustic front door glass.
However, the highlight of the new interior is the wealth of new technologies packed into it. An all-new MyLincoln system is standard to control entertainment and climate via dual LCDs and five-way buttons similar to those found on cell phones and MP3 players. The screens can be configured in accordance to each individual driver's preference. The MKX will also be able to use iTunes Tagging via Sync and the voice-activated navigation system to flag songs playing on the HD radio receiver for future download from the iTunes store.
MyKey is standard, while an adaptive cruise control system, collision warning with brake support and blind-spot information system are available.
Replacing the previous 3.5-liter V6 is a 3.7-liter V6 with 305 hp and 280 lb-ft of torque for an increase of 40 hp and 30 lb-ft of torque from the previous model year. A six-speed automatic remains the standard transmission, but it gains a manual shift function.
Handling is sharpened thanks to retuned springs, shocks and antiroll bars for more composed body control through corners and over hills while maintaining comfort, according to Lincoln. Brakes are also upgraded with steel pistons, larger rear rotors, altered brake pad compound, revised brake booster and pedal ratios.
Expect the 2011 MKX to start at about $39,500.
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