Lincoln MKT, MKS get techie at L.A.
Updates focus on technology and improved ride
2013 Lincoln MKS
Lincoln unveiled refreshed versions of two of its most important models here at the 2011 Los Angeles Auto Show. Both the 2013 Lincoln MKT and the 2013 Lincoln MKS offer buyers more technology than ever before in packages that feature a variety of chassis improvements. They also feature impressive fuel-economy ratings without sacrificing performance, and subtle exterior updates to help differentiate the models from their predecessors. The changes are far from revolutionary, however, and may do little to help Lincoln keep its head above water in a segment packed full of compelling alternatives.
2013 Lincoln MKT
What is it? A full-size luxury crossover with more technology than style.
What's hot? Lincoln has graced the 2013 MKT with a new selectable ride system called Lincoln Drive Control. The technology allows the driver to alter a number of vehicle systems simply by selecting from a range of modes. The MKT can tailor its engine performance, transmission shift points, steering precision and suspension damping rates depending on the driver's preference. Lincoln says that Normal mode provides a blend of performance and comfort most suitable for day-to-day commuting, while dropping the gearshift lever into Sport mode directs the suspension to its firmest possible setting, offering 25 to 30 percent more control than Normal mode. In addition, the electric power-assisted steering requires more effort for additional feedback, and the transmission shift points move higher in the rpm range. We have to wonder if full-size luxury crossover buyers are really demanding a more precise driving experience, however.
What's not? Buyers in this class are attracted to prestige and style, two things we find the 2013 Lincoln MKT lacking.
How much and when? The MKT should hit dealerships in spring 2012. Pricing has yet to be announced
MSN Autos' verdict: Lincoln has continued to pack the MKT with an impressive suite of technology. From innovative safety features to more complicated infotainment systems, the vehicle offers more gadgets per liter than nearly any other vehicle on the road. We aren't sure the addition of Lincoln Drive Control will do much to improve the vehicle's tepid sales, however.
2013 Lincoln MKS
What is it? The Lincoln full-size luxury flagship.
What's hot? Lincoln has worked a number of improvements into the 2013 MKS, though the company seems to be proudest of the fact that the full-size luxury sedan is the only vehicle in its class to come with continuously controlled damping as standard equipment. The system allows the MKS to adjust the vehicle's suspension settings to cope with road conditions and driver inputs to provide a stable and comfortable ride. Like its larger crossover sibling, the 2013 MKT, the 2013 MKS comes with Lincoln Drive Control, offering buyers three drive settings, Comfort, Normal and Sport.
What's not? Lincoln hasn't enjoyed stellar sales with the MKS, and we aren't certain that the vehicle's new suspension is the cure for what ails the brand.
How much and when? The MKS will also arrive in showrooms in spring 2012. Pricing has yet to be announced.
MSN Autos' verdict: The Lincoln MKS and its Ford sibling, the Taurus, haven't taken their respective markets by storm. While the MKS now boasts a suspension that will help the vehicle keep pace with the likes of Audi and BMW, we doubt the new tech will bring any additional buyers to the Lincoln stable.
James Tate cut his teeth in the business as a race team crew member before moving to the editorial side as Senior Editor of Sport Compact Car, and his work has appeared in Popular Mechanics, Automobile, Motor Trendand European Car. When not writing, Tate is usually fantasizing about a vintage Porsche 911.