First Drive: 2013 Lincoln MKZ - Autoweek

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Thread: First Drive: 2013 Lincoln MKZ - Autoweek

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    First Drive: 2013 Lincoln MKZ - Autoweek


    By: J.P. Vettraino on 11/21/2012

    No one at Lincoln minimizes the importance of the 2013 MKZ. The sedan is the first of four new Lincolns debuting over the next three years, and the starting point for an overhaul intended to remake the brand and return it to prosperity, or at least relevance. Lincoln’s management team understands that the clock is ticking.

    This new MKZ is about five inches longer than the 2012 model, with five more inches between its wheel hubs. Its exterior dimensions approximate those of the Lexus ES 350, which Lincoln has identified as a prime target for conquest sales. Based purely on the size of its footprint, the new MKZ slots right between the Audi A4 and the A6.

    Like its predecessor, this MKZ shares its foundation with the Ford Fusion, which is also all new for 2013. Yet the Lincoln is now much easier to separate from the Ford. Its 112.2-inch wheelbase is common, but other exterior dimensions vary measurably, thanks to the MKZ’s unique shell. With its swoopier roofline, the MKZ has seven cubic feet less volume inside, and a slightly smaller trunk. Every visible stamping, molding, panel or cover is different, inside and out, save the seat rail covers, according to Lincoln engineers. The MKZ has its own insulation package, acoustic side glass, standard magnetorheological suspension, larger brake rotors and calipers and other upgrades not offered in the Fusion.

    The MKZ’s base engine is the Fusion’s line-topper: Ford’s 2.0-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder, generating 240 hp and 270 pound-feet of torque. That’s 29 hp and 22 lb-ft more than the base 2.0 turbo in the A4 and A6, and 22 lb-ft more than the 3.5 liter V6 in the ES 350 (or the ’12 MKZ).

    The upgrade engine for 2013 is new to the MKZ, but not new to Ford. It’s essentially the 3.7-liter V6 that powers the base Ford F-150 and Mustang. In the MKZ, the V6 increases horsepower substantially, to 300, and torque marginally, to 277 lb-ft. Both engines come with a conventional six-speed automatic, and both are available with all-wheel drive.

    The MKZ hybrid mates a 2.0-liter, 141-hp Atkinson-cycle four with a 47-hp traction motor with a continuously variable transmission. Lighter, more power-dense lithium-ion batteries replace nickel-metal-hydride cells, and the Hybrid now comes with the same V-rated all-season tires that come standard on other MKZs rather than extra-hard eco tires. With EPA ratings of 45 mpg city and 45 highway, the MKZ hybrid still surpasses any luxury-badged hybrid currently available, including the smaller Lexus CT 200h. It will be priced identically to the base MKZ 2.0 turbo, and it will be available with all the same options except 19-inch sport tires or all-wheel drive.

    The adjustable suspension, called Continuously Controlled Damping, uses struts in front and a multilink arrangement in the rear. It was developed in-house with an algorithm for pothole detection, adjusting the rear shocks to minimize wham! if a front wheel drops into a pothole. CCD is part of a larger suite called Lincoln Drive Control, which incorporates management of the new electric power steering, throttle and transmission maps, traction and stability control and Active Noise Control into one switch with sport, normal and comfort options.

    Active Noise Control? This morsel of electronic wizardry collects sounds in the engine bay, processes them “a couple decibels here and there” to enhance or inhibit, and then streams them through the audio system, even if the volume is down. Lincoln claims it has helped turn one of the loudest cars in its class into the quietest.

    Other bits of new MKZ techno pizzazz include standard, all-LED adaptive headlights, rear reading lights hidden under the fabric of the headliner and a panoramic, Targa-style sunroof. (Wait—is that word trademarked?) The entire 15.2 square-foot roof panel slides down over the rear window like that on a Porsche 911 Targa. The MKZ also offers the full range of safety electronics, including adaptive cruise control with braking, blind-spot and cross-traffic alert, lane-keeping assist, auto parallel parking and rear-seat airbag belts. There’s a 700-watt, THX-certified audio upgrade.

    Yet as Lincoln sees it, the new MKZ’s calling card is design. It’s the first car from the new, dedicated Lincoln Design Studio, directed by Aussie Max Wolff. From the vertically slatted, Simon Legree moustache of a “split-wing grille” to the LED bar across the tail, to the tall, open, shifterless center console inside, the new MKZ is—at the very least—a lot more interesting and emotive than the old one.

    Lincoln understands that a value-laden price scheme could also get people’s attention, and the MKZ’s base price of $35,925 undercuts most potential competitors substantially. At that price, either the 2.0 turbo or hybrid come with Lincoln Drive Control, the LED headlights, remote start and three years of Lincoln Sync concierge services included. All-wheel drive adds $1,890, and the V6, $1,230

    How’s it drive?

    Read more:

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    Re: First Drive: 2013 Lincoln MKZ - Autoweek

    THANKS for posting this, scford58

    Quote Originally Posted by article View Post
    ...Based purely on the size of its footprint, the new MKZ slots right between the Audi A4 and the A6...
    OH YEAH?!?
    according to my homemade dimensions textfile,
    the A6 is not quite ˝ (ONE HALF) inch longer than the new Z, about Ľ (ONE QUARTER) inch wider, and not quite 3/4 inch LOWER

    another poor fool needing a for Crimmas

    Quote Originally Posted by article View Post
    ...Lincoln seems to have done its homework with the magnetorheological suspension. The ride/response balance was just about spot-on over the washboard that is Interstate 94...
    tho I haven't "scoured" the available info for this, I've been Very interested in knowing
    this is the first instance I recall any mention of "Magnetic Ride Control" (™ Cadillac)

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    Autoweek MKZ first drive!

    Maybe they broke embargo early? It sounds like they really enjoyed the new MKZ although their drive was a brief one. They also clearly stated that someone cross shopping this and the Lexus ES would find the Lincoln superior. Here's the link:

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    Re: Autoweek MKZ first drive!

    When a reviewer writes like this ........... But it gets buzzy up near its 6500-rpm redline, even with the high-tech digital sound processing. We don’t know how many MKZ buyers will be inclined to bounce the needle off the rev-limiter, but the 2.0 EcoBoost at full song might work counter to the concept of “luxury
    I laugh, as this type of writing gives me visions of the a-hole writing the article was out there in the MKZ driving at a steady 6500 rpms for long periods of time for this to be worthy of a mention.
    I wonder if this same writer is bothered by other manufacturers 4 cylinder turbo engines such as Audi , etc and makes the same lower then grass comment to make the point of being luxury class worthy or "not" or worse continuously drives around at 6500rpm all day long
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    Re: Autoweek MKZ first drive!

    Here's a video I found. The interior doesn't look very luxurious. It looks like it belongs in a Ford. Maybe as a Ford Fusion Platinum. They could've done better.

    Last edited by nruggiero; 11-22-2012 at 05:47 PM.

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    Re: Autoweek MKZ first drive!

    I was very interested in the ride/handling tradeoff, something Lincoln usually makes overly cushy. Seems like they hit it this time. Are the shocks modeled after the GM magnetic ride things?

    I have reservations about the Ecoboost 4-banger in a car like this. Yes, I know even the Germans do similar things...but it makes me twitchy.

    I was also glad to see the seats rated so well, but he mentioned that he was of modest stature. As the Taurus and MKS are knocked (correctly) for the lack of headroom and and Fusion's rear seats are criticized for the a tall guy, I'm not real happy to keep reading the word "cramped" regarding Ford interiors.

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    Re: Autoweek MKZ first drive!

    Quote Originally Posted by ZanatWork View Post
    ...I have reservations about the Ecoboost 4-banger in a car like this. Yes, I know even the Germans do similar things...but it makes me twitchy...
    me too
    tho think it's just an unfortunate side effect of when engines will be ready
    & eventually
    the Fusion will have the 1.5 3cyl as it's main engine (170-&-210hp)
    making a 4cyl seem more luxurious

    I wish FlincoMoCo had been able to move fast enough that they'd CURRENTLY have a 5.0-based v8 in the MKS/T/Z/X, as well as the Nano 2.7v6
    (& the Nano even as top engine for the MKC(/MKuGa))

    Quote Originally Posted by nruggiero View Post
    Here's a video I found. The interior doesn't look very luxurious. It looks like it belongs in a Ford. Maybe as a Ford Fusion Platinum. They could've done better.
    THANKS for the video, N.R.
    I gave up judging interiors from pix a long time ago
    (when being completely disappointed with a Passat in person after loving photos)
    think 'feel' & 'space' require RL
    and design themes which stand out in pix can practically disappear/blend away
    Last edited by 2b2; 11-24-2012 at 07:38 PM.

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