New Lincoln MKS: Refinements Signal Direction for Brand Today, Tomorrow
LOS ANGELES, Nov. 17, 2011 -- Better handling, increased power, improved fuel efficiency, additional standard equipment, more refinement and new technologies that help drivers reduce accident risks provide luxury customers with important new reasons to consider Lincoln and its flagship sedan, the new MKS.
The full-size Lincoln MKS sports an updated, sleeker style for 2013 that headlines a range of improvements that match or exceed more expensive luxury-class contenders.
NEW LINCOLN MKS HIGHLIGHTS
- The Lincoln MKS is the only car in its segment to offer Continuously Controlled Damping (CCD) as standard equipment. By monitoring suspension settings up to 500 times per second, the real-time system delivers a more engaging ride with improved handling, making the 2013 model the best-handling, most road-refined MKS ever
- Lincoln Drive Control allows drivers to easily change the on-road personality of the MKS. Moving the gear selector from 'Drive' to 'Sport' automatically adjusts handling performance, ride firmness, throttle response, shift feel, steering response and traction control/electronic stability control parameters. Drivers can further personalize the CCD suspension settings, including selecting the smoother-riding Comfort setting, using MyLincoln TouchTM
- More projected standard horsepower (300 horsepower vs. 274 horsepower for 2012) is coupled with improved fuel economy; projected 19 mpg city/28 mpg highway, a 3-mpg highway improvement versus today's car
- Significantly larger brake components increase braking power and fade resistance while improving pedal feel
- Improving quietness, additional noise barriers and absorbers are placed in the front wheel wells, around the shock towers, under the hood and in the trunk. Redesigned exterior rearview mirrors reduce wind noise
- Expanded SYNC® functionality includes standard Operator Assist and local Wi-Fi® hotspot capabilities for laptops and tablets
- Collision warning, new Lane Keeping Alert and new Lane Keeping Aid technologies help warn drivers of potentially dangerous situations and can help them avoid common accidents
- Exterior styling updates include new grille, hood, front fenders, HID headlamps, front fascia, 19- and 20-inch aluminum wheels, decklid, rear fascia, LED tail lamps and exhaust tips
- Newly crafted interior features an all-new instrument panel, MyLincoln TouchTM and rich new color schemes complementing new premium materials and genuine stitching
NEW CHASSIS TECHNOLOGY
CONTINUOUSLY CONTROLLED DAMPING
Throughout 13 decades of the automobile's development, suspension engineers have worked tirelessly to find an ideal balance between smooth ride and satisfying, confident handling. Traditionally, smooth-riding cars have not handled well, and sharp-handling cars have ridden harshly.
The new Lincoln MKS solves this dilemma and stands out as the only car in its segment to have Continuously Controlled Damping (CCD) as standard equipment.
"The CCD system in the 2013 MKS helps deliver an exciting driving experience for the driver that is comfortable, smooth and quiet, while at the same time dynamic and involving," said Scott Tobin, Director, Lincoln Product Development.
Standard CCD delivers a more confident drive experience that introduces a key new Lincoln DNA - the balance of ride comfort and impressive handling.
Regardless of road conditions, drivers will enjoy a markedly smoother, more controlled ride because CCD is always tuning and refining the ride quality. The result of some 4,000 hours of development time, CCD delivers its on-road benefit by significantly extending the chassis' capabilities compared to a chassis with non-adjustable struts and shock absorbers, known as "dampers" by chassis engineers.
Compared with the fixed-rate dampers fitted to the 2012 MKS, the new CCD dampers for the 2013 MKS offer dramatically expanded control range.
CCD utilizes an array of 46 inputs to feed data to a sophisticated control unit that continuously monitors more than 23,000 packets of information per second. Algorithms react to the data by calculating the optimal damping force every 2 milliseconds or 500 times per second. The system commands damping force changes 20 times per second (20Hz). On average, large damper force adjustments (such as firm to soft) occur in just 11 milliseconds. For engineers, mechanical actions that occur in less than 13 milliseconds are considered real-time actions.
The system's powerful processing speed and fast-acting mechanicals enable CCD to constantly read the road surface and continuously adjust damping rates in real time across the three selectable ranges - Sport, Normal and Comfort. CCD operates so quickly that it can react pre-emptively.
CCD recognizes, for example, when the car is encountering a pothole and can instantly tighten damper control to prevent the wheel and tire from experiencing the full depth of the pothole. Typically, the damping rate increases by more than 150 percent versus the system's softest setting, helping to smooth out an otherwise harsh and jarring event. The system is so quick that inputs received at the front wheels are then used to prepare the rear wheels to deliver a more refined driving experience.
"CCD is always active, and it underpins the expanded dynamic capabilities of the new MKS," said Brian Naspinsky, Lincoln Vehicle Integration engineer. "CCD makes it possible to provide a smoother, more controlled ride over virtually any road surface in part by reducing body roll by up to 20 percent. CCD also improves handling. Understeer on the MKS has been reduced by approximately 25 percent, so the car feels more eager and ready to respond."
LINCOLN DRIVE CONTROL
"Lincoln Drive Control is where the magic happens because it pulls all of the car's adjustable elements - suspension, steering, engine, and gearbox - into one harmonized system," explains MKS chief engineer, Mike Celentino. "With Lincoln Drive Control, the new MKS feels sporty, nimble and connected, yet the Lincoln ride is still there."
The Lincoln Drive Control interface lends MKS distinct driving personalities that drivers can select. They include:
- Normal mode - When the gear selector is in Drive, Lincoln Drive Control delivers the ideal Lincoln ride, balancing comfort with confident control and handling. Many drivers will find this setting perfect for everyday driving as it provides an engaging drive experience and a direct connection to the road without sacrificing the composure and smooth expected from a luxury sedan
- Sport mode - When the gear selector is in Sport, Lincoln Drive Control transforms the vehicle's personality to deliver a more performance-oriented driving experience. The following systems change settings in Sport mode:
- The CCD suspension switches from operating in its normal range to its firmest sport range which offers 25 to 30 percent more control than Normal mode, emphasizing handling
- The electric power-assisted steering recalibrates to provide more road feel and greater steering effort
- The engine responds more directly to the driver's inputs
- The transmission upshifts at higher rpms. Downshifts become more aggressive and the transmission holds gears longer and during cornering. Additionally, sixth gear is locked out
- The vehicle's traction control and electronic stability control settings are modified to allow more spirited driving
n addition to Normal and Sport, Lincoln Drive Control offers Comfort mode for when drivers want the most relaxed driving experience. Comfort mode can be activated using MyLincoln Touch via the Settings menu when the transmission is in Drive.
The Comfort mode instructs the CCD suspension to run in its softest range. The dampers exert 10 to 15 percent less control compared to the Normal mode. The electric power assisted steering system also reduces the effort needed to turn the wheel at low speeds, for example, when parking.
"CCD is the core new technology that makes Lincoln Drive Control possible," said Naspinsky. "The system's struts and shocks have more total range from firm to soft than a fixed-rate damper. This gives us the flexibility to offer three distinct suspension settings that gives the MKS multiple driving personalities that are easy for the driver to select."
ENGINES AND TRANSMISSIONS
The standard engine for 2013 is a more powerful and efficient 3.7-liter V6 that now includes twin independent variable camshaft timing (Ti-VCT). The ability to vary camshaft timing to optimize the opening and closing of both the intake and exhaust valves increases the engine's responsiveness and efficiency.
Horsepower for 2013 increases to a projected 300 from 273 - up 9 percent. Torque improves to 275 lb.-ft. at 4,000 rpm from 270 lb.-ft. At the same time, projected fuel economy increases for the 3.7-liter-equipped sedan - a 3-mpg improvement on the highway versus today's MKS. The 3.7-liter delivers an estimated 19 mpg city/28 mpg highway for the front-wheel drive model and 18/26 mpg with the all-wheel-drive model.
The MKS now offers better standard highway mileage than the 2012 Acura RL, Cadillac STS and Mercedes-Benz E-350. Additionally, the Lincoln engine produces its power using regular unleaded fuel, not premium as required by some manufacturers, including Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz.
Specific accessory technologies were added to the 3.7-liter V6 to improve fuel economy performance and efficiency. Active Grille Shutters open and close depending on engine cooling needs. When fully closed, the shutters help reduce aerodynamic drag by 6 percent, improving highway fuel economy. A tuned dual-exhaust system enhances low-end torque. Smart Battery Management also contributes to improved economy by prioritizing the recharging of the vehicle's battery at optimum times, such as when the vehicle is coasting.
3.5-LITER ECOBOOST V6
The premium engine for 2013 remains the twin-turbo 3.5-liter EcoBoost® V6, an engine that provides V8 performance with the fuel economy of a V6. The EcoBoost V6 earned a place on Ward's 2010 "10 Best Engines" list the year it was introduced.
The 3.5-liter gasoline turbo direct-injected (GTDI) engine produces a projected 355 horsepower at 5,700 rpm and an expansive torque curve that plateaus at 350 lb.-ft. of torque from 1,500 to 5,250 rpm. Fuel economy of the EcoBoost/all-wheel-drive powertrain is projected to be 17 mpg city and 25 mpg highway.
The optional EcoBoost V6 is the most powerful V6 among MKS competitors, producing 45 more horsepower than the Audi A6's optional supercharged 3.0-liter V6 and 55 more horsepower than the BMW 5-Series' optional turbocharged 3.0-liter I-6.
"The engine combinations for the 2013 Lincoln MKS deliver an unbeatable combination of more refined power and enhanced fuel economy," said Greg Johnson, Lincoln powertrain manager. "The 2013 Lincoln MKS has been engineered to deliver performance feel that's smooth, effortless and confident."
EFFICIENT SIX-SPEED TRANSMISSIONS
The 2013 Lincoln MKS is equipped with two versions of the six-speed SelectShift AutomaticTM transmission, both with steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters. The 3.7-liter Ti-VCT V6 uses the 6F-50. The more powerful 3.5-liter EcoBoost uses the heavy-duty 6F-55 which benefits from high-energy friction materials, a larger ring gear and a specific torque converter to handle the high torque output of the twin-turbo V6.
These gearboxes offer MKS drivers the choice of fully automatic operation or manual control. Intuitive to operate, a squeeze back on either paddle will deliver an upshift, while a gentle push forward on either paddle will induce a matched-rev downshift. Unlike some competitor transmissions, SelectShift won't second guess the driver with an override shift. The manual function is truly controlled by the driver.
All-wheel drive is standard with the twin-turbo 3.5-liter V6 and optional on the 3.7-liter V6. In good weather, over smooth roads at modest speeds and when AWD is not needed, the system intelligently routes power only to the front wheels for improved fuel efficiency.
When driver input or road conditions indicate that slip might occur, the system sends power to the rear wheels to help prevent tire slip, for example on rain-soaked or snow-covered roads. Beyond providing more traction, AWD also improves handling by helping to reduce understeer, the tendency of the vehicle to "push" in a corner.
A myriad of inputs enables the computer-controlled system immediately to identify and react in as little as 16 milliseconds to changing road conditions and driver demands. The amount of torque sent to the rear axle varies depending on road conditions and dynamic needs.
MORE CAPABLE BRAKING SYSTEM
To match the engine's extra power and the suspension's additional handling capabilities, Lincoln has significantly upgraded the MKS braking system for 2013, giving the driver confidence and control.
New vented front discs measure 13.86 inches (352 mm), more than an inch larger than in the 2012 model. To enhance brake cooling, the "hat" portion of the front brake disc is also vented, a unique design developed by Ford Motor Company engineers.
Additionally, the diameter of the rear discs increased by 0.58 of an inch to 13.58 inches and these are now vented. Brake pad area and total swept area increased significantly, with each improvement working together to improve overall braking performance, reduce brake fade under heavy use and provide the driver with a more direct and linear braking feel.
The MKS steering system received a thorough makeover for 2013. The gear ratio is quicker (15:1 for 2013 vs. 17.1:1 for today's MKS), making the steering more immediately responsive at all speeds. Additionally, steering boost is now electric rather than hydraulic. The new electric power-assisted steering (EPAS) complements CCD in contributing to the driver-tunable Lincoln Drive Control experience.
Other enhancements contribute to the system's overall improved performance. The steering gear is now solid mounted to the chassis's front subframe. Additionally, a brace has been added under the vehicle (across the transmission tunnel) to strengthen the subframe's mounting points to the chassis. These details help significantly improve the driver's feeling of being connected to the road through the steering wheel. Overall steering response for the 2013 MKS is improved by up to 25 percent.
EPAS offers additional benefits. At lower speeds, for example when parking, EPAS provides additional boost for effortless maneuverability. At higher speeds, EPAS increases steering effort and feedback, giving the driver a more precise steering feel.
EPAS replaces the traditional hydraulic-assist power-steering pump with an electric motor. This helps save fuel because the motor operates only when assistance is required, unlike the hydraulic systems that run continuously. EPAS was standard on 2010-12 MKS models with the 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6, but for 2013, becomes standard on all MKS models.
Software-based technologies, undetectable by the driver, boost the capability of EPAS. Pull-drift compensation detects road conditions such as a crowned surface or crosswinds and adjusts EPAS to compensate. Active nibble control automatically cancels some unwanted steering wheel vibrations at interstate speeds. These actions are designed to give the driver reassurance and maximum control under all driving conditions.
ACTIVE PARK ASSIST
EPAS is also the primary technology behind the available active park assist (APA) system.
Once engaged via a switch on the center console, ultrasonic sensors precisely measure open spaces to find a suitable parallel parking spot. With a few actions, the MKS steers itself into the open space. The driver retains full control of throttle, brakes and shifting the entire time the APA is engaged.
TORQUE VECTORING CONTROL
Drivers are most likely to notice Lincoln's new Torque Vectoring Control (TVC) system when Lincoln Drive Control is set to Sport Mode. TVC helps the MKS drive through corners with greater balance and poise.
TVC individually influences the speed of the front wheels to enhance cornering agility by mitigating against a dynamic condition engineers refer to as understeer. When accelerating through corners and the system detects a drop in traction, TVC precisely applies brake force to the inside front wheel (that has less grip) causing a transfer of engine torque to the outside wheel (that has more grip). This helps keep the MKS tracking on the driver's intended line through the corner.
The next generation of the award-winning SYNC system continues to become easier to use and more robust in its operation. New, simpler screen designs improve the user interface. Larger and bolder fonts make screens easier to read. SYNC's voice recognition experience, powered by Nuance, also improves.
Microsoft's Windows Embedded Auto software platform continues to be the operating platform that will deliver faster response times. SYNC has evolved from a stand-alone module for communication and entertainment to become a fully integrated operating system for Lincoln vehicles with MyLincoln Touch.
As a further enhancement to the SYNC experience, the standard system in the 2013 MKS provides Operator Assist as a standard SYNC Services feature, allowing users to connect with a live person free of charge.
SYNC also enables the interior of the MKS to become a Wi-Fi hot spot when linked to a data-enabled cellular device. With active Wi-Fi, passengers can link to the Web on their tables or laptops.
LANE KEEPING SYSTEM
New for the 2013 MKS is a Lane Keeping System that complements the complete collection of driver assist technologies, in addition to the comprehensive safety package including six airbags, anti-lock brakes, traction control and AdvanceTrac® ESC (electronic stability control).
Coupled to the new Lane Keeping System is Lane Keeping Alert and Lane Keeping Aid. Together, these technologies add significantly to the advanced driver assistance features already available on MKS, including collision warning and BLIS® (Blind Spot Information System) with cross-traffic alert.
Lane Keeping Alert helps drivers avoid leaving their lane unintentionally because of distraction or tiredness. When activated, Lane Keeping Alert utilizes a forward-facing mono-vision camera mounted behind the rear-view mirror to begin looking for lane markers. A control unit monitors the data and determines when the vehicle is wandering out of its lane. As the vehicle approaches the outer boundary of its lane, the system vibrates the steering wheel, reminding the driver to pay attention.
Lane Keeping Alert is dormant when the turn signal is activated or when the driver is engaged in an evasive maneuver.
Lane Keeping Aid works in concert with Lane Keeping Alert. When activated by the driver, Lane Keeping Aid will gently add torque to the steering wheel to nudge the MKS back into its lane if the driver has drifted too close to the lane's edge. The system includes the ability to sense if a driver is driving hands-free. A warning chime sounds to discourage misuse of the system.
System sensitivity settings are adjustable via the MyLincoln Touch interface. Neither technology actively prevents lane departures. The responsibility for the safe vehicle operation remains entirely the driver's responsibility.
Driver Alert is the third element of the Lane Keeping System. If the system detects a driving pattern typically exhibited by a drowsy driver, a first-level chime will sound and a friendly suggestion of a coffee cup graphic will appear on the left-hand 4.2-inch instrument cluster LCD screen.
If the driver does not respond and the system continues to sense that the driver is fatigued, further warnings and chimes will occur. Conscientious drivers curious about their state of alertness can monitor their performance any time.
AUTO HIGH-BEAM HEADLAMPS
Auto high-beam headlamps also use the windshield-mounted camera to monitor traffic conditions and control high-beam activation.
In darkness, the high-beam headlamps automatically illuminate unless other traffic is detected. The system continuously scans for stimuli - oncoming vehicle lights prompt the lamps to dim, but traffic lights or a road sign's reflection will not affect the high beams. The sensitivity setting can be adjusted from the default setting of "Near" to "Far."
Collision Warning helps prevent common traffic accidents as forward-looking, long-distance radar identifies potential obstacles.
When the danger of a collision is detected, the system warns the driver with an authoritative beep and a simultaneous red warning light projected on the windshield above the instrument panel.
These warnings should be enough to allow the driver to brake before a potential accident. Collision warning also provides emergency brake support which enables harder, quicker deceleration to help drivers stop or reduce speed to lessen the impact of a collision.
ADAPTIVE CRUISE CONTROL
Collision warning is paired with adaptive cruise control (ACC) because both features use the forward-looking radar system. With a range of up to 600 feet, ACC monitors and adjusts vehicle speed to keep it at a safe distance behind another vehicle in the same lane, even in fog or heavy rain.
The sophisticated radar system and control module ignores stationary objects as it determines the closing rate toward the vehicle ahead to determine whether it is necessary to automatically adjust the engine throttle setting or engage the braking system. Able to work at just 20 mph, drivers can set the system to work during normal commuting, helping reduce driver fatigue.
BLIND SPOT INFORMATION SYSTEM
Blind Spot Information System (BLIS®) with cross-traffic alert can detect vehicles in blind spots during normal driving as well as traffic approaching from the sides when the driver is reversing out of parking spots.
BLIS uses radar sensors to continuously monitor each side of the vehicle to detect when another vehicle enters the defined blind spot zone (within 45 feet). A light appears on the corresponding sideview mirror to indicate another vehicle is in the defined blind spot.
On models without optional BLIS, standard spotter mirrors feature an integrated mirror facet that provides a clear view of anything in a traditional blind spot of a typical exterior rearview mirror.
MyKey® allows parents or other concerned owners to restrict certain Lincoln MKS features when in the hands of a MyKey driver.
Owners simply program the vehicle key through the message center to incorporate features such as:
- A limited top speed of 80 mph
- Prevents deactivation of the Traction Control System that limits tire spin
- Audio system volume limited to 44 percent of maximum volume
- A speed alert chime at 45, 55 or 65 mph
NEW MKS STYLING
The dedicated Lincoln design studio has developed a contemporary new look for the 2013 MKS. Every exterior surface from the A-pillar forward is new, including the grille, HID headlamps, front fascia, hood and front fenders. Continuing the new look are fresh 19- and 20-inch aluminum wheels. At the rear, MKS gets a new fascia, LED tail lamps, exhaust tips and a new decklid design that improves access to the trunk.
"The original MK vehicles were, in some ways, deliberately provocative," said Max Wolff, Lincoln Design director. "The styling of the new MKS adds both refinement and elegance to the car while visually lowering and widening the front end. The continuous bright surround linking the grille and headlamps is particularly rich and adds something significant to what is already an expressive, balanced design."
"We have made the new MKS interior much more inviting and engaging, with new capacitive controls and MyLincoln Touch," said Wolff. "The previous MKS was very linear and horizontal. Now we have an interior that's dominated by lines that sweep up from the center stack and flow out to the sides. This is a styling cue you'll see more in future Lincoln models."
These styling updates transform the 2013 MKS cabin. Subtle ambient lighting adds to the interior's luxurious, high-tech environment.
The integration of MyLincoln Touch to the new MKS complements Lincoln's most advanced instrumentation and controls to date.
The main instruments feature a central speedometer flanked by two full-color reconfigurable LCD screens. Content for the 4.2-inch LCDs is controlled by five-way buttons on the steering wheel. An 8-inch multi-function LCD touch screen dominates the center stack and provides the visual and control interface for the entertainment system, phone, navigation and climate control.
The new MKS offers two audio systems, both controlled through MyLincoln Touch. The standard system includes AM/FM/CD/MP3/satellite sources playing through a 210-watt system that drives 10 speakers.
The optional audio system is THX® II Certified Car Audio System with AM/FM/CD/DVD/ MP3/HD Radio capability and 16 speakers, including a 10-inch subwoofer. SiriusXM satellite radio with six-month prepaid subscription, an auxiliary input jack and a USB port are also included. System volume automatically adjusts according to vehicle speed, while sophisticated digital signal processing provides spectral balance, a wide dynamic range and exceptional acoustic performance that brings home-theater sound to the road.
SiriusXM Traffic and SiriusXM Travel Link with voice-activated navigation controls are available. A prepaid subscription to SiriusXM Traffic and Travel Link is included when the available SD-card based navigation system is selected. MyLincoln Touch and SYNC enable voice-activated navigation control. In addition to an easily updateable navigation database, additional SiriusXM Travel Link features include coast-to-coast weather data, forecasts, fuel prices, sports scores, movie listings and more.
LUXURIOUS, ORGANIC, COMFORTABLE
This Lincoln style is supported by equipment that enhances occupant comfort. Standard heated and cooled 12-way adjustable front seats, adjustable pedals and a power tilt/telescoping steering wheel allow a wide range of drivers to feel immediately at home behind the wheel.
Class-leading available equipment also includes a retractable rear sun shade and, new for 2013, multi-contour adjustable front seats and a heated steering wheel.
Lincoln's available multi-contour seats incorporate seven computer-controlled air bladders to provide occupants with maximum adjustment. Four sections in the seat bottom and three in the seat back can be adjusted. Both driver and passenger seats feature individual static settings as well as dynamic massage settings.
The seat surfaces are provided by the Bridge of Weir leather company. Sourced from Scotland, Bridge of Weir leather also can be found in luxury jets, yachts and furniture. Connoisseurs of fine materials appreciate these leathers for their natural beauty, and the company uses a unique organic tanning method which produces a material free of chromium making it one of the most environmentally friendly, and fully recyclable, leathers available. French and Deck seams on all seats add to the interior's high level of finish.
Seat cushions, head restraints and seat backs are made with soy foam, which has a lower environmental impact than petroleum-based foams. In addition, the soy-based materials deliver excellent performance for both comfort and durability.
A new heated steering wheel is a welcome option for drivers who live in colder climates. A thin metal element under the wheel's leather-wrapped rim can raise the wheel rim's surface temperature from minus 4 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 20 degrees Celsius) to 74F (23C) in five minutes.
New woods (Prussian Burl and Brown Swirl Walnut) and leather colors (Hazelnut and Light Dune) complete the extensive list of interior changes for 2013. While there is a consistency to the woods selected for the interior of the MKS, no two Lincoln interiors featuring natural woods display the exact same grain pattern.
THE LINCOLN EXPERIENCE
Lincoln offers a comprehensive warranty and complimentary maintenance package on all of its vehicles, including:
- Four-year, 50,000-mile complimentary maintenance, which includes coverage for oil and filter changes, tire rotations and multipoint inspections for up to eight service visits for all 2011 model year and newer vehicles
- Four-year, 50,000-mile bumper-to-bumper limited warranty
- Five-year, 60,000-mile safety restraint limited warranty
- Five-year, unlimited mileage corrosion limited warranty
- Six-year, 70,000-mile powertrain limited warranty
The 2013 Lincoln MKS will be crafted in Chicago and is expected to arrive at Lincoln dealers this spring.