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2009 Lincoln MKS Preview
All-new sedan aims at high luxury level
The 2009 Lincoln MKS, a new full-size sedan from Ford, offers modern design and some of the most sophisticated safety, convenience and comfort technologies available on any car, the company says.
"The Lincoln MKS ensures a high level of comfort for all passengers, thanks to a class-leading interior package," said Brett Wheatley, Lincoln Mercury general marketing manager. "Abundant space, coupled with a comprehensive suite of features and technologies, delivers the luxury experience that Lincoln customers want and deserve."
The new Lincoln MKS is the first production vehicle to embrace the Lincoln design DNA introduced on the Lincoln MKR concept.
"The Lincoln MKS is a substantial car with a well-proportioned athleticism and several signature design cues we developed after carefully auditing the best Lincoln design elements over time," says Peter Horbury, executive director of Design, The Americas.
"Lincoln design has always been more discreet, exuding a kind of understated luxury, and we've designed the this luxury sedan understanding that the Lincoln owner views the MKS as a reward for hard work, not simply an outward symbol of status."
The most striking exterior design feature is the double-wing grille, inspired by the 1941 Lincoln Continental. The grille sweeps up into the jewel-like high-intensity discharge (HID) headlamps to form a single graphic element that further accentuates the face. A bright chrome Lincoln star rests prominently between the grille's wings.
Key design cues include the sculpted hood and fast-raked windshield, which forms a sleek roofline. The broad-shouldered Lincoln MKS also features a beltline that kicks up slightly over the rear wheels, another modern tribute to previous Lincoln designs.
Details include a polished stainless steel side window surround that finishes with a wide flourish at the front edge of the C-pillar - accentuating the tapered cantrail of the cantilevered roof. Stainless steel strips also run the length of the car, framing the available twin-panel moon roof and flowing into the tall decklid.
At the rear, LED taillamps are accented by a vertical white light strip that runs along the edge of the decklid, and a horizontal chrome strip is inset with a Lincoln star.
The instrument panel flows horizontally from door to door, its top portion is hand-wrapped in durable, eco-friendly leatherette with double-stitching. The instrument panel is divided into upper and lower portions by a stripe of sculpted wood highlighted by a line of chrome.
Trimmed at the top in real wood, the leather-wrapped steering wheel frames an elegant instrument cluster with gauges circled with delicate chrome rings. Details of the interior design also are accented in aluminum.
A flow-through centre stack is topped with an integrated information screen that also serves as the screen for the available navigation system. Standard leather seats are double-stitched and feature an exclusive Lincoln perforation pattern on the inserts.
Customers can choose from three distinct interior options, all set off by cool white lighting.
Leather for the seats is made by Bridge of Weir, the same Scottish company that supplied hides for the Continental Mark II. Chosen for its high quality and its organic, chromium-free tanning, this is the softest leather ever used in a Lincoln.
Ebony wood, used for some models, is reclaimed from furniture makers and other sources to offer a beautiful and rare wood with minimal environmental impact.
The MKS offers best-in-class interior volume of 3.0 cubic metres (105.9 cubic feet) and best-in-class luggage space of 0.52 cubic metres (18.4 cubic feet), nearly four times larger than some competitors.
New Lincoln comfort seats, developed first for the Lincoln MKS, feature side bolster support designed for spirited driving. The standard heated and cooled, 12-way power driver and front passenger seats offer four-way lumbar (up, down, inboard and outboard) for added comfort on long trips.
Rear seat passengers also enjoy a luxury experience that begins as they enter the cabin, via the largest rear-door opening of its class. MKS also offers segment-exclusive standard heated rear seats.
Recessed into the front and rear door openings, cleverly designed hidden rocker panels allow for a lower step-over height, making it easier to enter or exit the vehicle. This design shields the rockers from the elements, reducing the likelihood of soiling shoes or trousers when entering or exiting the vehicle.
Ford says the Lincoln MKS offers the largest selection of comfort and convenience technology features of any other luxury sedan in its class, including:
Adaptive Cruise Control, which allows the driver to set the car's speed and maintain it without using the accelerator pedal. The radar-based system also can monitor the vehicle in front (up to 600 feet) and adjust the speed of the Lincoln MKS to keep it a safe distance behind the lead vehicle, even in fog or heavy rain. Four settings allow the driver to set a desired distance, speed and the time gap between vehicles.
Intelligent Access with Push Button Start, a first for Lincoln, allows the driver to enter the Lincoln MKS and start the engine without using a key. Drivers simply carry the special fob as they approach the vehicle, touch the keyless entry pad on the B-Pillar, open the door and with the brake pedal engaged, start the engine by pushing a button. Unlike some systems, the Intelligent Access key fob will work even if it is kept in the trunk, in a coat pocket or briefcase.
SecuriCode Keyless Entry Keypad, the next-generation version of a feature familiar to Lincoln owners. It allows access to the vehicle by unlocking the driver door using a five-digit code. The new system is now flush-mounted to the car's driver-side B-pillar, using technology similar to that found on portable MP3 music players to create heat-sensitive, backlit numerals that become visible once they're touched.
Adaptive Headlamps with Standard High-Intensity Discharge (HID) Lamps enhance nighttime visibility by illuminating more of the road and reducing glare from oncoming traffic. Sensors monitor vehicle speed and steering wheel input engaging electric motors that pivot the left headlamp up to 5 degrees and the right headlamp up to 15 degrees to increase the driver's field of vision.
Auto High Beams coupled with the Adaptive Headlamps enhance nighttime visibility by switching to high intensity when no other vehicles are in range and automatically reverting to low beam intensity when they detect the headlamps or tail lamps of other vehicles. Derived from sensing technology developed for NASA, the system can detect tail lamps at a distance of more than 500 feet and headlamps at a distance of 2,000 feet. A patented filtering technique distinguishes streetlights from vehicle light sources, preventing unnecessary dimming.
Rain-Sensing Wipers use an advanced optical sensing system to detect how hard rain or snow is falling and determine when to activate windshield wipers and how fast to run the wiper motor. An infrared beam "reads" the surface of the glass and sends information to a sensor mounted in the windshield shade band. Customers can program the system to their preference choosing from five different sensitivity settings.
The Forward Sensing System uses four hidden sensors mounted in the front fascia and audible beeps to help drivers determine how close they are to objects in front of their vehicle while parking. It can detect objects up to 1,500 feet away, plus objects at certain heights even out of the driver's view, such as parking blocks. It operates only below 8 mph.
The Rearview Camera System works in conjunction with the vehicle's reverse sensing system and uses the navigation screen as a display. A camera mounted beneath the Lincoln Star on the decklid is activated when the vehicle is shifted into reverse.
Easy Fuel Capless Fuel-Filler System is an industry-exclusive feature that provides customers a hassle-free, odour-free and more-consistent seal than a manual fuel cap. When fuelling is completed and the nozzle is removed, the system automatically seals shut. The system has an invisible benefit, too - fewer evaporative emissions.
SYNC is standard on an array of 2009 Lincoln vehicles. The award-winning, industry-exclusive, voice-activated hands-free communications and entertainment system developed by Ford and Microsoft, fully integrates most Bluetooth-enabled mobile phones and digital media players into the vehicle.
Voice-Activated Navigation System with SIRIUS Travel Link offers a host of convenient features including more than 150 hours of music storage. Users can browse the music jukebox via touch-screen or by using voice recognition. The system also integrates the climate control and SIRIUS satellite radio into one easy-to-use, smudge-resistant, 8-inch touch-screen display.
Users can even upload personal pictures from CD to be displayed on the system's home screen. SIRIUS Travel Link provides users access to up-to-the-minute information including real-time gas prices at the closest stations as well as movie listings and sports scores through the vehicle's navigation system.
THX II Certified 5.1 Surround Sound Audio System delivers true 5.1 surround sound from DVD movies and DVD-Audio music. A 12-channel, 600-watt "smart amp" delivers digital sound to the system's 16 specially placed speakers, including a 10-inch subwoofer. The precision-tuned system uses state-of-the-art digital technology to turn the cabin of the Lincoln MKS into a theatre or concert hall.
The new Lincoln flagship sedan offers exceptional quietness and comfort and a confident driving experience, providing intuitive feedback to drivers along with a secure feeling behind the wheel.
The Lincoln MKS puts the driver in command. Its chassis provides isolation from road noise and harshness but doesn't isolate the driver from the road. Steering is precise and responsive, requiring little input from the cockpit.
The Lincoln MKS features a new, fully independent rear suspension (IRS) that has been designed and tuned to deliver a perfect balance of performance, handling and comfort.
A unique design places vertically mounted shock absorbers at the outboard end of the suspension arms, near the wheels. This configuration increases the motion ratio of the suspension allowing for a more precise tuning while also facilitating the larger wheels and tires that are desired by today's luxury customers.
"The setup significantly increases the efficiency of the dampers," said Jim Baumbick, vehicle development chief engineer. "This allows us to tune the suspension more finely across a wider range of attributes and deliver the optimum in both handling and ride comfort."
The MacPherson strut and rear-facing L-shaped lower control arm front suspension was designed to maximize suspension travel and tuned to work in harmony with the rear suspension. Together, the new front and rear suspension design can accommodate available, class-exclusive, 20-inch wheels and tires without compromising ride comfort.
Extensive development work also focused on creating the quiet isolation of the Lincoln MKS, befitting its new Lincoln flagship status.
The body structure of the Lincoln MKS was optimized for strength and stiffness. Along with noteworthy crash performance, the solid structure delivers the smooth, quiet ride luxury customers expect. Tire and bushing development focused on further tuning out low-frequency road noise and vibration.
The high-end sound package centres on a new technology that's a first for Lincoln and the MKS - an injection-moulded rubber dash panel that runs from the floor, just under the carpet, up to the top of the dash and back over the cowl to block unwanted wind and powertrain noise. The same technology is used inside rear wheel wells.
A 6-millimetre-thick laminated windshield and laminated side glass, sound-absorbing carpeting and acoustic headliner round out the basic sound package.
The Lincoln MKS is powered by a new 3.7-litre V-6 engine. This powertrain has been derived from the proven 3.5-litre V-6 found in the Lincoln MKX and Lincoln MKZ, which was voted one of Ward's 10-Best Engines for 2007.
Both engines share the same strong, die-cast aluminum block and lightweight four-valve heads for smooth operation at high rpms. The 3.7-litre's larger cylinders contribute to the increase in horsepower and torque. This engine delivers 273 horsepower and 270 lb.-ft. of torque and does not require premium-grade fuel.
Technologies such as variable valve timing are utilized to deliver substantial torque at lower rpms while reducing emissions. The Lincoln MKS qualifies for U.S. Federal Tier 2 Bin 5 emissions and California Emissions State ULEV-II emissions standards.
"This engine is tuned to maximize the increased torque to improve performance where the driver needs it most, in standing acceleration and passing," says Michael Celentino, Lincoln MKS chief engineer. "To help manage the extra torque, the Lincoln MKS's six-speed automatic transmission is equipped with a stiffer torque converter that delivers an immediate throttle response and a more connected feel."
The MKS uses a pair of technologies that help to improve fuel economy and further reduce emissions without compromising performance:
A two-speed fuel pump that alternates between two flow settings, running on a low setting, which requires less energy, whenever conditions allow.
Aggressive Deceleration Fuel Shut-Off (ADFSO) is a fuel-saving system that shuts off fuel flow to the injectors when the driver backs completely out of the throttle with the vehicle in fifth or sixth gear, such as exiting onto a freeway off ramp.
The Lincoln MKS features a six-speed automatic transmission with SelectShift that delivers smoother shifts, better fuel economy and acceleration as well as enhanced performance feel. SelectShift, making its Lincoln debut on the new flagship sedan, allows the driver to select gears manually when desired.
An all-wheel-drive (AWD) system provides for a confident driving experience in all weather conditions. The unit uses a sophisticated system of clutches to quickly distribute torque between front and rear wheels - up to 100% in either direction - as needed, to avoid wheel slip.
"Drive the new Lincoln MKS and its engaging and rewarding driving experience is immediately clear," Celentino says. "The power is smooth and responsive, absolutely fitting the character of the new flagship Lincoln luxury sedan. This automobile creates an outstanding first impression and lives up to it."
The Safety Story
Using Computer-Aided Engineering (CAE), engineers and designers have developed the Lincoln MKS for optimal strength, stiffness and superb crashworthiness. Its energy-absorbing front structure - with octagonal front frame rails, tunnel rails and "shotgun" front structural members - is designed to absorb and redirect front crash forces away from the passenger compartment. The new sedan also features the class-exclusive Side Protection And Cabin Enhancement Architecture (SPACE) designed to optimize side impact protection.
The body structure features ultra high-strength boron steel in the B-pillar for added protection in a side impact and improves roof strength. The side impact door beams also have also been configured to provide optimal protection.
The Lincoln MKS is equipped with a comprehensive package of active and passive safety features, including dual-stage driver and front passenger air bags, seat-mounted side air bags, safety belt pretensioners and load-limiting retractors and driver seat positioning sensor.
Other key safety features include:
Occupant Classification System - Using a sophisticated sensor, it determines via weight whether the front passenger seat is empty, occupied by a child seat or small, medium or large occupant and can deploy the air bag as needed.
Adaptive Collapsible Steering Column - In an impact, the column will collapse, dependent on the weight and belted status of the driver
Safety CanopyTM - Ford's exclusive side impact protection system features side curtain air bags that help protect front and rear outboard passengers in both rollovers and side impact crashes.
AdvanceTrac electronic stability control system uses sensors to monitor yaw, the vehicle's speed, throttle position and steering wheel angle and selectively applies individual brakes to help correct skids.
Ford's Belt-Minder, a safety belt reminder technology for the driver and front passenger that takes over after the initial safety belt reminder stops chiming.
The Lincoln MKS sedan goes on sale in the summer of 2008 and is built at Ford's Chicago Assembly Plant.
Posted June 10, 2008