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Review (2/2)

Lincoln MKT Luxury Crossover Offers Premium Technology

Source: Lincoln | Published: Wed Aug 11, 2010

(continued from the previous page)

Quiet, Confident Motoring

The 2011 Lincoln MKT strikes an optimum balance between capable, driver-engaging handling and a smooth, quiet ride in all three rows, combining a luxury touring experience with an agile ride.

Key elements of Lincoln MKT suspension tuning include minimizing front end lift on acceleration, offering stable and engaging steering and handling characteristics that provide confidence to all drivers, all while delivering a luxurious ride quality consistent with Lincoln brand character.

The rear suspension system features a "one for one" shock absorber ratio. The resulting linear response gave the engineering team a stable baseline for suspension tuning, allowing the team to deliver a better balance between responsive handling and control as well as a smooth ride. It also improves rear suspension isolation and enables the use of 20-inch wheels.

Lincoln MKT delivers a new level of quiet confidence that delivers best-in-class levels of NVH control. Virtual modeling and wind tunnel tests helped engineers optimize the vehicle, influencing everything from side-view mirror placement and special sound deadening in the bulkhead to extensive exhaust system isolation and the inclusion of both an acoustic windshield and dual-layer front side glass to specifically reduce A-pillar wind noise.

Standard on all Lincoln MKT models with EcoBoost, an Electric Power Assist Steering (EPAS) system replaces the traditional hydraulic power steering pump. Because it operates only when required for steering assistance, it contributes to lower fuel consumption than a hydraulic pump, which operates whenever the engine is running.

Using sensors, EPAS constantly measures the steering input applied by the driver to maintain the vehicle's path; it continually resets to adapt to changing road conditions or the vehicle turning a corner. Ford's pull-drift software technology gives the EPAS system the added ability to compensate for slight steering torque changes caused by environmental factors such as road crowning or steady crosswinds.

Premium Innovations

Lincoln MKT delivers abundant technologies aimed at making life luxurious for both the driver and three rows of passengers. A holistic approach was used to develop these amenities, where ease of use and intuitive operation were key objectives. Nowhere is this focus more apparent than with Active Park Assist.

Enabled by the same EPAS system that delivers improved fuel economy and better handling over conventional steering systems, Active Park Assist employs an ultrasonic-based sensing system, as opposed to video camera-reliant competitive offerings. The result is simple, reliable hands-free parallel parking every time.

Active Park Assist activates at the touch of a button, reducing the risk of selecting an inappropriately sized parking space, detects the edges of adjacent objects to calculate optimized trajectory and steers the Lincoln MKT while coaching the driver through conventional throttle and braking inputs.

Active Park Assist also works in uphill parking situations, unlike competitive systems on the market, and parks the Lincoln MKT nearly three times faster - and four to eight inches closer to the curb - than the system found on the Lexus LS460L.

Inside, Lincoln SYNC is standard on all Lincoln MKT models, providing occupants with voice-activated communications and infotainment, including 911 Assist and Vehicle Health Reports. SYNC is an advanced software platform that provides consumers the convenience and flexibility to bring digital media players and Bluetooth-enabled mobile phones into their vehicles and operate the devices via voice commands or with the steering wheel's redundant radio controls.

Along with the convenience of SYNC voice control, drivers can operate the climate control and audio system via voice or touch using the standard center-stack touch screen display. The audio system includes a CD/DVD/MP3 player with 10 speakers, SIRIUS satellite radio with a six-month subscription, audio input jack and 10 GB hard drive. The system can also store and display up to 32 photos, sized 1.5 MB or less, and the home screen can be personalized.

The available Elite Package includes voice-activated navigation and a THX II Certified 5.1 Surround Audio System with 14 strategically aimed Premium Audio speakers. New this year, the navigation system can also receive HD Radio broadcasts, giving listeners access to additional free programming in areas where it is offered.

A SIRIUS Travel Link prepaid subscription is included with the Elite Package, providing coast-to-coast weather data, forecasts, fuel prices, sports scores, movie listings and more.

Technology Under the Skin

The Lincoln MKT features an advanced structural safety system that combines octagonal front frame rails, tunnel rails, and support members that are designed to absorb and redirect crash forces away from the passenger compartment.

Lincoln MKT also features Side Protection And Cabin Enhancement Architecture (SPACE) incorporated to optimize side-impact occupant protection.

The SPACE system integrates a hydroformed high strength steel tube embedded in the floor that runs the width of the vehicle from B-pillar to B-pillar and along the rocker panels to form a safety cage to help protect passengers in side impact incidents.

Lincoln MKT also features Ford's enhanced Personal Safety System, combining multiple technologies to tailor the air bag package and safety belt functions to the individual passenger and the accident circumstances. The system can identify variables, such as severity of the crash, weight of the individual passenger and safety belt usage to adjust air bag deployment force.

Balancing Power and Efficiency

Fuel efficiency also comes standard on the Lincoln MKT - and customers have a choice of two powerful yet practical V-6 engines.

A 3.7-liter, 24-valve variation of the award-winning Duratec engine family is standard. Delivering 268 horsepower at 6,500 RPM and 267 ft-lb of torque at 4,250 RPM, this engine has been tuned to provide brisk acceleration and smooth power delivery.

A two-speed fuel pump and Aggressive Deceleration Fuel Shut-Off (ADFSO), combined with optimized transmission and final-drive gearing, allow this engine to deliver fuel economy of 17 city, 23 highway for Lincoln MKT with the 3.7-liter engine and front-wheel drive.

For even more performance-driving feel, Lincoln MKT also offers a twin-turbocharged 3.5-liter EcoBoost V-6 offering the power of a normally aspirated V-8 with V-6 fuel economy, even with standard all-wheel drive. The EcoBoost V-6 delivers a class-leading 355 horsepower at 5,700 rpm, while generating 350 ft-lb of torque from 1,500 through 5,250 rpm.

EcoBoost is a global Ford strategy to deliver the power that customers want, combined with the fuel economy that they need. Combining gasoline direct injection with twin turbochargers and a smaller-displacement engine, EcoBoost can match the power output of larger, naturally aspirated engines while yielding torque and fuel economy gains.

Pressurized direct injection enables a higher compression ratio, while twin turbochargers work in tandem to reduce lag associated with earlier turbocharged engines. Even with additional horsepower, fuel economy is optimized by an increased compression ratio - enabled by charge-cooling air - and sophisticated knock controls.

Lincoln MKT is equipped with a six-speed SelectShift Automatic transmission. This advanced gearbox offers the driver a choice between fully automatic operation and manual control. Paddle shifters are integrated into the steering wheel spokes. 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.

This capability makes the Lincoln MKT driving experience sporty, yet smooth. Unlike other competitive transmissions, SelectShift won't "second guess" the driver with an override shift. With SelectShift, manual control is truly manually controlled.

All-wheel drive is optional in the Lincoln MKT with the standard 3.7-liter V-6. The AWD option enhances the vehicle's capability in a variety of weather conditions. The sophisticated AWD system is fully automatic, using an advanced array of internal electro-mechanical clutches to efficiently distribute torque between front and rear wheels as needed. AWD is standard in the Lincoln MKT with EcoBoost.

Lincoln MKT: Photo Gallery, Review (1/2) and Specifications

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