Lincoln’s MKT full-size crossover offers a dramatically improved ride, sharper handling, better fuel economy and new safety technologies including rear inflatable seat belts for the 2013 model year, providing customers benefits and features that match or exceed more expensive competitors.
Making a full-size crossover ride smoothly but handle well can be a real challenge. “The 2013 MKT with Continuously Controlled Damping delivers a surprisingly vibrant blend of ride and handling. It’s more than you’d expect from a full-size, three-row luxury crossover,” said Scott Tobin, Director, Lincoln Product Development.
Continuously Controlled Damping (CCD) is fitted to the new Lincoln MKT when the crossover is equipped with the optional 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 engine. The adjustable suspension enables a more confident driving experience that defines the Lincoln DNA balance of ride comfort and 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 fully integrated system delivers its on-road benefit by significantly expanding the chassis’s capabilities compared to a chassis with nonadjustable struts and shock absorbers, known as dampers by chassis engineers.
CCD constantly reads the road surface and continuously adjusts the suspension in real time within the three selectable ranges – Sport, Normal and Comfort. CCD operates so quickly that it can react pre-emptively.
CCD recognizes, for example, when the MKT is about to encounter a typical pothole. The system instantly tightens damper control to prevent the wheel and tire from crashing down into the full depth of the pothole. Typically, the damping rate increases by more than 150 percent vs. 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 used to prepare the rear wheels to deliver a better driving experience.
The standard engine for 2013 is a more powerful and efficient 3.7-liter V6 that includes twin independent variable camshaft timing (Ti-VCT). The ability to vary camshaft timing to optimize the opening and closing of intake and exhaust valves increases the engine’s power and efficiency.
Horsepower for 2013 increases to 300 from 268, a 10 percent increase achieved with projected fuel economy ratings that improve to 17 mpg city, 25 mpg highway, a 1 mpg highway improvement. The MKT now offers more standard horsepower than the Audi Q7 and Acura MDX and nearly matches the 302-hp Mercedes-Benz R-350.
Fuel economy for the MKT achieved on regular unleaded fuel surpasses these competitors by as much as 4 mpg highway.
Nine out of 10 MKT retail customers opt for twin-turbo 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6, an engine that provides V8 performance with the fuel economy of a V6. In terms of horsepower from optional engines, the MKT fitted with EcoBoost has no direct competition.
Lincoln MKT is equipped with two versions of the six-speed SelectShift Automatic™ transmission, both with steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters. The 3.7-liter Ti-VCT V6 uses the 6F-50, and the more powerful 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 uses the heavy-duty 6F-55. This transmission features high-energy friction materials, a larger ring gear and a specific torque converter that optimize the 6F-55 to handle the high-torque output of the twin-turbo 3.5-liter.
EPAS is also the primary technology behind the MKT’s class-exclusive active park assist (APA). Once engaged via the switch on the center console, ultrasonic sensors precisely measure open spaces to find a suitable parallel parking spot. When engaged, the sensors measure spots and inform the driver of an appropriate spot. With a few actions, the MKT steers itself into the open space. The driver retains full control of throttle, brakes and shifting the entire time APA is engaged.
The changes ensure a recognizable Lincoln family look going forward. The grille and front fascia all are new, as are the wheel selections.
“The effort behind the new look was to change the proportion of the MKT from the front view. We helped make it feel wider and a bit less tall, less vertical,” said Max Wolff, Lincoln Design director. “The execution of the new MKT’s grille and the grille bars is a lot more refined and elegant. The new front graphic displays a lot of three-dimensionality, but it’s accomplished in a calmer, more restrained way.”
Inside, functional, styling and safety updates transform the already distinctive and roomy interior of the new MKT into an even more welcoming, luxurious and technologically advanced space.
The MKT offers three rows of seating configured in six- and seven-passenger alternatives. Highlighting the emphasis on first-class travel, those riding in the second row enjoy more legroom than any vehicle in this class. The second-row seats can also be heated and cooled. The second-row refrigerator (integrated into the center console) remains a popular option.
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.
The 2013 MKT offers a complete collection of driver assist technologies in addition to the array of six airbags, anti-lock brakes (ABS), traction control and AdvanceTrac® with RSC® (Roll Stability Control™).
The newly available Lane Keeping System adds to the advanced capabilities already offered on MKT, including collision warning and BLIS® (Blind Spot Information System) with cross-traffic alert.
Collision warning helps prevent common traffic accidents. 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.
Source: Lincoln press