By putting a $36,800 starting price on the 2013 Lincoln MKZ mid-sized sedan, Lincoln has made it go against the Lexus ES 350. Shipping charges are included in this price. Lincoln said that it has started to take dealer orders for the MKZ, which will arrive at showrooms in late fall. Lincoln’s Web site enables potential customers to configure their own MKZs.
The 2013 Lexus ES has a starting price of $37,600 (which includes shipping costs). Lincoln’s press release states that the MKZ offers more features and a starting price that’s lower than the new Lexus ES 350. The MKZ is offered in four trim levels -- Premiere, Select, Reserve and Preferred. The top-of-the-line Preferred package costs $45,125 (which includes shipping).
Lincoln’s MKZ Hybrid won’t have a premium price in line with the same principle used in the current MKZ. The highlights of this model include its retractable panoramic roof, which is an option available on all models for just $2,995. Lincoln chief designer Max Wolff, with his team, was tasked to design the MKZ. Lincoln has referred to the car as the first of a generation of new Lincolns that signifies the start of the brand’s reinvention.
The base engine of the MKZ is a 2.0-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder that produces 240 hp and has an EPA rating of 22 mpg city/33 highway. In addition, Lincoln will offer a 3.7-liter V-6 engine that delivers 300 hp, which is 37 hp higher than the current MKZ V-6. Lincoln said that fuel economy will continue to improve by 5% from the existing powerplant to 18 mpg city/26 highway.
The MKZ is offered as standard with Lincoln Drive Control, a series of electronic systems that include Continuously Controlled Damping, a type of adjustable suspension; electric-power assisted steering; Active Noise Control; traction control and stability control. The MKZ will feature a new push-button-operated transmission that would be placed instead of the traditional mechanical transmission lever. With this new arrangement, the center console will have a bigger space.
In creating the interior of the new MKZ, the design team made use of rich natural details while putting in fine details and strong architectural elements. The interior also shows a wider use of technology and innovation. For instance, rather than utilize the standard mechanical transmission shift lever, the new MKZ instead has the more modern five-button interface.
Each of the buttons of this Push Button Shift allow for Neutral, Reverse, Park, and two forward gears which are Drive and Sport. Through this innovation, the design team was able to come up with a multi-level sculptural center console along with added functional storage areas. In front of the driver for example is the 10.1-inch LCD full-color instrument cluster which runs with the more current SYNC with MyLincoln Touch.
The new design uses dimensional indicator rings which border the reconfigurable and exceptional Thin Film Transistor LCD (TFT). Another important part of the MyLincoln Touch is the 8-inch LCD screen with touch capability and almost flush-mounted to its center. Through the use of quadrants and color keys, the information displayed is easier to understand and reference.
All of the seat surfaces will have the agile and premium-quality leather. The use of a combination of responsibly harvest wood and the metal-toned surfaces allow the interior to have a comfortable feel and luxurious presence to it. Wolff shared that the exterior graphic on the front continues through a dramatic sweep on the new instrument panel.
This effect on the interior is able to complement what is seen on the exterior, he continues. The flowing forms, as well as the open center console, result in an interior that has both function and comfort, he adds. With these, the new Lincoln MKZ will not only appeal to a wide range of drivers, including the younger generation.