The arrival of the 2013 Lincoln MKZ will be delayed until the second half of the year, according to Ford Inside News. Ford is hard at work on the all-new CD4 platform where the Fusion, Mondeo and Lincoln MKZ will be built. But while the Fusion and Mondeo will arrive in the first quarter of next year, the MKZ had been delayed.
It’s not because of technical difficulties or a switch to a more economic engine. Rather, the primary reason for the delay is cosmetics.
The current generation Fusion and MKZ are clearly siblings, especially when you look at the side profile. The executives want the hybrid MKZ to have a different look compared to its standard sedan counterpart. There will likely be changes with the colors, the chrome hue for its grille, and other revisions that show off the efficiency.
Lincoln attracted plenty of attention last summer when it revealed that the 2011 MKZ Hybrid will have the same price as the gasoline version of the car.
For $35,180 (including delivery charges), the hybrid offers 41/36 mpg while the standard front-drive car returns 18/27 mpg. It appears that Ford has a new hybrid powertrain that will offer 47 mpg, which indicates that the 2013 Lincoln MKZ will actually be more efficient.
For the latest evolution of the Lincoln MKZ (model year 2013), it features an appearance that is almost similar to that of the Lincoln MKZ Concept unveiled at the North American International Auto Show in January 2012.
Max Wolff, Lincoln Design director, described the distinctive design of the latest model as elegant simplicity, as result of designers’ desire to make the new MKZ be as inviting and approachable as possible. Wolff remarked that the designer chose to move away from traditional luxury cues and complex designs and instead settled for something warm, rich and restrained. For its exterior, the new 2013 Lincoln MKZ features a sweeping roofline as well as a steeply raked windshield and lengthened backlight. This design has rendered the new MKZ sleeker and more flowing, making it around 10 percent more aerodynamic than its predecessor.
Moreover, the new MKZ’s modern design is dotted with a number of classic Lincoln design elements like a re-interpretation of the split-wing grille that was initially featured on the 1938 Lincoln-Zephyr. Since the rearview mirrors rest on sculpted pedestals mounted on the doors, the front door glass was extended forward to enhance visibility and to allow more light to enter the cabin of the new MKZ.
The front end features LED headlamps that turn in sync with the steering wheel for better road visibility, while the rear end features thin full-width LED tail lamps. On the other hand, the interior of the 2013 Lincoln MKZ is loaded with an array of bold architectural elements as well as rich natural materials. Wolff remarked that the front end design of the MKZ is mirrored inside with the sweeping instrument panel, which along with the open center console, results to a more comfortable and functional interior that should appeal to younger yet more diverse drivers.
Notably, the new Lincoln MKZ has no mechanical transmission shift lever; it has been replaced by an innovative contemporary five-button Push Button Shift interface – each for Drive and Sport forwards gears and for Park, Neutral, Reverse. With this interface, designers had the liberty to create a multi-level center console laden with more functional storage areas. Just in front of the driver is a full-color 10.1-inch LCD instrument cluster powered by the latest iteration of SYNC with MyLincoln Touch. This system features indicator rings that frame a reconfigurable Thin Film Transistor (TFT) LCD.
In addition, MyLincoln Touch in the MKZ comes with a center eight-inch LCD touch screen showing relevant information in easy-to-reference color-keyed quadrants. On the other hand, all seats are covered in premium-grade supple leather while the cabin is laden with wood and metal-toned surfaces – all resulting to a comfortably luxurious interior space. Featured as standard on the Lincoln MKZ are luxury amenities like an 11-speaker audiophile entertainment system, remote start capabilities, cabin air filtration, heated front seats – with 10-way power controls of the driver -- and Active Noise Control.
ANC functions to make the MKZ remarkably quiet by electronically targeting frequencies and reducing their intensity. Moreover, ANC subtly enhances frequencies. Discerning customers may want to opt for the available 700-watt THX II Certified Car Audio System with 14 channels and 14 speakers. To ensure that occupants enjoy home-theater surround audio while on the road, THX audio engineers worked over 200 hours custom-tuning the THX-certified equipment to the interior of the MKZ. On another matter, it’s interesting that the Lincoln MKZ offers inflatable second-row outboard seat belts – the only sedan in its class to do so. These seat belts could distribute impact forces across more than five times the area of conventional belts, thereby reducing pressure on the chest. It also helps to control head and neck motion to reduce the risk of injuries.