Completing three of Ford's improved mid-size sedans this week at the LA Auto Show is the new Lincoln MKZ, which like its predecessor Ford Fusion and Mercury Milan siblings has gotten a new face, revised insides, and more standard attributes for 2010.
The introduction of a new sports variation with unique performance suspension tuning is the chief highlight, plus more rigid springs and bigger stabilizing bars, 18 inches 'Euroflange' shined wheels, darkened grille and headlamps, and an inside with accented piping.
Segment-restricted attributes have also been added to the car, among these are a blind spot monitoring system and cross traffic reverse sensors. The blind spot system utilizes dual multiple-beam radar modules located behind the rear fenders.
Indicator lights in the outside rear-view mirror on both sides of the vehicle caution the driver when a car come into the defined blind-spot zone, extending from the side mirror to 10 feet behind the vehicle and 10 feet away from the vehicle.
The same radar sensors are used in the cross traffic feature to signal the driver of oncoming traffic while in reverse and backing out of a parking spot. The CTA is capable of tracking distances up to 65 feet on either side of the vehicle and warns the driver via both audible and visual alerts.
The MKZ comes with Ford's SYNC interface technology, in addition to all of this, plus voice-activated satnav, keyless entry and adjustable HID headlamps. Alterations in styling consist of a fresh split-wing grille and thinner wraparound head lamps for a broader, more athletic look. At the back, the car highlights a fresh decklid with broader LED tail lamps highlighting its breadth.
On the interior, the passenger compartment is decorated with, depending on the package, authentic aluminum and wood trim, and highlights an all-new instrument panel, surround lighting, and Bridge of Weir leather. A 3.5L V6 Duratec engine provides the necessary power, generating 263 hp and 249lb-ft of torque. The engine utilizes a lightweight and compact dual-overhead cam valvetrain for top power and seamless function at high RPMs.
The engine also integrates intake variable cam timing to maximize valve timing for a seamless idle and a widers torque curve. Standard on the saloon is the six-speed SelectShift automatic transmission that goes with either FWD or optional AWD. The favorable result of the upgraded powertrain is quicker acceleration rate, with the 0-60 mph (96 km/h) sprint now taking 7.1 seconds, a significant reduction from the previous 7.7 seconds in the existing model.