Now that CEO Alan Mulally of Ford Motor Company has the blue oval brand running as smoothly as an EcoBoost engine, it’s time to shift focus to its luxury division. For the past few years, Lincoln has been tooling along on cruise control at a speed that didn’t stall, but didn’t attract much attention, either. With Mercury dissolved and Volvo and Jaguar doing well with their new parents, Lincoln will receive a lot of attention starting now, and we’re seeing the early stages of the transformation with the 2013 Lincoln MKS introduced at the Los Angeles Auto Show. Although the MKS has received an update rather than a complete redo, the changes are significant.
First, a glimpse of the design direction for future Lincolns can be seen both front and rear. The entire front clip has been updated, including a new grille, front fascia, hood, and front fenders. At the rear are new LED taillamps, dual exhaust tips and a redesigned decklid for better trunk access. The interior also gets a new look, with the addition of MyLincoln Touch and a smoother flow from the center stack to the instrument panel and front passenger side dash.
More important than design is Lincoln’s dedication to technology, and this is just the start with the introduction of features like Continuously Controlled Damping (CCD), Lincoln Drive Control, Torque Vectoring Control, and Lane Keeping System. These handling and safety systems are being implemented to help Lincoln move upmarket so the vehicles are more competitive with the likes of BMW, Audi, and other top luxury brands.
Performance also means more power under the hood. For 2013, the MKS offers a choice of two engines: a standard 3.7-liter 300-horsepower V6 in either front- or all-wheel-drive iterations, or the 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 with 355 horsepower and AWD. All models get a 6-speed automatic transmission standard.
With the increase in power, the myriad technologies, the improve styling and class-exclusive features, the MKS should be able to hold its own in the highly competitive luxury sedan segment until the complete redesign model shows up in the near future.