Lincoln proudly showed off their completely revamped Luxury Lincoln MKX and MKZ Hybrid to a much-impressed group of journalists at the London Hotel this week. These two vehicles are part of a 7-car lineup that Lincoln plans to roll out over the next four years with the aim of dominating the market, Lincoln is moving comfortably into the luxury market, elbowing space among its competitors at Lexus and Audi with some beautiful styling and smart pricing.
Splash Magazines had an up-close view of both cars. The MKX are both solid luxury car with an impressive array of features and styling: the exterior is striking, the engine stats are impressive, the interior is seductive and the technology behind it all is future-forward.
First off, there's the look. The MKX rolled out four years ago, and while this update completely revamps the workings, it has the same powerful look. This car is not shy, but then it wouldn't do for a Lincoln to blend in with the crowd. I remember hearing Bill Cosby talk once about how when he first became successful, he'd still go back to his old neighborhood regularly and did so without attracting a lot of fanfare. Then, one time his Rolls was in the shop and he had a Lincoln loaner. Well, he said, the minute he drove up in the Lincoln, everybody and his brother came out to admire the car and congratulate him on his having "arrived."
These new luxury Lincolns don't have the horizontal lines of the past. The MKX and MKZ revisioned the whole Lincoln concept of a luxury look. The cars have a strong "bird of prey" quality, with their prominent, winglike front grills. The bodies are round with sculpted "muscle." This car announces like the old criers who would walk ahead of the nobility that somebody important is coming.
I'm not a person who pays too much attention to torque and horsepower stats, but I do want a car that responds effortlessly when I ask it to GO. While I didn't have the chance to take the car out of town this time to see what it can do on the open road, around town it felt like a gentle giant: lots of power in reserve if needed but content to deliver a comfortable, smooth ride around the block.
The interior has been designed to appeal to the all senses. The seats, the console, the surfaces all aim to be pleasing to feel as well as look at. Close the door and it's like stepping into a vault, the car is so quiet. On the console, there are no knobs; everything is touch and voice sensitive. The displays can be customized so that you see what you want when you drive. Lincoln even has a "sniffer squad" who make sure that the smell is right. On the level of creature comforts and tactile pleasure, this car pulls out all the stops.
The technology used at every level of this car is future perfect. For example, on the safety front, the airbags and seat belts adjust to the position of the seat and the weight of the passenger. The minute you put the car in reverse, the console screen gives you video of the rear of your car with green-yellow-red proximity lines overlaid on it. The cruise control has a proximity sensor and so will slow you down as you inch up on a slower car in front. The mirrors will give you a warning light if there's a car in your blind spot or coming athwart as you back out of a parking space.
For all that the MKX was impressive, the real knockout at the event was the MKZ Hybrid. The look, the standard equipment and the price tag all make it a gotta-have-it for anyone looking for an environmentally conscious car. The luxury features are sweet icing on the deal.
And it is a deal because Lincoln has no hybrid premium on the MKZ Hybrit. It sells at exactly the same base price as the regular sedan. Many features are or will be the same as with the MKX. When you turn it on, the car is all electric, so it is whisper quiet. No engine noise. If it wasn't for the dash lit up, you couldn't tell you were ready to go. Combustion kicks in at just over 35 mph, so you can drive around without ever leaving electric mode. This car gets 41 mpg in the city, delvering 700 miles to a tank of gas. If you dislike going to the gas station as much as I do, that right there is worth a price bump.
The interior of the MKZ Hybrid is leather made without chromium, something that is good for the environment. But for the animal activists, there is no cloth alternative at present.
There are a few items conspicuously absent from these cars. No gas cap. No longer necessary to keep the petrol and fumes locked inside the engine. No key. There's a fob that the car recognizes. If you reach to open the door or press the start button, the car looks for the fob. If it registers, then the door opens to your hand and the engine purrs to life. A gal never has to root around in her purse for the key ever again. If it's in the purse or a pocket, the car will find it and use it to get you in and going.
So many features are standard in these cars that other luxury makes still charge extra for, that you need to price the base model of the MKX and MKZ Hybrid against the added option packages of other luxury brands. The MKZ, standard or hybrid, has a starting price of $34,330 and the MKX starts at $39,145. Unlike other cars manufacturers, Lincoln seems to be saying that their standard is luxury
Published on Dec 14, 2010