What it Is
2009 Lincoln MKS Preview – 2007 Los Angeles Auto Show: Lincoln’s all new flagship sedan is based on the same platform as the outgoing Volvo S80 and the new Ford Taurus. It's designed to win new buyers over to the Lincoln brand who previously bought Lexus, Acura and Cadillac vehicles. Combining luxury, technology and great looks, Lincoln hopes to satisfy existing customers as well as sway first time buyers in the luxury market.
Why it Matters
Lincoln has been trying to reestablish itself as a contender in the luxury market and to do that needs to go head to head with the likes of the Lexus GS350, Acura RL and Cadillac CTS. Strong styling cues greatly improve the chances of the MKS being a hit as well as Lincoln's recent improvements in quality as reported by J.D. Powers. Continually raising the bar for itself, Lincoln has been steadily showing it is once again ready to compete with those vehicles. The 2009 MKS is Lincoln’s great white hope as the automaker steps back into the ring.
What’s Under the Hood
When most people think luxury, they usually also think V-8, not so with the 2009 Lincoln MKS. When it appears on dealers lots it will be with a 3.7-liter V-6, the V-8 will not be available until nearly a year after launch, but it will be the first vehicle to receive Ford’s new gasoline turbo direct injection technology. No specs were available for the V-8, but preliminary numbers for the V-6 are 270 hp @ 6250 rpm and 265 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4250 rpm. It will be mated to a 6-speed automatic and available in FWD or AWD.
What it Looks Like
Lincoln claims it took styling cues form the most prestigious vehicles in the automakers proud heritage and refined and incorporated them into the 2009 Lincoln MKS. The most prominent feature is the double-wing split grille which mimics the split grille of the 1941 Lincoln Continental Cabriolet. Large statement-making grilles seem to be making a come back and Lincoln nailed it with this one. A prominent shoulder line that runs the length of the car gives it an athletic appearance but still maintains luxury refinement. What matters most though, is that it looks like a contender in the luxury sedan market.
Technology. Mark Fields, Ford Motor Company’s president of the The Americas reminded us an upstart company called Lexus once made a splash by combining quality and new technology. Lincoln aims to take that combination to a new level. The 2009 Lincoln MKS will come with SYNC, the voice activated communications system jointly developed with Microsoft as well as THX-certified audio and SIRIUS Travel Link that offers real time travel info like traffic, weather and fuel prices. The dash is accented with aluminum chrome and the seats are appointed with the same leather found on the Queen Elizabeth 2 and Concorde.
What Lincoln Says
“Lincoln has reestablished itself as a quality and design leader with award-winning products like the Lincoln MKZ, MKX, and Navigator, “ says Mark Fields, Ford Motor Company’s president of The Americas. “With Lincoln MKS, we are raising the bar even higher with unparalleled amenities and performance, and a price that should be irresistible to luxury customers.”
What We Think
The 2009 Lincoln MKS looks great and offers tons of great features. Keyless entry that doesn’t even require a fob is the way to go, real time travel info is invaluable to today’s commuter and high grade leather is always a joy to sit in. However, we think it’s a mistake to make buyers wait a year for the V-8 version. The Power of a V-8 can make the difference between driving a luxury barge or a first-class land yacht and we think most consumers will be expecting the latter.
By Vernon Heywood
Photo Credit: Vernon Heywood