The new 2010 Lincoln MKZ mid-size sedan was designed for customers who have come to equate Lincoln with elegant, modern design, unparalleled comfort, unrivaled features and top quality.
"The new Lincoln MKZ improves on the success of the current MKZ with Lincoln's new signature look, appointments that amplify and expand the Lincoln portfolio and a faster, more refined powertrain," said Mark Fields, Ford's president of The Americas.
New for 2010, the Lincoln MKZ features a new sport version with special sport suspension tuning with stiffer springs and larger stabilizer bars, 18-inch Euroflange polished wheels, darkened grille and headlamps, and an interior with contrasting piping and unique appliquÃ©s.
The new Lincoln MKZ also offers segment-exclusive features, including first-in-class Blind Spot Information System (BLISâ„¢) with Cross Traffic Alert (CTA), which makes navigating traffic and parking lots safer and easier.
BLIS tracks vehicles in the blind-spot zones on either side of the vehicle using two multiple-beam radar modules behind the rear fenders. Indicator lights in the outside rear-view mirror on both sides of the vehicle warn the driver when a vehicle enters the defined blind-spot zone, extending from the side mirror to 10 feet behind the vehicle and 10 feet away from the vehicle.
CTA uses the BLIS radar sensors to alert the driver of approaching traffic while in reverse and backing out of a parking spot. The CTA tracks up to 65 feet on either side of the vehicle and warns the driver through both audible and visual alerts.
In addition to this new technology for mid-size sedans, Lincoln MKZ offers SYNC, Next-Generation Voice-Activated Navigation, keyless entry, EasyFuel capless fuel filler, THX-branded audio and adaptive HID headlamps.
The new MKZ also features Lincoln signature design elements, including the split-wing grille and thinner wraparound head lamps for a wider, sportier look. Its chamfered front fascia also shares a family resemblance with the Lincoln MKS, with a sculpted hood and ridges flowing into the A-pillar. In the rear, the Lincoln MKZ features a new decklid with wider LED taillamps accentuating the width of the car and separated by the Lincoln star.
The Lincoln MKZ's presence is enhanced by 17-inch aluminum wheels, available 17-inch chrome wheels, and available 18-inch polished aluminum wheels, which are included in the Sport Appearance Package with sport-tuned suspension.
Inside, MKZ's cabin reflects an even more upscale look featuring genuine aluminum and wood depending on the trim package, an all-new instrument panel, detailed touches including new welcome lighting, chimes, tuxedo stitching on luxury leather seats and Bridge of Weir leather.
The world-renowned luxury leather from Scotland, pioneered on the classic Lincoln Continental Mark II and used on the MKS, wraps the MKZ seats. The Lincoln MKZ leather is unembossed, allowing the natural beauty and character of the grain to shine through.
The leather is milled for up to 12 hours to ensure a buttery soft hand, and Bridge of Weir uses a chromium-free tanning process, which makes it easier to recycle.
"We've increased the luxury feel and improved on what was already a great interior," said Peter Horbury, executive director of Design, The Americas. "We have a new interior theme with all-new primary touchpoints, complemented by new features and technologies that make the 2010 Lincoln MKZ stand out in the competitive mid-size segment."
Additions or improvements to the 2010 Lincoln MKZ interior include:
Armrest clamshell storage
The new Lincoln MKZ is more than just a pretty face and striking new interior. New technology features help Lincoln's new mid-size sedan stand out, too. They include:
SYNC: The voice-activated hands-free in-car communication and entertainment system developed by Ford and Microsoft. The system fully integrates most Bluetooth-enabled mobile phones and digital media players, providing customers hands-free cell phone and music selection capabilities - plus new 911 Assist and Vehicle Health Report provided with no monthly fees.
Rain-sensing wipers, which detect moisture on the windshield and activate automatically.
The award-winning 3.5-liter V-6 Duratec engine powers the 2010 Lincoln MKZ, delivering 263 horsepower and 249 pounds-feet of torque. The 3.5-liter uses a compact, lightweight dual-overhead cam valvetrain for peak power and smooth operation at high RPMs.
This engine also incorporates intake variable cam timing to optimize valve timing for a smooth idle and an impressive broad torque curve with good power.
The six-speed SelectShift automatic transmission, which is front-wheel drive with all-wheel drive available, is standard on the 2010 Lincoln MKZ. Powertrain performance is improved dramatically, with 0-60 mph times dropping from 7.7 to 7.1 seconds.
The engine - and the Lincoln MKZ itself - is quieter. Every piece of sound packing was redone.
"The customer definitely should notice how quiet the new MKZ is," said Chief Engineer J.D. Shanahan. "That's important - especially with luxury sedan buyers who perceive that quietness equates to quality."
The Lincoln MKZ engineering team also concentrated on the engine mount subsystem, finding the sound that balances sportiness and luxury, said Matt Hettenhouse, powertrain team leader.
A high 10.3:1 compression ratio and aluminum cylinder heads designed for high air flow and optimized combustion help complete the package, supporting the engine's ability to deliver great performance and fuel economy, along with low emissions.
Unique to the 2010 Lincoln MKZ are re-engineered resonators on the air-induction system. "They deliver the powerful, refined sound Lincoln MKZ customers expect," Hettenhouse said.
The six-speed transmission allows for lower early gears for better acceleration and taller high gears for better highway mileage. The new standard SelectShift provides the driver with manual gear selection for enhanced sportiness. Downshifts are locked out to protect the engine from over-revving. The "enhanced overdrive cancel" mode locks out the fifth and sixth gears, allows shifts at higher speed for more engine braking and downshifts for "grade assist" functionality.
The 2010 Lincoln MKZ was completely revised and uniquely tuned for ride comfort.
The team changed the rear suspension lower control arm control point to move the roll center closer to the center of gravity, which improved the ride-handling characteristics. A hydraulic variable-flow steering pump changes the flow rate at lower speeds to give better response, improving the turning circle and easier parking efforts.
The Lincoln MKZ's available all-wheel drive (AWD) system has been retuned for better traction and lower noise, vibration and harshness. The system uses an electro-mechanical clutch and employs two basic modes of torque transfer - pre-emptive torque (before wheel slip) and slip-control torque (after wheel slip). This dual system gives the driver confidence in any situation, while the suspension has been specially tuned to be more neutral when cornering.
"When the Lincoln MKZ accelerates, even lightly, from a stop on any surface - dry pavement, wet pavement, sand, gravel, ice, mud - pre-emptive torque is transferred to the rear wheels," said Jim Fritz, AWD product development engineer. "As an added measure to control front wheel slip on slippery surfaces, slip control torque is added to equalize front and rear wheel speeds."
The AWD system works in harmony with brake traction control to deliver more confidence to Lincoln MKZ customers. Ford's AdvanceTrac electronic stability control keeps drivers in command as well.
"The driving experience has been improved, delivering a better ride and vehicle control," Shanahan said. "Ride enhancements, a new sport package, new technologies, the signature Lincoln design and a strong quality story help the new 2010 Lincoln MKZ set a new standard in mid-size luxury sedans."
The 2010 Lincoln MKZ is built at Ford's Hermosillo (Mexico) Stamping and Assembly Plant and will be in dealer showrooms in spring 2009.