Road-Test Special: 2013 Lincoln MKS & MKT

New technologies on the 2013 Lincoln MKS and MKT deliver better handling, more power, and improved fuel economy along with more refinement and new technologies that help drivers reduce accident risks as well as providing an even more engaging driving experience – important new reasons to consider Lincoln’s newest vehicles.

Ford invited me to test drive these two new vehicles and I have to be honest and say they were extremely impressive. I’ve never been a big fan of Luxo-barge type vehicles – they are just too soft and mushy on the road unless you want to be asleep behind the wheel. The 2013 Lincoln MKS and MKT are unlike anything you’ll ever have driven in the past from Ford’s luxury division.

2013 Lincoln MKS

To drive the point home, we were encouraged to drive the 2012 MKS around a course that had lots of bends and twists, ensuring that we got a feel for the braking, steering and suspension in extreme circumstances. I got out of the 2012 more than impressed – I wouldn’t have guessed it could possibly handle that well.

Then I jumped behind the wheel of the 2013…. the difference was night and day! The steering was far more communicative, the brakes were much stronger and the grip was incredible. Body roll was dialed back to the point it was into BMW territory. Not happy with just one lap of the course, I went back again and again to improve my time – each time going faster and deeper into the corners.

Ford also highlighted the “Lane Keeping System” that is available in the MKS and the MKT (see full information below). Basically, it keeps you between the lines if you are distracted or tired. There is a camera mounted behind the rear-view mirror and its job is to detect the lines on the road and keep you within them – physically. The steering wheel gently vibrates when you get close to the line and if you fail to react it will actually steer you back to the middle of your lane!!

Does it work in the real world? Yes..My co-driver drove for at least 2 kilometres with his hands completely off the wheel. When I drove the MKT, we actually went around a bend and I didn’t touch the steering wheel! (Note: The Lincoln PR Team were not too happy when I told them about that – it’s something you shouldn’t try at home – you have been warned). My only concern would be the fact that many extremely faded or non-existent road lines permeate Ontario roads. Any time it rains or even in the dark – you can’t see the lines.

Not only are the vehicles and the technology impressive, but the price for all this is actually quite reasonable. Please take the time to scroll down and read all the other information I’ve included. I guarantee you it won’t be a waste of time…

2013 Lincoln MKS 3.7-litre V6 AWD                                                                                   $47,700
[305 H.P. / 280 lb.ft / City: 11.6 Hwy: 7.5 L/100km]

2013 Lincoln MKS 3.5-litre EcoBoost V6 AWD                                                                   $52,200
[365 hp / 350 lb.ft / City: 12.2 Hwy: 7.8 L/100km]

2013 Lincoln MKT 3.5-litre EcoBoost V6 AWD                                                                   $50,550
[365 hp / 350 lb.ft / City: 13.1 Hwy: 8.8 L/100km]

+ Destination and Delivery $1,600

Lincoln MKS Highlights
For 2013 model year, the new MKS gets a significantly updated exterior and interior, making it stand out among luxury-class choices.

>  Lincoln Drive Control allows drivers to easily change the on-road personality of the MKS to deliver an ideal balance of a smooth ride with confident handling as it intuitively responds to the driver’s commands and the road itself. Moving the gear selector from ‘Drive’ to ‘Sport’ automatically adjusts handling performance, ride firmness, throttle response, shift feel, steering response and traction control/electronic stability control parameters. Drivers can further personalize the CCD suspension settings, including selecting the smoother-riding Comfort setting, using MyLincoln Touch™

>  Lincoln MKS is the only car in its segment to offer Continuously Controlled Damping as standard equipment. By monitoring suspension settings up to 500 times per second, the real-time system adjusts the suspension 20 times per second to deliver more controlled handling with a smoother ride.

>  The standard 3.7-litre, 305 horsepower V6 engine delivers more horsepower (+31 hp) coupled with improved fuel economy (City: 11.6 L/100km / Highway: 7.5 L/100km) over last year’s model. The optional EcoBoost 3.5-litre V6 also produces more horsepower, 365hp vs. 355hp

>  Collision warning, new Lane Keeping Alert and new Lane Keeping Aid technologies help warn drivers of potentially dangerous situations and can help them avoid common accidents

>  Exterior styling updates include new grille, hood, front fenders, HID headlamps, front fascia, 19- and 20-inch aluminum wheels, decklid, rear fascia, LED tail lamps and exhaust tips

>  Expanded SYNC® functionality now includes local Wi-Fi® hotspot capabilities for laptops and tablets

> The 2013 Lincoln MKS is equipped with two versions of the six-speed SelectShift Automatic™ transmission, both with steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters offering drivers the choice of fully automatic operation or manual control. Unlike some competitor transmissions, SelectShift won’t second guess the driver with an override shift. The manual function is truly controlled by the driver.

>  New for the 2013 Model Year in Canada – All-wheel drive is standard with both the twin-turbo 3.5-litre V6 and the 3.7-litre V6.

>  New vented front discs measure 13.86 inches (352 mm), more than an inch larger than in the 2012 model. To enhance brake cooling, the “hat” portion of the front brake disc is also vented, a unique design developed by Ford Motor Company engineers.

2013 Lincoln MKT

New Lincoln MKT Highlights
The new MKT offers most of the same improvements added to the MKS, including Lincoln Drive Control, CCD, more power and improved fuel economy. In addition, MKT-specific features include:

>  Inflatable second-row outboard safety belts. Rear seat passengers – often children or mature passengers – can be more vulnerable to head, chest and neck injuries. The available inflatable second-row, outboard safety belts spread impact forces across more than five times the area of conventional safety belts, reducing pressure on the chest while helping to control head and neck motion and helping reduce the risk of injuries.

Adding even greater capabilities to the crossover’s standard collection of driver-assist technologies (an array of six airbags, anti-lock brakes, traction control and AdvanceTrac® with RSC® Roll Stability Control), Curve Control helps drivers maintain control in the MKT when taking a curve too fast.

2013 Lincoln MKT Interior

New for the 2013 MKS is a Lane Keeping System that complements the complete collection of driver-assist technologies. Coupled to the new Lane Keeping System is Lane Keeping Alert and Lane Keeping Aid. Together, these technologies add significantly to the advanced driver assistance features already available on MKS, including collision warning and BLIS® (Blind Spot Information System) with cross-traffic alert.

Lane Keeping Alert helps drivers avoid leaving their lane unintentionally because of distraction or tiredness. When activated by the driver, Lane Keeping Alert utilizes a forward-facing mono-vision camera mounted behind the rear-view mirror to begin looking for lane markers. A control unit monitors the data and determines when the vehicle is wandering out of its lane. As the vehicle approaches the outer boundary of its lane, the system vibrates the steering wheel, reminding the driver to pay attention.

Lane Keeping Alert is dormant when the turn signal is activated or when the driver is engaged in an evasive maneuver.

Lane Keeping Aid works in concert with Lane Keeping Alert. When activated by the driver, Lane Keeping Aid will gently add torque to the steering wheel to nudge the MKS back into its lane if the driver has drifted too close to the lane’s edge. The system includes the ability to sense if a driver is driving hands-free. A warning chime sounds to discourage misuse of the system.

System sensitivity settings are adjustable via the MyLincoln Touch interface. Neither technology actively prevents lane departures. The responsibility for the safe vehicle operation remains entirely the driver’s responsibility.

Driver Alert is the third element of the Lane Keeping System. If the system detects a driving pattern typically exhibited by a drowsy driver, a first-level chime will sound and a friendly suggestion of a coffee cup graphic will appear on the left-hand 4.2-inch instrument cluster LCD screen.

If the driver does not respond and the system continues to sense that the driver is fatigued, further warnings and chimes will occur. Conscientious drivers curious about their state of alertness can monitor their performance any time.

2013 Lincoln MKT – 2nd Row Seating

Copyright © 2013 by Iain Shankland
Text: Iain Shankland / Images: Lincoln


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