New Car: 2013 Lincoln MKZ

With Mercury consigned to history, and Ford on a roll, all eyes at FoMoCo headquarters are on the Lincoln division and its struggle to attain a little more r-e-s-p-e-c-t. That’s the mission of this new Fusion-based sedan, the 2013 MKZ displayed at last January’s Detroit show as a concept, and in the New York show spotlight in production duds.

There’s not a lot of difference between the concept and the showroom-ready version, which is either a good thing or a bad thing, depending on your point of view. But what lies beneath?

As noted, this is more than a rebadged Fusion,—a looker in its own right. The windshield has a steeper rake than the current MKZ’s, and the lengthened rear window creates a faster silhouette, good for a 10-percent aero improvement, according to Lincoln. (As an aside, we congratulate Lincoln for refraining from using the already trite “four-door coupe” label.)

The new split-wing grille is more graceful than the one adorning the current MKZ, the LED headlights turn with the steering direction, and at the rear there’s a full-width LED taillight.

Interior furnishings are rich and tasteful, with a sweeping double-wing dashboard design punctuated by the center control stack, which is dominated by a new eight-inch LCD touch screen displaying the latest version of (a hopefully improved) MyLincoln Touch (which is how you say MyFord Touch if you work for Lincoln). The system is another standard feature.

Instruments are displayed on a 10.1-inch LCD cluster in front of the driver, and incorporate the Ford/Lincoln Sync telematics, including MyLincoln Touch and, of course, voice commands.

The audio options start with an 11-speaker standard setup; a 700-watt, 14-speaker THX II–certified system is available as an upgrade. And on a politically correct note, Lincoln assures its potential buyers that all interior wood trim was “responsibly harvested.”

The pièce-de-résistance: a vast retractable glass roof that Lincoln calls “one of the largest openings available on any current sedan” at 15.2 square feet, and claims that it maintains the same body-shell rigidity as a conventional steel top.

Thanks to: Car and Driver


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