Lincoln survived the corporate ax that eliminated Mercury and forced the sale of Ford's premium European brands, including Jaguar and Volvo, and the time has come to prove it was worth saving. The 2013 MKZ is the company's first all-new car since the effort to resuscitate the luxury brand began, and its theme of "casual elegance" sets the stage of what's to come.
The exterior of the MKZ features simple flowing lines for improved aerodynamics and an upscale look with a wing-like grille design and sloping rear window leading to a conventional trunk. LED lighting elements are used liberally throughout, as is the style of the day.
The front or all-wheel-drive MKZ features three powertrain choices: a 240 hp turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder good for 33 mpg, a 300 hp 3.7-liter V6 and a gas-electric hybrid that will deliver better fuel economy than the current MKZ Hybrid, which is rated at 39 mpg combined. An active suspension is available, along with high-tech safety features including lane-keeping assist, blind spot alert and radar cruise control.
The interior features a smooth, clean design with a suspension bridge-inspired center console, flat screen instrument cluster, and 8-inch touch-screen for the infotainment system, which includes Sync and MyLincoln Touch. Active noise cancellation technology aims to keep the cabin quiet, while airbag equipped seatbelts are available for the outboard rear passengers.
The traditional column or console-mounted transmission selector has been replaced by a set of PRNDS buttons on the dashboard.
The MKZ's most unique feature is a single-pane retractable panoramic roof that measures 15.2 square feet.
Pricing on the 2013 MKZ has not been announced, but should start in the mid-$30,000 range when it goes on sale later this year.
If Lincoln has a future, this is what it looks like.