Wednesday, October 26, 2011

2011 Lincoln MKZ

Specifications prices Modifications and Image 2011 Lincoln MKZ
Front-wheel-drive MKZs start at $34,965 and all-wheel-drive MKZs start at $36,855 (including destination). Both prices represent a roughly $2,000 increase from the outgoing model, though they include several new standard features.

Lincoln has also added a hybrid variant of the MKZ for the latest model year, and bucking industry norms, is priced at exactly the same price point as the standard V6-powered MKZ.

The Lincoln MKZ is a mid-size, entry-level luxury sedan intended to compete with rivals such as the Lexus ES350. The car is characterized by a somewhat confusing history: designed as a replacement for the rear wheel drive Lincoln LS, it was originally known as the Zephyr for its first year of production in 2006 but then confusingly was rechristened the MKZ in 2007 to reflect Lincoln's new alphabetical naming strategy.
To augment the aforementioned sorted affairs, the MKZ has a partial-LCD instrument cluster that communicates power usage, battery recharging, and gas mileage. There’s also a cool display in which leaves and flowers “grow” when the car is driven ecologically and disappear as the scourge of Gore when leaden feet apply. I’m happy to report that after traveling a duration of 400 miles, I have grown a full bouquet.

Even with all of this high-tech gadgetry, there is plenty of old-world Lincoln luxury inside the MKZ Hybrid. Seats are trimmed in Bridge of Weir™ leather, known for its refined grain, just like the ’56 Continental. Front buckets are heated and cooled and enjoy a view of genuine wood trim on the dash and doors. Blind spot warnings and a rear view camera keep everybody safe while Lincoln SYNC® serves up voice-activated audio and navigation. iPods can be connected to the car’s controls through a USB port while Bluetooth links to cell phones, and the theatre-quality THX speakers are Lucas-worthy.

Inside, the old MKZ's boxy dash has been smoothed out to something closer to that of the MKS, complete with genuine wood trim and upscale leather. The center controls have smaller dials and buttons than before. The optional navigation system comes with Sirius Travel Link, which can track, among other things, nearby movie listings, weather forecasts and gas stations with regularly updated fuel prices. Interior features include:

   * Standard heated and cooled front seats with 10-way power adjustments
   * Standard Sync communication system
   * Optional moonroof
   * MyKey programmable system that limits speed
   * Ambient interior lighting with five color schemes
   * Standard 11-speaker audio system
   * Optional THX-certified surround-sound stereo with 14 speakers
There’s nothing but discreet Hybrid badges on the MKZ’s decklid and doors to reveal this car’s inner soul. If you want a flashy, look-what-I-bought hybrid, go shop the Lexus HS250h. Most MKZ drivers will be thrilled that they enjoy obscene fuel economy while slipping by unnoticed, especially since most have no interest in driving an arcade of buzzers and video screens. The car’s shape is Euro-conservative, but delights with a “bow wake” grille inspired by the ’40 Continental, wide rectangular taillamps from the ’61 Continental, liberal use of chrome, and 17” alloy wheels that derive more from a SEMA show than anything ever displayed by a Continental. Should you want to dispense with the shady alley slinking and arrive like a movie star, puddle lamps built into the side mirrors light the way.

Long drives are required for appreciating the attention to detail in the MKZ. That Bridge of Weir leather from Scotland is milled for up to 12 hours, and uses a chromium-free tanning process so it feels buttery to the behind and can be easily recycled. Interior sounds are reduced via an acoustic laminated windshield, as well as body and door seals that help to squelch wind noise. Lincoln further banishes unwanted noise with expandable stuffers in the fenders and pillars, an acoustic headliner, and damping material on the floor to defend against road rumble. The result is a hybrid so serene you’ll barely know it is a hybrid.

The 2010 styling changes combined the old MKZ's visorlike headlights and the larger MKS sedan's sleeker nose. From the doors back, not much has changed. Exterior features include:

   * Standard 17-inch alloy wheels
   * Sport Appearance Package includes 18-inch wheels, unique grille, darker headlights
   * Acoustic laminated windshield for noise reduction
The 3.5-liter V6 Duratec engine powers the latest Lincoln MKZ, delivering 263 horsepower and 249 pound-feet of torque. Powertrain performance is improved dramatically, with 0-60 mph times dropping from 7.7 to 7.1 seconds.

Fuel economy for the V6-powered MKZ is rated at 18 city, 27 highway in front-wheel drive trim, and drops to 17 city, 24 highway with all-wheel drive. The hybrid variant leads the pack - and the segment - with 41 city, 36 highway miles per gallon.

Some of that improved performance is owed to the new six-speed SelectShift automatic transmission, which delivers power to the front wheels in the entry-level configuration, and to all-wheels with the optional AWD package.

Lincoln MKZ Hybrid
Lincoln's first hybrid is also the first midsize, front-wheel-drive hybrid sedan from a luxury automaker. The MKZ Hybrid's drivetrain technology should look familiar, as the car is related to the Ford Fusion Hybrid, but a number of luxury touches are added. Its EPA-estimated 41/36 mpg city/highway rating makes the MKZ the most efficient luxury hybrid in the U.S. It is set to hit dealerships in fall 2010.

Like the Fusion Hybrid, the MKZ Hybrid doesn't do much to advertise itself as a hybrid. Hybrid badges appear on the front doors and trunklid, but without them, this sedan could easily be mistaken for a regular MKZ, with its large twin-port grille and wide LED taillights.

The MKZ Hybrid is powered by a 2.5-liter four-cylinder gas engine and an electric motor that make a combined 191 horespower. As with the Fusion Hybrid, Ford says the MKZ Hybrid can travel up to 47 mph on electric power alone.

Perhaps more significant than the maximum electric-only cruising speed is the MKZ Hybrid's SmartGauge with EcoGuide technology, which can help the driver drive more efficiently. Whereas the instrument panel on the Fusion Hybrid uses green vines that "grow" larger the more efficiently you drive, the MKZ Hybrid adds to that with white flowers that "blossom" due to long-term gas mileage.
2011 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid
Five-passenger, FWD sedan
Powertrain: 191 hp 2.5-litre gas engine, hybrid electric drive
Suspension f/r: ind/ind
Wheels: 17”/17” f/r
Brakes: disc/disc fr/rr with ABS
Must-have feature: Obscene mileage
Manufacturing: Hermosillo, MX
Fuel economy: 41/36 mpg city/hwy
Base price: $34,330,,

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