2009 Lincoln MKS Preview

Jeff Youngs | Dec 31, 2008
  • New flagship full-size luxury sedan

  • 3.7-liter V-6 engine

  • Turbocharged V-6 engine to arrive within a year of launch

  • Front- or all-wheel drive (FWD or AWD)

  • Lincoln Sync communications system standard

  • Standard leather upholstery

  • Available 19- and 20-inch wheels and tires

  • Prices start under $38,000

  • Sales to start in summer 2008


Lincoln has struggled to compete in the heart of the luxury market with the likes of the BMW 3 and 5 Series, Lexus GS, Infiniti G and M, or Cadillac CTS for many years. The company unveiled a possible competitor in that segment at the 2006 North American International Auto Show in Detroit in the form of the MKS sedan concept. Now, Lincoln is making good with a production model for the 2009 model year.

The split, "double-wing" grille of the concept and production car is reminiscent of Lincolns from the 1940s. The concept car had a 4.4-liter V-8 engine, but the production model will feature a 3.7-liter V-6 engine with the promise of a turbocharged V-6 engine in the future. While more and more luxury makers are returning to rear-wheel drive, the MKS will have a choice of FWD or AWD. The MKS will seat five and go on sale in the summer of 2008.

Model LineupComplete information isn't finalized yet, but the 2009 Lincoln MKS will most likely be offered in one trim level with FWD or AWD. Standard equipment will include cruise control; dual-zone automatic climate control; Bridge of Weir leather upholstery; 12-way power front seats that are heated and cooled; heated rear seats; memory for the steering column, driver's seat and mirrors; heated power exterior mirrors; power windows and locks; keyless entry with push-button starting; AM/FM stereo with 6-disc CD changer and 6 speakers; Sirius satellite radio; Sync in-car communications system; power tilt/telescoping steering column; leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob; wood and aluminum interior trim; auto-dimming rearview mirror; rain-sensing wipers; vehicle information center; universal garage door opener; theft-deterrent system; high-intensity discharge headlights; fog lights; Ford's Easy Fuel capless fuel-filler system; and P235/55R18 tires on bright aluminum wheels. It will also have Ford's next-generation keyless entry keypad-which is ordinarily invisible but uses heat-sensing technology to light up when you wave your hand over it. Options will include olive ash wood interior trim; a power rear window sunshade; THX II audio system with 5.1 surround sound, 600 watts and 14 speakers; adaptive headlights that point into turns; dual panel sunroof with an opening front panel; radar-based adaptive cruise control that maintains a set following distance; front park assist; rearview camera; 19- and 20 inch wheels; and a voice-activated navigation system with Sirius Travel Link that provides real-time traffic, weather forecasts, fuel prices, movie listings and sports scores.


The 2009 Lincoln MKS will be powered by a 3.7-liter version of Ford's 3.5-liter V-6 engine. This all-aluminum, dual-overhead cam engine has 4 valves per cylinder and direct injection. It makes 270 hp and 265 lb.-ft. of torque. The lone transmission is a 6-speed automatic with Ford's SelectShift manual shift capability. The available Intelligent AWD system can distribute torque up to 100 percent to the front or rear wheels and works with the standard electronic stability control system to transfer power from side to side. With FWD, Lincoln says, the MKS will get 17 mpg city/24 mpg highway; with all-wheel drive, 17 mpg city/23 mpg highway. Within a year of its debut, the MKS will also get a turbocharged V-6 engine that Lincoln says will make the MKS the most powerful and fuel-efficient AWD luxury sedan on the market.

The MKS will be built on the Volvo-derived full-size platform that hosts the Ford Taurus and Mercury Sable. The MKS shares the Taurus's 112.9-inch wheelbase, but is actually 3.7 inches longer overall at 204.1 inches. The front suspension uses MacPherson struts and was designed to accommodate 20-inch wheels. The new independent rear suspension features shocks mounted at the outboard end of the suspension arms, which Lincoln says maximizes suspension travel and allows for more precise suspension tuning.


Standard safety features on the 2009 Lincoln MKS will include dual-stage front air bags; torso-protecting front side air bags; head-protecting curtain side air bags; rear obstacle detection; tire-pressure monitor; anti-lock brakes; traction control; and electronic stability control. Front obstacle detection and a rearview camera will also be available.


Ford Motor Company developed Sync in conjunction with Microsoft. Sync provides a hands-free link to MP3 players and Bluetooth-enabled cell phones through a series of voice commands or buttons. It recognizes your cell phone's phonebook, can read incoming text messages through the stereo system, and allows the driver to respond with one of 15 predetermined messages. When an MP3 player is plugged in, Sync charges it and has access to the complete playlist. The driver can tell Sync to play a specific song, artist, or genre of music from his MP3 player. Sync will also stream MP3s wirelessly from a source like a phone/MP3 player enabled with Bluetooth technology.
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