Is Lincoln on the threshold of something big? Could be. After decades of struggling to find its identity and to emerge from beneath the considerable shadow of luxury cars like Lexus, BMW, Jaguar, and of course, Cadillac, Lincoln reportedly is on the verge of one of the biggest rounds of new model unveilings ever in its history. There are probably many reasons why Lincoln is on the threshold of new beginnings now. First, Ford annmounced earlier this year it was deep sixing the Mercury line, which leaves all of the development, marketing and design money could now be used to expand the Lincoln lineup. Secondly, anyone looking at the luury car scene knows how fast brands like Audi, Cadillac and others are unveiling new models. If Lincoln is going to stay competitive , it must be given new product, and quickly. It certainly can be said that Lincoln's gotten a terrific head start already, thanks to products like the Lincoln MKX, which is heavily new for this year. Lincoln MKX The MKX has been hugely popular for Lincoln and with good reason. First, it's got a classy look, and it's chock full of up to the minute technology. It skillfully handles itself on the road, and has a quiet elegance all the while. For 2011, the MKX has gotten a pretty heavy redo, with even better fuel economy and acceleration. There's not a single spot missed by Lincoln in redoing the MKX. There are new features and technologies not available anywhere else, new exterior design, new interior design with increased use of genuine materials, new powertrain with best-in-class power and fuel economy, improved driving dynamics, and new tires and wheels. New standard 3.7-liter V6 engine delivers best-in-class power and fuel economy. 2011 Lincoln MKX produces 305 horsepower – best among V6 competitors and 40 more than the outgoing product – with improved, best-in-class fuel economy. 2011 Lincoln MKX achieves EPA-estimated 19 mpg city and 26 mpg highway, an increase of 1 mpg in each, Lincoln says. The 2011 Lincoln MKX luxury crossover features the first application of industry-exclusive MyLincoln Touch™ driver connect technology, which creates a whole new way for customers to interact with digital and vehicle technology. All-new MyLincoln Touch driver connect technology, which Lincoln claims delivers a smarter, safer, simpler way to connect drivers with in-car technologies and their digital lives, leads the wide-ranging innovations.It replaces traditional vehicle buttons, knobs and gauges with clear, crisp LCD screens and five-way controls like those found on cell phones and MP3 players. Standard on the 2011 Lincoln MKX, the MyLincoln Touch system displays information using two 4.2-inch LCD screens flanking an analog speedometer and an 8-inch touch-screen LCD at the top of the center stack. A five-way switch on each side of the steering wheel crossbar controls the information displayed on the corresponding instrument panel screens. The screens can be personalized to display information relevant to each individual driver. The steering wheel has all the necessary functions available in a very compact area, right where the driver’s hand falls as he or she grabs the wheel. The five-way buttons feel familiar to anyone who has used a mobile phone or MP3 player. "The electronic finish panel on the 2011 Lincoln MKX demonstrates all the advantages of this touch-sensitive technology in a beautiful, engaging package," a news release says. "Activated features display amber light. When turned off, signature Lincoln White lighting is displayed. In addition to the usual audio and climate control features, the touch-sensitive technology also operates the volume and fan controls, which is exclusive to Lincoln. "Customers can swipe their fingers along the slider to adjust the volume. The slider features 10 distinct touchpoints; three full swipes bring the system to maximum volume," the news releases adds. " Customers also can touch anywhere along the slider to get a corresponding increase or decrease in volume." The fan control is operated in a similar fashion. On both the volume control and the fan control, the distinctive Lincoln White lighting acts as a chaser. Want more new technology on the 2011 MKX? Try the world’s first use of iTunes® Tagging in an available factory-installed HD Radio™ receiver. iTunes Tagging provides customers with the ability to “capture” a song they hear on the HD Radio receiver for later purchase from iTunes. With a simple push of the “TAG” button on the touch-screen display, the song information will be stored in the radio’s memory. Once a song is tagged and customers dock their iPod to the SYNC system, the tagged song information will transfer to that iPod. Up to 100 tags on SYNC can be stored until the iPod is connected. When the iPod is then synced to iTunes, a playlist of tagged songs will appear. Customers then can preview, and if they desire, purchase and download tagged songs from the iTunes Store. Other standard technologies and features on the 2011 MKX include:
- Adaptive cruise control allows the driver to set the vehicle’s cruising speed, using advanced radar technology to monitor traffic ahead and scan for slower vehicles. The system slows the vehicle to adapt for traffic conditions and maintain the preset distance between vehicles. Once traffic clears, the set speed returns. Gap distance settings can be customized from four predetermined options.
- Blind Spot Information System (BLIS®) with cross-traffic alert is a feature that can help detect vehicles in blind spots during normal driving and traffic approaching from the sides when reversing out of parking spots.
- MyKey® is designed to allow parents to encourage teenagers to drive safely and more fuel efficiently, and increase seat belt usage. The standard MyKey feature allows owners to designate keys that can limit the vehicle’s top speed and audio volume.
- Easy Fuel® (capless fuel filler) is a standard Lincoln-exclusive feature that uses an integrated spring-loaded flapper door to eliminate the need for a fuel tank screw cap.