Technically a mid-cycle refresh, Lincoln has decided to do more than just minor updates to its entry-level MKX crossover for 2011. An important model for Lincoln, the company says that more than half of MKX buyers are new to the brand and that seven in 10 of those buyers purchase another Lincoln.
Joining the rest of the Lincoln lineup, the 2011 MKX gets the new corporate (and controversially styled) oversized grille. Other major changes include a new 3.7-liter V6 engine that delivers best-in-class 305-hp and 280 ft-lbs of torque, an improvement of 15 and 12 percent respectively.
Offered exclusively with a new six-speed automatic transmission, the more powerful engine also offers improved fuel economy, with 25 mpg highway, which Lincoln claims is another best-in-class feature.
And while all this is good, the biggest innovation on the 2011 MKX is the application of MyLincoln Touch – the first use of MyLincoln Touch or MyFord Touch in a road car. Essentially the next generation of Ford’s SYNC technology, the MyLincoln Touch system is a complete user interface for all aspects of the car and can be operated via a touch screen LCD display, voice commands and a steering wheel-mounted five-way controller (much like an iPod). It includes two 4.2-inch LCD screens in the instrument cluster and an 8-way LCD screen on the center stack. Due to the three different modes of controlling the system, there are no longer any conventional knobs or switches on the center stack. Even the audio volume can be adjusted by sliding your hand across a smooth surface.
As for the screen itself, it’s separated into four areas: Entertainment, Phone, Navigation and Climate. Each section is color coded to distinguish it and to make it easy to find/remember. We’ve seen the system in action and it certainly is easy to use.
Lincoln and Ford are betting on the My Touch system and plan to offer it in 80 percent of Ford vehicles in the future, including on the new 2011 Ford Focus.
GALLERY: 2011 Lincoln MKX
GALLERY: 2011 Lincoln MKX Official Pics
Official release after the jump:
CLASS-EXCLUSIVE FEATURES, NEW TECHNOLOGIES FURTHER IMPROVE THE 2011 LINCOLN MKX
- The 2011 Lincoln MKX features a wide suite of new convenience features and technologies, led by the new class-exclusive MyLincoln Touch™ driver connect technology (standard) and available HD Radio™ technology with iTunes® Tagging capability, a first for the industry
- Popular conveniences such as MyKey™, Intelligent Access with Push-Button Start and Easy Fuel® are now standard
- Additional technologies – including Adaptive Cruise Control and Collision Warning with Brake Support and Blind Spot Information System (BLIS®) with Cross Traffic Alert – deliver unparalleled luxury experience
DETROIT, Jan. 12, 2010 – In addition to the launch of MyLincoln Touch driver connect technology, the 2011 Lincoln MKX adds a suite of other convenience features and technologies, several of which are not available anywhere else in the midsize luxury crossover segment.
“The 2011 Lincoln MKX is the perfect vehicle to launch MyLincoln Touch driver connect technology simply because the original version of this luxury midsize crossover already is brimming with consumer-focused features,” said Jason Mase, crossover marketing manager. “The new model offers more of the conveniences and features our customers expect and demand, including ones our competitors can’t match at any price.”
Industry-first MyLincoln Touch comes standard on every 2011 Lincoln MKX. This intuitive solution addresses the infotainment evolution, taking vehicle interior design into the realm of popular personal electronics devices such as laptop computers, mobile phones and MP3 players.
MyLincoln Touch includes two 4.2-inch configurable LCD screens in the instrument cluster as well as an 8-inch LCD touch screen in the center stack, five-way controls on the steering wheel – plus a new Media Hub with two USB 2.0 ports, video input jacks and an SD card reader.
MyLincoln perfectly complements Lincoln SYNC®, the award-winning voice-activated communications and entertainment system developed by Ford and Microsoft that fully integrates Bluetooth®-enabled mobile phones and digital media players into the vehicle. The latest generation is SYNC with Traffic, Directions & Information, which provides simple hands-free access to personalized traffic reports, precise turn-by-turn driving directions and up-to-date information including business listings, news, sports and weather.
Like the song? You can tag it Also new on the 2011 Lincoln MKX is the world’s first implementation of iTunes Tagging in a factory-installed HD Radio receiver. With a simple push of the “TAG” button on the radio display, the song information will be stored in the radio’s memory.
Once a song is tagged, customers will dock their iPod to the SYNC system and 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, purchase and download tagged songs from the iTunes Store.
One significant benefit of HD Radio technology is that the sound quality of the broadcast is dramatically better because of the digital transmission – FM sounds like a CD and AM sounds like today’s FM broadcasts. And unlike analog broadcasts, digital broadcasts aren’t susceptible to interference, fadeout and other issues.
Content not found in any other competitors New to the Lincoln MKX lineup as standard equipment is the popular MyKey programmable vehicle key. MyKey allows parents or other concerned owners to restrict certain features when in the hands of a MyKey driver. MyKey encourages safety belt usage, provides earlier low fuel warnings, engages applicable driver aid systems and sounds chimes at preset speeds while limiting audio system volume and top vehicle speed.
Other new standard content on every 2011 Lincoln MKX are remote start, Easy Fuel® Capless Fuel-Filler and Intelligent Access with Push-Button Start, which unlocks the door automatically when the driver (with key) approaches, allowing for push-button start.
Also new for the 2011 model year is the six-speed SelectShift Automatic™ transmission, which provides customers the option of a fun-to-shift manual experience.
In SelectShift mode, the transmission doesn’t second-guess the driver, giving him or her total control over gear selection and performance feel. Upshifts, for instance, are not commanded at redline, and downshifts are allowed at the lowest gear possible as defined by the engine speed.
For instance, when a lower gear is selected while descending a long downhill grade, the Lincoln MKX in SelectShift mode will hold that gear until the driver manually upshifts or returns to the fully automatic setting. To ensure safe shifting, the transmission will downshift to the lowest acceptable gear, based on a calculated maximum speed. That means if a vehicle were traveling at highway speeds, the driver could not downshift to first gear in SelectShift mode.
The innovative Adaptive Cruise Control and Collision Warning with Brake Support leads the long list of available technologies for the 2011 Lincoln MKX. Adaptive Cruise Control allows the driver to set the vehicle’s speed and maintain it without using the accelerator pedal and warns the driver of a collision risk.
Collision Warning with Brake Support uses radar to detect moving vehicles ahead and warns the driver of danger with an alarm and warning light. The system also automatically pre-charges brakes and engages an electronic brake assist system to help drivers stop more quickly.
Other available features and technologies on the 2011 Lincoln MKX include:
- Blind Spot Information System (BLIS) with Cross Traffic Alert helps detect vehicles in blind spots during normal driving as well as traffic approaching from the sides when reversing out of parking spots.
- Available entertainment-related technology includes THX®-II Certified Car Audio System. THX-II Certified Car Audio System produces sound quality comparable to a THX Certified Home Theater, delivering digital sound to the system’s 14 strategically placed speakers.
- Available Gen II ambient lighting allows drivers to choose among seven colors with five intensity settings for interior accent lighting.The lighting highlights the interior details but also creates a sense of equilibrium and comfort at night by softly illuminating and defining the complete interior environment. Cupholders, front door map pockets, door release handle pockets, the media bin, console bin and footwells can be highlighted with ambient lighting, adjustable in intensity to reflect – or soothe – any mood or moment.
- Other available convenience features include rear camera; adaptive HID (high-intensity discharge) headlamps, which rotate according to speed and steering inputs to allow greater visibility around turns; rain-sensing wipers, which detect moisture on the windshield and activate automatically; a new power tilt-and-telescope steering column, which sets the location of the steering wheel based on memory selection and telescopes to aid ingress/egress when the door is actuated; and a new heated steering wheel.
“The 2011 Lincoln MKX is a technology showcase with convenience and entertainment features and technologies our customers want and our competitors can’t match,” Mase said.
2011 LINCOLN MKX EMPLOYS ARRAY OF TECHNOLOGIES, INCREASING HORSEPOWER, MAINTAINING FUEL ECONOMY
- The 2011 Lincoln MKX boasts best-in-class horsepower and torque versus all V-6 competitors with unsurpassed fuel economy
- The new 3.7-liter Duratec® V-6 engine employs several fuel-efficient strategies that also improve performance, including Twin Independent Variable Camshaft Timing (Ti-VCT), aggressive deceleration fuel shutoff and Smart Charging
- Engineers applied lessons learned from Ford hybrid vehicles to the powertrain development of the 2011 Lincoln MKX
DETROIT, Jan. 12, 2010 – The 2011 Lincoln MKX, with industry-first MyLincoln Touch™ driver connect technology, is a high-tech showcase. That is true of the luxury crossover’s powertrain as well.
Its new 3.7-liter Duratec V-6 employs advanced technology and clever control strategies to increase horsepower and torque to best-in-class levels while achieving unsurpassed fuel economy.
“Fuel economy continues to be at the top of customers’ minds,” said Greg Johnson, Lincoln powertrain manager. “But customers refuse to compromise on power. With the 2011 Lincoln MKX, they won’t have to. We’re delivering increased power and torque with unsurpassed fuel economy.”
2011 Lincoln MKX customers will enjoy a luxury crossover that delivers best-in-class power and torque versus all V-6 competitors with unsurpassed highway fuel economy of 25 mpg – all on regular fuel. Horsepower has been increased to 305 – a 15 percent increase compared with the outgoing product – while torque is up to 280 ft.-lb., marking a 12 percent improvement.
The 3.7-liter V-6 is mated to a six-speed SelectShift Automatic™ transmission, which gives customers the option of a fun-to-shift manual experience.
In SelectShift mode, the transmission doesn’t second-guess the driver, offering total control over gear selection and performance feel. Upshifts, for instance, are not commanded at redline, and downshifts are allowed at the lowest gear possible as defined by the engine speed.
“When the system is in manual mode, engine speed matching provides faster and smoother downshifts, and the customer gets the gear they request within the limits of the rev limiter,” said Johnson.
When a lower gear is selected while descending a long downhill grade, the 2011 Lincoln MKX in SelectShift mode will hold that gear until the driver manually upshifts or returns to the fully automatic setting. To ensure safe shifting, the transmission will downshift to the lowest acceptable gear, based on a calculated maximum speed. That means if a vehicle were traveling at highway speeds, the driver could not downshift to first gear in SelectShift mode.
Improvements to engine hardware as well as the powertrain control strategies account for the gains in power and fuel economy. Here’s a closer look at how the 2011 Lincoln MKX delivers increased power without compromising fuel economy: