AutoGuide News Blog
The AutoGuide News Blog is your source for breaking stories from the auto industry. Delivering news immediately, the AutoGuide Blog is constantly updated with the latest information, photos and video from manufacturers, auto shows, the aftermarket and professional racing.
When Size Matters
Large and in charge. Big is beautiful. Size matters. Yes, there are endless clichés to support the notion that the bigger something is, the better it is. In the automotive kingdom, some vehicles not only adhere to this philosophy, but redefine it. We aren’t talking the puny realm of offerings like the Honda Accord, Toyota Camry or even Dodge Charger. No, this is for the serious four wheeled hippos. The cars where it is more fun to be in the backseat than the front seat.
If you have more money to burn than the average NFL Quarterback, then there are some serious vehicles you can buy that are seriously long. How about the 220.9-inch Phantom Coupe? Not long enough for you? You could upsize to the 239.8-inch Phantom extended-wheelbase sedan, or maybe the 242.7-inch Maybach 62?
But for the rest of us mere mortals, there are some sizable vehicles out there under $100,000. Heck, two of the top ten are even under $30,000. So we will now present to you the top ten vehicles that are longer than The Hobbit.
Courtesy of Eastern European publication AutoForums.cz, we can now report that the upcoming MKZ has little changed from the concept car released at last January’s Detroit Auto Show.
The side-view mirrors got a little bigger, as did the headlights, though most of the styling stayed the same. An interior shot also reveals that much of the concept was accurate to the production model, with scant wood–stlye accents with mostly black and chrome trim throughout.
Smaller alloy wheels also seem to be a part of the production model, though the key feature we’re most curious about isn’t detailed in the shots.
That means we’ll still have to wait until April 4 to find out about the fully-retractable panoramic roof which has been confirmed for the sedan despite few specific details being available. We do know that it will feature 100 spf UV protection to keep occupants from getting sunburned, but we’re still not sure how much it will cost as what we’re assuming will be an option.
Check back during our live coverage for more details on the flagship vehicle of what will be a refreshed Lincoln lineup.
GALLERY: 2013 Lincoln MKZ leaked
Lincoln has revamped its MKS for 2013, sporting a whole new exterior appearance as part of a change in the brand’s design direction. While different, it’s not exactly a departure from the previous model, although with this just a mid-cycle update any drastic changes will have to be saved for the next all-new model.
Debuting at the LA Auto Show, the new MKS will have two engine options, a 3.7L V6 with 300-hp and 275 lb-ft of torque (available in FWD or AWD) and a 3.5L EcoBoost V6 AWD with 355-hp and 350 lb-ft of torque.
There’s no way to ignore Lincoln’s desire to move forward with its new designs. The front bumper, fenders, hood, rear bumper are all redesigned along with the prominent front grille. HID headlights and LED taillights bring the Lincoln up to par with its competitors while the 19-wheels are surely made to grab attention. If that’s not enough for you, Lincoln will be offering a 20-inch option for the new MKS.
Lincoln also enhanced the braking performance on the new MKS, fitting 13.86-inch rotors in the front and 13.58-inch rotors in the rear. Lincoln’s Continuously Controlled Damping (CCD) which is also found on their new MKT, can also be found on the MKS giving it a smooth ride without compromising its handling capabilities. Lincoln Drive Control also helps bring the MKS to life offering the driver the ability to easily change between Drive to Sport, automatically adjusting the handling performance, ride firmness, throttle response, shift feel, steering response and traction control of the vehicle.
Safety features on the new MKS include collision warning, new Lane Keeping Alert and new Lane Keeping Aid technologies – all of which help drivers avoid potentially dangerous situations. On the inside, the MKS has an all new instrument panel, MyLincoln Touch and plenty of new color schemes to choose from using new premium materials and genuine stitching.
GALLERY: 2013 Lincoln MKS
Lincoln is brewing up some more interest for its upcoming LA Auto Show debuts. Recently we were teased with a single photo showcasing the new design of the 2013 MKS and MKT, and now the Ford luxury brand has released a couple more. This time it’s clearly showcasing the new MKS sedan’s LED taillights and a new dashboard featuring FoCoMo’s configurable instrument panel LCD screens.
It’s still not a whole lot to go off of, but clearly Ford is taking a page out of its own marketing book to hopefully generate more interest for their newly redesigned MKS and MKT. Let’s just hope when the full unveil happens, we’re not disappointed.
GALLERY: 2013 MKS, MKT Design Teasers
Just as industry analysts and veterans are convinced that the Lincoln brand will share a similar fate to Mercury, Lincoln is determined to prove the naysayers otherwise. According to global product chief of Ford, Derrick Kuzak, Ford promises no fewer than seven new or improved vehicles in the Lincoln lineup by 2014, a mere three years time.
With introductions staggered between 2012 to 2014, Lincoln is scheduled to begin their launch with a restyled Navigator for its 2012 model year. Expect to find the same 3.5 liter EcoBoost V-6 found in Ford’s F-series line of pickups.
Also in development is a new compact crossover based on Ford’s next generation Ford Escape, which will be based on a Ford Kuga chassis, a product that’s currently a foreign market exclusive. Another compact car is also in talks but it probably won’t be introduced until 2016, if at all.
Next, the Ford Fusion based Lincoln MKZ will be revised for 2013. However, expect to see the MKZ’s introduction to be slightly behind that of the Fusion as Ford Motor Company will focus much of their efforts in refining, and further separating, Lincolns with a more upscale interior.
The larger MKS sedan is expected to receive a facelift for 2013 as well. Cosmetic enhancements include a freshened grill and side in order to achieve a more streamlined appearance. Moreover, the MKS may also be available with an efficient 2.0-liter four-cylinder EcoBoost engine expected in the Taurus at the same time.
As far as Lincoln’s current crossovers are concerned, the big daddy MKT will get new grill and taillight treatments, not to mention a gussied up interior. And finally, don’t expect a redesign for the midsize crossover MKX until 2014.
Although it remains to be seen whether these efforts would place Lincoln back on the map, it is a positive sign to see Ford Motor Company at least try.
GALLERY: Lincoln Line-up
Lincoln sales have been slipping and so far are down 8 percent this year. The automaker has sped up redesign plans for the full-size MKS and three-row MKT as sales have dropped by 40 percent this year for the sedan, and 38 percent for the crossover. The redesigned MKS and MKT will debut at the Los Angeles Auto Show in November.
The redesign will also feature a technological overhaul. Lincoln is planning to introduce noise-canceling technology as well as upgrade the MyLincolnTouch system. Computer-adjustable steering and suspension capability is also a go ahead for Lincoln’s redesign.
Ford global product chief Derrick Kuzak said seven new Lincolns are on the way over the next few years. Lincoln will be taking pointers from the success of its MKZ Hybrid, introduced late last year, which experienced tremendous success because this car represented the first-ever entry-level luxury hybrid.
[Source: Left Lane News]
Lincoln has been hard at work refreshing its lineup over the past few years and the luxury arm of Ford has chosen to display three of its newest vehicles at the 2009 SEMA Show: a 2010 MKZ, a 2009 MKS and a 2010 MKT. But before the two luxury sedans and one crossover made their way to Las Vegas, Lincoln shipped them out to different tuning shops across the country to have each car individually stylized.
“Lincoln as a brand is continuing to attract younger customers to the showroom with products like the MKS, MKZ and the new MKT luxury crossover,” said Amy Marentic, Ford Car and Crossover marketing manager. “These customers place huge importance on style, design and technology, and these are areas where Lincoln plays well. SEMA gives customizers the opportunity to push the boundaries of design, while still focusing on the core strengths of the Lincoln brand.”
Ford’s SEMA Designer Melvin Betancourt echoes Marentic’s thoughts stating that, “Customization is about individuality and reflecting who you are. That is particularly true about the new generation of people who are buying cars. The vehicles at this year’s SEMA show prove that Lincolns have great personalization potential.”
See more on each of the three SEMA Lincolns after the jump:
Lincoln MKS Runs Sub-14 Second Pass
With increasingly stringent fuel economy regulations and in an effort to delivery maximum power for minimal gas, many automakers are switching to smaller displacement engines and forced induction. BMW and Audi are two examples, but U.S. automaker Ford is also making strides in this area with its new line of EcoBoost engines.
The current EcoBoost powerplant is a turbocharged 3.5-liter V6, aimed at giving V6 fuel economy with V8 power. Ford claims 355hp and 350 ft-lbs of torque for this motor and while that sounds good, real world acceleration numbers tell the real tale.
Last night a group of Ford engineers took the new EcoBoost powered Ford Flex and Lincoln MKS to the drag strip at Milan Raceway to see just what they would do. The numbers are impressive.
The EcoBoost Ford Flex (you know, that retro-cool box thingy) took just 14.5 seconds to rip down the quarter mile, hitting a top speed of 98 mph.
Better yet, the new Lincoln ran a sub-14 second pass, going 13.9 at 104 mph.
The MKS and Flex are just the first vehicles to receive the EcoBoost engines and more are planned. Ford will offer 90 percent of its vehicles with an EcoBoost powerplant by 2013.
GALLERY: EcoBoost Ford Flex and Lincoln MKS
Active Park Assist uses ultrasonic waves
The new Lincoln MKS and upcoming Lincoln MKT crossover will feature an innovative new computer-controlled auto-park system that, says Ford, is far superior to existing competitors’ systems.
The Active Park Assist system will use ultrasonic waves, rather than video cameras to position the vehicle for parallel parking, calculate the desired steering angle and quickly steer the vehicle into position. The driver will still control the gears, throttle and brake and can take control of the situation at any time by grasping the steering wheel.
Direct from the Ford Press release, HERE’S HOW IT WORKS:
1. The driver activates the system by pressing an instrument panel button, which activates the ultrasonic sensors to measure and identify a feasible parallel parking space.
2. The system then prompts the driver to accept the system assistance to park.
3. The steering system then takes over and steers the car into the parking space hands-free. The driver still shifts the transmission and operates the gas and brake pedals.
4. A visual and/or audible driver interface advises the driver about the proximity of other cars, objects and people and provides instructions.
5. While the steering is all done automatically, the driver remains responsible for safe parking and can interrupt the system by grasping the steering wheel.
This new innovation is possible because of the use of Ford’s new Electric Power Assisted Steering (EPAS) system, an advancement from hydraulic systems. Ford claims the EPAS system alone accounts for an improvement in fuel economy by five percent.
Official release after the jump: