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Old 01-09-2006, 05:48   #1 (permalink)
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US:Lincoln MKS hints at production car

Lincoln MKS hints at production car

Amy Wilson
Automotive News

DETROIT -- Lincoln's MKS concept car is a sneak peek at a long-awaited full-sized sedan for the struggling luxury brand.

Lincoln calls the MKS a teaser that strongly hints at an upcoming flagship sedan and at the brand's design direction. It is slated to be unveiled Monday, Jan. 9, at the Detroit auto show.

A production version of the car is expected as early as late 2007.

The MKS is one of two full-sized sedans being developed for Lincoln on Ford Motor Co.'s D3 car platform. Derived from Volvo, the platform also underpins the Ford Five Hundred sedan.

"What that concept does for us is say, 'OK, we're not stopping. We are going to be back,'" said Al Giombetti, Ford Motor's vice president of sales. "That's very, very important."

It has been a tough decade for Lincoln. Market share losses and an aging car lineup have taken their toll. The brand finished 2005 with an 11.4 percent sales slide in the United States.

The MKS represents the smaller and sportier of the two Lincoln sedans in development.

Lincoln hasn't said whether the production version will carry the MKS name.

The concept features all-wheel drive. A 4.4-liter V-8 engine producing 315 hp is mated to a six-speed automatic transmission.

At one point, Ford Motor was preparing to build the two Lincoln sedans at its Atlanta assembly plant. But with several plants, including Atlanta, being considered for closure, it's unclear where the Lincolns will be built.

Ford's Chicago assembly plant is a possibility. The Five Hundred and other D3-based vehicles already are built there.
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Old 01-09-2006, 06:15   #2 (permalink)
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Re: US:Lincoln MKS hints at production car

Lincoln MKS previews performance luxury for new generation of sophisticated customers

Global Auto Index

Lincoln has issued the following press release:



The Lincoln MKS strongly hints at the design direction for Lincoln and its upcoming new flagship sedan. Lincoln MKS' expressive design is defined by sculpted fluid surfacing that conveys an athletic nature and performance.

A clean, contemporary interior includes the comfort and convenience hallmarks that will define Lincoln vehicles going forward. The Lincoln MKS features heated and cooled seats with 14-way power adjustments, a panoramic glass roof, adaptive LED head lights, advanced navigation system, Bluetooth and DVD-audio surround sound. A powerful 315-horsepower V-8 engine is paired with a 6-speed automatic transmission, intelligent all-wheel drive and Lincoln's first sedan with 20-inch wheels.

"Attitudes about luxury are changing, and Lincoln is at the forefront of the shift," says Peter Horbury, executive director, North American Design. "People want refinement, rather than ostentation. Lincoln MKS is a luxury car that doesn't need to shout – it captivates with a whisper."


Exterior Design
Expressive, refined styling defines the exterior. The Lincoln MKS is a luxury vehicle that has elegance and composure and is at home in any setting. Its face is a modern interpretation of the classic Lincoln grille, combining the waterfall and the brand's signature crosshatch star.

"Everything about the design of the Lincoln MKS flows from the star and then directs the eye back to it," explains Patrick Schiavone, design director, North America Car. "It's like an abstract arrow that points you to the star and breaks up the weight of the hood."

The confident stance and clean front of the Lincoln MKS signal an understated strength, while the vehicle's surface communicates motion. As the sculpted hood travels back to the cowling, it curves upward to greet the A-pillars. The eye is pulled up and around the car's silhouette and over its dynamic shoulder line to its powerful haunches.

"Lincoln MKS communicates power, motion and speed," says Schiavone. "It's athletic and muscular, yet elegant."
A Footprint for Style, Speed

With substantial 20-inch wheels – the largest ever on a Lincoln sedan – the Lincoln MKS belongs to the serious drivers. Designed with five main spokes and five offset spokes in contrasting polished and vapor-blasted alloy, the wheels reflect light at varying angles to convey a sense of speed.

"Traditionally in the design vocabulary, a sport wheel has five spokes, while luxury wheels are multispoked," says Schiavone. "The Lincoln MKS is both sporting and luxurious, so we combined the two aesthetics in our 'five/five' wheel."

The Lincoln MKS exquisite exterior color is called Juniper Frost, which is offset by a lower body color of Celadon Green. Side vents are accented by the Lincoln star. A dramatic panoramic glass Vista Roof™ is set between polished alloy finishing rails. The same polished alloy highlights the roof ditch molding and distinguishes the bold rear fenders with dual exhaust tips.
Clean, Modern Interior Makes Every Occupant a VIP

Inside, the Lincoln MKS is a treat for the senses, offering occupants the ultimate in craftsmanship and comfort. The instrument panel features a slender ribbon of Silvered Birdseye maple framed by a polished alloy band. The Vista Roof™ emphasizes the sense of space, while inviting the outdoors into the cabin.

The seats, with supple, full-grain Aniline leather, adjust 14 ways – with individual power controls for driver and passenger. These seats are not only heated, they're cooled. The lower cushions extend, and the lumbar area offers additional support. Suede plays a role in the vehicle's interior elegance. The console is covered in Oxford Grey suede; doors are offset by pearl white suede.

Open-loop Wind Loom carpeting adds texture and warmth. Signature Lincoln Cool White lighting illuminates the cabin in soft hues.

The Lincoln MKS instrument cluster features gauges inspired by precision sports watches – large, easy to read, and well placed for maximum visibility. The gauge needles have flush-fit hubs that contribute to a clean, streamlined look. The readings are marked by subtle raised chaplets, giving the cluster a dash of brightness.



Innovative Technologies Anticipate Driver's Needs

The Lincoln MKS presents a suite of features designed to make life more convenient: Bluetooth, 14-speaker, 500-watt DVD surround-sound audio system, a passive entry system that automatically identifies the driver, push-start ignition, onboard navigation and next-generation headlights that improve nighttime vision around curves in the road.

The adaptive front lighting system improves on current "cornering" lighting technologies by using two light sources working in tandem to help drivers see better around curves. A high-output halogen projection main beam is assisted by a secondary row of light emitting diodes (LEDs) that illuminate as needed. Driven by electronic sensors rather than mechanical motors used in current cornering systems, a row of instantaneous LEDs switch on sequentially as the vehicle rounds the bend.

Navigation systems are not new to the luxury market. But intuitive, easy-to-use navigation systems that put the customer first are. With the Lincoln Mobile Media System there is no complicated, frustrating, endless list of drop-down menus. Here, occupants select a function on an eight-inch LCD touch screen. The functions include navigation, tri-zone climate control, audio entertainment system, connectivity and vehicle information. Then occupants modify directions, temperature and volume through rotary controls.

The Lincoln Mobile Media System allows the driver to download the latest information from information channels, such as the National Weather Center or view the major points of interest along his drive route.

Other advanced adaptive technologies featured in the Lincoln MKS were developed to anticipate the occupants' needs while helping them stay connected. A passive entry system recognizes the driver and automatically unlocks the vehicle and adjusts to his or her personal settings for mirrors, seats, radio dials and temperature. Cell phone calls are transmitted through the 14-speaker surround-sound system, utilizing Bluetooth technology. The Lincoln MKS's Intelligent AWD System will help ensure confident performance, while the vehicle's adaptive lighting system instantly adjusts to help improve nighttime driving visibility.
Engaging Driving Dynamics

Under the hood, an all-aluminum 4.4-liter V-8 engine pumps out 315 horsepower. This engine is paired with Ford Motor Company's smooth-shifting, 6-speed automatic transmission, giving the Lincoln MKS outstanding performance, fuel efficiency and emissions improvements.

Sure-footed power is delivered to all four wheels. The active AWD system provides performance and all-weather traction. A preemptive-slip system reads key parameters that automatically transfers torque to the wheels before they begin to slip.

Lincoln MKS also is equipped with industry-leading safety features. It offers dual front air bags, driver and passenger side air bags and a side air curtain for rollover protection. The steering column tailors its rate of collapse to the driver's size and safety-belt use. A cross-car side impact protection beam under the front seats reinforces the structure between the B-pillars while directing energy away from passengers.

"Lincoln has historically excelled at full-size luxury sedans – it's been our hallmark," says Darryl Hazel, vice president, Marketing, North America. "With the Lincoln MKS, we're reaffirming what we stand for and signaling our intent to introduce a new generation of consumers to full-size performance luxury in the very near future."







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My next Ford.....
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