2013 Lincoln MKZ

Ford Motor Company revealed its all-new 2013 Lincoln MKZ at last April’s New York International Auto Show. The model represents a significant break with tradition, including Lincoln’s trademark waterfall grille.

Chief MKZ designer Max Wolf said the inspiration for the MKZ’s new horizontal grille fins came from the idea of an eagle’s outstretched wings. In addition to the new grille, the model features a retractable all-glass roof. The new roof goes a step beyond the panoramic sunroof, and essentially transforms the sedan into a convertible.

Lincoln is hopeful that the dramatic redesign of the MKZ will give its faded image a much-needed shot in the arm. Although the MKZ shares its underlying architecture with the 2013 Ford Fusion, it has distinctive body panels.

The redesign includes much more than meets the eye. Lincoln has retained the front-wheel-drive layout, but has given the 2013 MKZ more power in the form of a 2.0-liter EcoBoost inline four-cylinder.  In addition to being more powerful, the new 2.0-liter EcoBoost engine also increases fuel economy by as much as 6 mpg over the current model’s 3.5-liter V6.

Lincoln is also introducing a hybrid electric version of the MKZ which will reportedly deliver 47 mpg combined city / highway. That’s about 4 mpg better than its primary competitor; the Toyota Camry hybrid. Lincoln has no immediate plans for a plug-in hybrid electric model, but the Fusion Energi’s driveline could easily be fitted into the MKZ at some future time.

Wolf says the inspiration for the 2013 MKZ’s interior came from suspension bridge design. Perhaps the most obvious manifestation of the concept is the gracefully floating center console. The console also follows the form follows function architectural principle by providing additional storage space.

The 2013 MKZ’s high-gloss center console features an 8-inch color MyLincoln Touch screen and several concealed storage compartments. Traditional analog instrument gauges have been replaced by a 10.1-inch color screen which features a navigation system.

The new MKZ is also quieter than its predecessor, thanks in part to Lincoln’s Active Noise Cancelation system, which comes standard.  Other standard features include an 11-speaker audio system, remote start and headed driver and front-passenger seats.

The 2013 MKZ has an MSRP of $35,925.

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