Detroit All-Stars, Part I: 2010 Lincoln MKT

By Zach Bowman, Contributing Editor

2010 Lincoln MKT

With the Detroit Auto Show done and gone, we’ve finally had time to take a good hard look at all the great models that popped up this year. Manufacturers from around the world brought along their solutions to the current economical and climate crisis with hybrids and alternate fuel vehicles stealing a show typically associated with high-horsepower speed machines. With a focus on new tech and a keen eye toward the future of motoring, there was plenty to get excited about.


2010 Lincoln MKT




2010 Lincoln MKT

Ford brought along a slew of exciting new vehicles, including the Lincoln MKT. With the minivan all but fossilized and the SUV headed toward extinction, all eyes are on the next family hauler. Manufacturers are charged with creating a comfortable, roomy vehicle that’s capable in all weather and can still get decent fuel economy. That’s a hard nut to crack for anyone. Last year Ford responded with its Flex crossover, which hasn’t exactly seen stellar sales thanks to tight credit and a steep price tag.

This year, Ford unveiled the Lincoln MKT – a vehicle based on Flex architecture with styling that can only be described as classic Lincoln. Up front there’s a sweeping, familial split grille that instantly identifies this rig as a Lincoln. From there, the sides of the MKT fall into sweeping lines borrowed from successful Lincolns of the early to mid 60’s. The result is a crossover that turns its back on the classic squat SUV look.

The MKT is a three row, seven-passenger vehicle, which means there’s more than enough room for family and friends inside. The back seat can get a little tight with full-grown adults on board, but the front and middle rows provide ample space for just about anyone. Even with the third-row seat in place, there’s ample room behind the distinct rear hatch for luggage or other cargo. The well-executed dash borrows design elements from the handsome grille outside. Slick gauges, glowing wood accents and a huge, panoramic glass roof round out the highlights inside.

All that makes for a great new direction for Lincoln, but without the mechanics to back it up, the MKT would be doomed to failure. To ensure that doesn’t happen, Ford has equipped this crossover with a choice of two V-6 engines. Base models will be available with a plenty capable 3.7-liter unit with 268 horsepower and 267 horsepower. The engine uses a variable-speed fuel pump and start-stop technology to keep fuel consumption low. Mated to Ford’s fantastic six-speed automatic transmission, the base V-6 should be capable of 24 mpg highway – fantastic numbers for any seven-passenger vehicle.

The really exciting news is that the Lincoln MKT will also be available with Ford’s all-new, direct-injection, twin-turbocharged Ecoboost V-6. The company claims this new motor will provide V-8 power with V-6 fuel economy, and judging from the numbers, it isn’t far off. The Ecoboost V-6 will dish up 355 horsepower and 350 lb-ft of torque.

Modern buyers are cognizant of the benefits of an all-wheel drive vehicle, especially in climates where conditions can turn sour in an instant. While the base MKT will come standard as a front-wheel driver, an all-wheel drive variant can be had when coupled to the 3.7-liter Ecoboost V-6. The system keeps the vehicle in front-wheel drive mode until it detects any amount of slippage. At that point, the rear wheels kick in to provide extra grip on unsure surfaces.

The Lincoln MKT is slated to hit dealers by mid 2009 as a 2010 model. Ford has said pricing will start at $44,995 for base models. Like most other luxury crossovers, a base MKT will still come loaded with all kinds of great features, including a rear-view camera, three-zone climate control, 12-way adjustable heated and cooled front seats and a 20 gig hard drive for music and media storage.

Though smaller, fuel-thrifty vehicles stole the show at this year’s North American International Auto Show, families will always need a way to get across town or across the state. For those out there with the cash to spare, the MKT offers the kind of luxury that would do the German competition proud.


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